This Open Letter was published on the New York Oath Keepers website.
As you know, the New York SAFE Act was passed in the middle of the night by the New York City dominated New York State Legislature and signed by a Governor, who would be president, without any input from the people. Who will be safer under this unconstitutional law? It definitely will not be the law-abiding citizens of New York who, if we comply, would have some of our ability to defend ourselves taken away. The law might be better named the NY SAFE Act for Criminals because violent criminals who carry illegal guns will never comply. They have never complied with any gun control laws and they will continue to use all banned weapons with the largest capacity magazines they can get their hands on. Only the law-abiding citizens like us and police officers like you, will now be at a disadvantage, not the criminals.
The origin of gun control in New York State goes back to 1911 when a Democrat State Senator from New York City named “Big Tim Sullivan” pushed for gun control in New York City. He was a Tammany Hall crook and a criminal overseer of gangs in New York City. Sullivan sponsored the gun-control law (later called the Sullivan Act) that mandated police-issued licenses for handguns and made it a felony to carry an unlicensed concealed weapon in NYC. When it passed, ordinary law-abiding citizens were disarmed, which solved another problem for the NYC criminals. It seems that gangsters had been bitterly complaining to State Senator Sullivan and NYC politicians that the victims of their criminal attacks sometimes shot back at them. In other words, the good guys were shooting the bad guys and State Senator Sullivan and other political crooks could not let that happen.
We know that Governor Cuomo and the Democrat controlled legislature arbitrarily came up with their own definitions of what so called “Assault Weapons” are. The definitions were concocted out of thin air by a group of New York City socialists who obviously know nothing about guns. One of the things they identified that makes certain rifles “assault weapons” was if a rifle had a lug on it for a bayonet. Never mind the fact that no person in New York State has been murdered or even assaulted by a person using a rifle with a bayonet attached to it in well over a hundred years. It doesn’t matter to these socialists because they will say and do anything to take our guns. That is and always has been their ultimate goal.
Certain rifles legally purchased in the past by American citizens, who happen to reside in New York State, are now illegal to purchase or sell to another state resident. Why has the New York State legislature concentrated their efforts on turning hundreds of thousands of your fellow New Yorkers into criminals?
The New York State Sheriffs Association and the County Clerks Association have taken positions opposing the NY SAFE Act as unconstitutional, as have 52 county legislatures and over 150 towns and villages in the State. In addition, there are at least 4 lawsuits currently working their way through the court system. All of these lawsuits have identified specific sections of the NY SAFE Act that are violations of both the New York State Constitution and the U.S. Constitution. All of these organizations have called for either amending the bill or called for the outright repeal of the law in order to start over with some input from the people.
Unfortunately, the Governor and the socialist leaders in the state legislature do not seem to have taken any notice of the growing opposition to this unconstitutional legislation by law-abiding gun owners in New York State. Even before the passage of this horrendous piece of unconstitutional law, members of our OATH KEEPERS organization had been in contact with individual active duty police officers, deputy sheriffs, state troopers and other law enforcement professionals like yourself throughout New York asking them to remember their Oaths to the U.S. and New York State Constitutions and to “Stand Down” if they are ever asked to enforce any unconstitutional laws. Our contacts have been very positive and we now count many active duty police officers, deputy sheriffs, New York State Troopers and correction officers among our ranks.
Back in 2013, the Obama Administration sent out the Metropolitan DC and federal police to forcefully remove or arrest aging WWII military veterans from their own monuments. The police were out in force wearing riot helmets. When the veterans and their supporters refused orders from the police to disperse or to discontinue their dismantling of park service barricades, the police officers honored their oaths to the constitution and simply “stood down” and allowed the veterans to visit the memorials.
First and foremost, the veterans were peaceful and did not represent a public safety threat. They simply made a strong First Amendment constitutional stand against the decision of a socialist American president. In a stunning display of disobedience to their department superiors, the police honored their oath to support and defend the U.S. Constitution and actually stood down rather than use physical force against their fellow American citizens and veterans.
