Albany Denies Homeowners Constitutional Right to Protect Themselves

When Thomas Jefferson penned the draft of the Virginia Constitution in 1776, he specifically included the words:

“No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms (within his own lands or tenements).” [Thomas Jefferson: Draft Virginia Constitution (with his note added), 1776. Papers 1:353.]

In 1808, Jefferson wrote:

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“I learn with great concern that [one] portion of our frontier so interesting, so important, and so exposed, should be so entirely unprovided with common fire-arms. I did not suppose any part of the United States so destitute of what is considered as among the first necessaries of a farm-house.” [Thomas Jefferson Letter to Jacob J. Brown, 1808. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Memorial Edition (ME), Lipscomb and Bergh, editors, 20 Vols., Washington, D.C., 1903-04, 11:432.]

In 1824, just two years before his death, Jefferson penned a letter to John Cartwright in which he wrote:

“The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that… it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.” [Thomas Jefferson letter to John Cartwright, 1824. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Memorial Edition (ME), Lipscomb and Bergh, editors, 20 Vols., Washington, D.C., 1903-04, 16:45.]

Yet, liberal politicians in Albany, New York chose to ignore Jefferson’s wisdom– a man often labelled as quite liberal for his time. Instead, Albany City Council members passed the firearm safe storage law at the end of last year, which took effect on January 1, 2016, which strips New Yorkers of their legal right to protect themselves, their families, and their homes.

The law requires every gun owner or anyone in legal possession of a gun to keep the gun locked up in a gun safe or other secured storage or have a properly installed trigger lock on all firearms that are not on or in immediate control of the person.

The law was fully supported and endorsed by Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Police Chief Brendan Cox and the City Council.

Anti-gun advocates pushed hard to pass the law, including Leah Gunn Barrett, Executive Director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence who said, “We are proud to stand with Albany’s leaders to welcome this new law, which will help reduce gun thefts, keep guns away from children, and reduce gun injuries and deaths.”

Albany now joins Buffalo, New York City, Rochester and Westchester County, which all have implemented similar laws.

Mayor Sheehan remarked, “With this sensible law, we take one more step forward, protecting children, families and the larger community from unintentional gun violence and also creating a barrier to the illegal gun trade. This law makes Albany a leader in gun safety.”

Police Chief Cox stated, “By requiring guns to be safely locked or stored, this law will help prevent one of the scourges that makes all Americans less safe – guns that are stolen and end up in the illegal market and in the hands of criminals.”

Albany now joins Buffalo, New York City, Rochester and Westchester County, which all have implemented similar laws.

However, the one issue that none of these anti-gun liberals are addressing is the real reason many people purchase a gun: for self-defense. Yet, in addition to not being allowed to carry their guns with them outside of their home, now they are being required to keep their guns locked up and unloaded.

How is someone supposed to protect his or her family and home from intruders if their guns are locked up– and unloaded?

Will an intruder wait for a gun owner to unlock and load their gun before assaulting, robbing, or killing them? Is the intruder using a legally obtained firearm? The knowledge of feeling defenseless actually emboldens criminals making their prey easy targets.

This is the same mindset that leaves gun-free zones like schools, churches, certain stores and public buildings to be the most frequented targets of criminals, wackos, and terrorists. Rarely does one ever hear about gun-friendly establishments being targeted because the criminals, wackos and terrorists don’t want to face an armed resistance.

As for kids getting their hands on guns, this is a parental issue. There have always been loaded guns in my house as far back as I can remember. I was taught very early on not to touch or play with the guns. My dad started teaching me to shoot when I was 4 years old. The gun was an over-under with the top barrel firing a .22 caliber rifle and the bottom barrel firing a .410 shotgun. My father would hold out his hand to support the front stock as I would take aim and fire. I shot my first rabbit when I was only 5 years old. He made sure that all of us kids knew where all of the loaded guns in the house were kept in case we ever needed to use one for protection. Sadly, that kind of parenting is rarely seen in today’s America. Kids are taught by the world around them to do their own thing with little regard to parental authority.

But there are some good news stories of children well trained and encouraged by the parents to understand gun safety:



Why is it that in cities like New York, Baltimore, and Chicago, which have the strictest gun laws also have the highest gun-related crime rates in the nation?

Is it because criminals know that people and their homes are defenseless because of strict gun laws for law abiding citizens?

It won’t be surprising if the crime rate in Albany goes up and Albany joins the ranks of high crime rate cities like New York, Baltimore, and Chicago. Any time a resident of Albany is the victim of a home invasion that results in a robbery, sexual and/or physical assault, these residents should blame their liberal city council members. In fact, if I were a resident of Albany and found myself or any of my family members victims of a home intrusion, I would sue these city council members for denying me the constitutional right to defend myself, my family and my home.

In the meantime, maybe these council members should read Thomas Jefferson.


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