Andrew Cuomo Declares a State of Emergency Over 'Gun Violence'

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

How far can a state push a declaration of emergency to justify violating people’s rights? We are about to find out if Andrew Cuomo has his way.

The New York governor has declared a state of emergency regarding gun violence. His executive order is going to be used to pursue a variety of violations of the Second Amendment. But remember, Democrats are the anti-authoritarian party or something.

What’s interesting about this is how it juxtaposes to emergency orders dealing with COVID that populated nearly every corner of the country last year. Unfortunately, far too many on the right endorsed the idea that states had broad authority to violate basic rights, including people simply being outside their homes, in order to stop the pandemic. In the end, lockdown measures were largely futile given their lack of correlation with spread, but they happened nonetheless.

Because of that precedent, Cuomo likely figures that as long as he has declared a state of emergency, he has the power to confiscate guns from legal gun owners and enact a variety of other policies that make a mockery of gun rights. And can you blame him? When the entire political structure, including a Republican president and most Republican Congressional members at the time, endorsed the idea that lockdowns and mask orders could be enforced due to a declaration of emergency, there’s no reason for Cuomo to believe the power trip stops there.

During his speech announcing the order, Cuomo complained that no one needs an “assault rifle” to hunt deer, apparently believing that the Second Amendment exists for hunting. It shows the kind of ridiculous interpretation of rights (or lack thereof) that many on the left have.

How far this ultimately goes is still an open question. No doubt all of these moves by Cuomo will end up in court at some point in the future. Will he stop short of full-scale confiscation? We’ll find out.