Recently in Connecticut, the state notified gun owners who have not complied with their unconstitutional gun registration laws that they must surrender their semi-automatic rifles or risk being arrested for a felony. How does turning 300,000 plus law-abiding citizens into criminals overnight, happen in America?
Here in New York, our socialist Governor who would be president finally made the overt move to start taking our guns. We know that it is our guns that are the only things standing in the way of these anti-Liberty political thugs taking all of our unalienable rights. Remember our rights come from God and are supposed to be protected by the Constitution and our elected officials, not taken away by them. New York State Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin said
Governor Andrew Cuomo and President Barack Hussein Obama are following in the footsteps of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Mussolini and Hitler who all used gun registration to eventually confiscate the guns of people who disagreed with their political philosophies. The socialist “Enemies within America” have wanted to confiscate our guns for a long time.
New York’s own socialist U.S. Senator Charles Schumer has said: “We’re going to hammer guns on the anvil of relentless legislative strategy! We’re going to beat guns into submission!”
Senator Dianne Feinstein has said: “If I could’ve gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them—Mr. and Mrs. America turn ‘em all in—I would have done it. I could not do that. The votes weren’t here.” A little over a week after the Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut, Governor Cuomo told an Albany radio show audience that “confiscation could be an option” as part of the NY SAFE Act legislation. These are just three examples clearly showing the mindset of some current socialist political leaders in America.
The justification used for banning certain types of weapons in New York and several other states has no basis in facts or statistics. In 2011, there were 12,664 murders in the United States. Rifles of all kinds were used in only 323 of these murders. More people were murdered with knives, with blunt weapons like baseball bats and tire irons, or beaten to death with hands and feet, than were killed with rifles. Assault rifles are used so infrequently in homicides that many police departments almost never see them; in 2011, there were nine states that did not have a single murder committed with any rifle. (Source: FBI: Crime in the United States–2011).
Why didn’t Governor Cuomo and the state legislature ban baseball bats or tire irons because they kill more people in New York than rifles? The facts and the truth mean nothing to these socialists because their overall plan is to take all of our guns, just like Hitler, Mussolini, Mao, Stalin and Pol Pot.
Taking advantage of any crisis, including the horrendous slaughter of 20 innocent children and 6 of their teachers in Connecticut by a mentally unstable individual who was being treated with mind-altering psychotropic drugs and who stole the weapons he used, is standard operating procedure for the anti-Second Amendment crowd. The socialist politicians in New York, Connecticut, Maryland and Colorado decided to use this crisis to advance their anti-Second Amendment agenda. The common denominator in all mass murder incidents that have occurred in our country over the past 50 years are not law-abiding gun owners shooting innocent people. The common denominator is mentally disturbed individuals, wacked out on psychotropic drugs, who are killing people in “Gun Free Zones.”
It’s not that the American socialists like Governor Cuomo want to ban all guns in America. No, they just want to ban those guns owned by those that Adolph Hitler called the “not reliable people.” That means they want to take the guns away from average Americans like you and me. The President, a couple of Governors, Senator Feinstein, former NYC Mayor Bloomberg, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Hollywood elite, corporate executives, and all high ranking government officials will still have their guns. They are protected 24/7 by law enforcement officers like you or by private security with guns. Only the average American citizens will be disarmed and defenseless. Taking away our guns will accomplish the “political elite’s” goal of eliminating our ability to resist their socialist takeover of America and the subsequent loss of all of our individual freedoms and Liberty.
Infringing on the Second Amendment Constitutional rights of law-abiding American citizens is not the answer and these types of gun control measures must be met with serious resistance by the American people. With guns, we are a free people. Without guns, we will become nothing more than subjects and slaves.
The rights of the American people, as enumerated in the Bill of Rights, including the right to bear arms, are unalienable. That means that they cannot be taken away by any government, state or federal. The Bill of Rights was included specifically to protect the citizens from their own government. We live in a Republic, and as such, it is the people who give the federal and state governments their power, not the other way around; and it is the federal and state governments that are supposed to protect our rights, not whittle away at our rights until we have none.
This is not the first time a government tried to take our guns. Back in April 19, 1775, British Troops tried to take weapons from the Massachusetts militiamen and were met with armed resistance by the people. In the years that followed, our Founders made their individual decisions to stand together and take an oath to fight for Liberty and Freedom. They put their lives and fortunes on the line and declared their freedom and independence from the chains and shackles of servitude to the King of England.
Two ancient Greek words, Molon Labe! (mo-lone lah-veh) meaning “Come and get them” was the reply of the Spartan General-King Leonidas to Xerxes, the Persian Emperor who came with more than 100,000 of some of the best fighting troops in the world to conquer and invade the little city states of Greece. When Xerxes offered to spare the lives of Leonidas, his 300 personal bodyguards, and a handful of Thebans and others who volunteered to defend their country, if they would only lay down their arms, Leonidas shouted these two words back: Molon Labe! It is the classic example of courage, valor, and defiance of determined individuals in the face of overwhelming odds.
The OATH KEEPERS have adopted this defiant utterance as a battle cry in our war against oppression because it expresses so clearly and simply our defiance of those who would take our arms and our liberty. It signifies our determination to not strike the first blow, but also to not stand mute and allow our loved ones, and all that we believe in and stand for, to be trampled by men who would deprive us of our God-given, natural rights to defend ourselves to suit their own socialist ends.
As stated very clearly in our Molon Labe Pledge, when dealing with the unconstitutional NY SAFE Act, active-duty OATH KEEPERS:
“Will NOT obey any order to disarm the American people or compel registration. The attempt to disarm the people on April 19, 1775 was the spark of open conflict in the American Revolution. It was an act of war, and our forefathers fought back in justified, righteous self-defense of their natural rights. Any such order today would also be an act of war against the American people, and thus an act of treason. Those of us who are still currently serving will not enforce any attempt to register either gun owners or guns, or to ban the sale, possession, or transfer of any semi-automatic rifles, handguns, or full capacity ammunition magazines, which are precisely the kinds of weapons the American people need to defend their lives and liberty.”
New York, like Connecticut, Maryland and Colorado, is now facing a very dangerous time that can flash to bloody conflict in an instant if someone, anyone, does something stupid. So please pay attention, for Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NYC controlled state legislature are placing law enforcement officers of New York State in the middle, between free-born American citizens like us on one side and the socialist, political elite on the other.
Please remember that an unconstitutional act of a legislature is void and invalid from inception. It is a legal concept that has been upheld by centuries of American law. An unconstitutional “law” is illegal and thus no law at all and does not have to be obeyed. The people have a right to resist any unconstitutional acts, and it is up to you, the law enforcement officers in New York State, to take every option to avoid inciting unwanted and unnecessary violence by “standing down” and refusing to enforce the unconstitutional NY SAFE Act. We do not condone violence, but are well aware that something could happen, even by accident, that could turn a NY SAFE Act enforcement incident into a repeat of what happened on the Lexington Green on April 19, 1775 all over again.
Unfortunately for the socialist politicians currently in power, most law-abiding gun owners in New York “WILL NOT COMPLY” with the latest unconstitutional gun grab. The vast majority of gun owners will not register themselves or their guns. We know from experience that registration is the prerequisite to confiscation, which is the prerequisite to dictatorship. We will NOT be treated like convicted sex-offenders just for owning semi-automatic rifles. To comply with this unconstitutional “law” would, in itself, be an act of surrender and submission.
Let us remember that at critical times in the 238 year history of this great country, certain generations of Americans have been called upon to defend Liberty in its maximum hour of danger and need. In 1775, our Founders’ generation was given that honor and privilege as were the generations of Americans who lived through World War I and World War II.
At these and other critical times in our history, brave Americans have taken an oath and stood as one united force against foreign aggressors and our Liberty was preserved. Today in America, our Liberty is once again under attack. This time, however, the attack is not coming from some foreign power—from foreign enemies, but rather it is coming from an enemy within—domestic enemies; from oath-breakers within our own Federal and State governments and from those traitorous individuals and special interest groups who pull the strings of the politicians and the media, like puppet masters from behind a curtain of secrecy, bribery and deception. Make no mistake; the danger to our Liberty is as real today as it was in 1775, 1917 and 1941.
Our Founders repeatedly warned us of the dangers that a free America would face in the future and that the most serious danger to our Liberty would come from within. They also told us that it is not only an honor and a privilege to defend our Liberty, but that it is also our sacred duty to do so, not just for ourselves but for our children and our children’s children. Just as those brave generations of Americans have done before us, OUR generation must be prepared to stand up, take the oath and join together as one united force to defend Liberty in America.
We want to remind all Law Enforcement officers in New York State that you are the last peaceful line of defense for your fellow Americans against the growing socialist tyranny of our own state and federal government. Should the time ever come when you find yourselves in the streets of our cities or in the countryside facing your fellow American citizens who are simply exercising their God-given and constitutionally guaranteed rights to demand their Freedom and Liberty, we ask you to remember and honor your oath!
Please remember that we are your fellow law enforcement officers. We are you and you are us. We are also retired law enforcement officers, active duty members of the military and military veterans, as well as first-responders. We are your brothers and sisters, your fathers and mothers, your relatives, your friends, your neighbors down the street, local firefighters, your local small business owners and millions of other New Yorkers who have never been arrested for a crime, nor have we ever been in any kind of trouble. Now, Governor Cuomo and the state legislature have turned hundreds of thousands of your fellow peaceable and law-abiding New Yorkers into criminal Felons with the stroke of a pen.
We are asking you to honor your oath to the U.S. Constitution. It will be up to you, the rank and file police officer, deputy sheriff and state trooper, to protect the constitutional rights of your fellow New Yorkers. By the time the NY SAFE Act lawsuits work their way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, the war against your fellow citizens might already have begun, unless police officers like you honor your oaths by refusing to enforce this unconstitutional law. You need to understand that our socialist Governor and his fellow travelers are sending you into this conflict against honorable men and women who simply will not submit to the tyrannical lust for power by the political oath-breakers.
We sincerely hope that you will do the right thing so that both sides can prevent any injuries and bloodshed, while also preserving our Bill of Rights and our natural right of self-defense that is among the liberties it preserves. We also feel obligated, and honor bound, to warn you, in the strongest terms possible, of the hornet’s nest you may be ordered to “whack with a stick” and the fact that it is now up to you to take the lead in order to avoid violence by putting on the brakes when asked to enforce the NY SAFE Act.
The OATH KEEPERS have also heard from many of your fellow law enforcement officers who tell us they will not go along with the enforcement of this unconstitutional “law”. They tell us that they will find a way to stand with the people and not to take part in the illegal confiscation of their guns. Hopefully, there will be enough of you to keep your fellow officers from opening the gates of Hell.
The OATH KEEPERS stand shoulder to shoulder with the free people of New York State in defense of Liberty and in opposition to the NY SAFE Act.
The OATH KEEPERS are prepared to stand shoulder to shoulder with all law enforcement officers in the State of New York who are prepared to honor their individual oaths to the New York and U.S. Constitutions in defense of Liberty and to protect all New Yorkers’ unalienable right of self-defense for themselves and their families.
The OATH KEEPERS are ready to stand with you and the free people of New York State. Are you ready to stand with us?
For the Republic and the New York Oath Keepers,
William Cooper, President, NY Oath Keepers (former US Air Force)
John Wallace, Vice President, NY Oath Keepers (Lt. Col. NYSP Ret & US Army-NYARNG)
Dan Devlin, Vice President, NY Oath Keepers (Det. Phoenix PD & MP US Army)
Frank Morganthaler, Vice President, NY Oath Keepers (USMC, Lt. FDNY Ret)
John Mahoney, Special Advisor, NY Oath Keepers (Sgt NYPD Ret, USMC & SF US Army Ret)
The principle author of the above open letter was John Wallace, a retired Lt. Colonel with the New York State Police, with the full agreement of the New York Oath Keepers Chapter as well as the national Oath Keepers Board of Directors.
Any questions and media inquiries about this letter should be directed to John Wallace by email at: John@NewYorkOathKeeper.com or NY Oath Keepers President Bill Cooper at: WilliamCooperNYOK@gmail.com
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