The founder of New York State Jewish Gun Club is challenging New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s (D) recently passed concealed carry law, which bans guns at businesses and on private property.
Following the Supreme Court’s rebuke of New York’s proper cause requirement for concealed carry permit issuance, Hochul passed legislation which only permits firearms at businesses and private property if the owner grants permission. Businesses who give permission must post a sign stating that armed patrons are welcome. In response, NYS Jewish Gun Club Owner Tzvi Waldman got to work printing “Concealed Carry is Welcome Here” signs for local businesses around Rockland in upstate New York.
Waldman told Breitbart News in an interview on Wednesday that he is trying to broaden the effort throughout the state and even set up a website where store owners can request signs to be mailed to them.
“We’re going to put as many signs as we can in as many stores,” said Waldman, who is an Orthodox Jew. “The reason why I decided to do this is because, me personally — I help a lot of people get into firearms. And the reason why they get into firearms, especially in my community, is for them to have the ability to protect themselves and protect others.”
Not only do New York’s new gun laws neuter businesses, they also outlaw guns in houses of worship, including synagogues; public transit; “schools/daycares; parks; businesses serving alcohol; hospitals; sports/entertainment venues; government buildings; homeless shelters; voting sites; and Times Square,” Rockland Daily reported. Furthermore, the legislation requires concealed carry applicants to undergo a minimum 16 hours of in-person training and an in-person interview, and mandates a review of applicants’ social media accounts.
But complicating the concealed carry process and banning law-abiding citizens from carrying in virtually every public space in the name of stopping gun violence is contrary to data showing that 97.8 percent of mass shootings over a 68-year period occurred in “gun-free zones.” The vulnerability of “gun-free zones” is only compounded for the Jewish community considering statistics showing an all-time-high number of antisemitic incidents in the United States in 2021, thirty percent of which happened in New York and New Jersey.
“My belief is [Democrats] are probably doing it for their political posturing. They know it’s going to get overthrown,” Waldman said. “… The fact that they’re putting our safety at risk is disgusting.”
“When it comes to the Second Amendment, I really felt it’s important for me to take a stand and to speak out, even though it means that I might get some people telling me, ‘Oh, Jews with guns,’ paint[ing us] in a bad way. I think it’s important for me to take a stand and do what we have to do to defend our right to protect ourselves,” he continued.
And the laws that the state passed will definitely be overturned."
“In a greater sense the Supreme Court ruling is a reminder of how thankful we have to be to live in the country,” says Waldman. “As long as we can bear arms, we will never be marched to the gas chambers again.
— Tzvi Waldman (@TzviWaldman) July 8, 2022
While Waldman said anti-semitic attacks are always a concern, he emphasized, “The right is equal. Like I don’t care who you are, which belief you are — you have the right to defend yourself.”
“There are always threats lingering. … The reason why they got attacked doesn’t matter that much — like it can be just a crazy guy that’s high on opioids or something, or it could be a well-planned terrorist attack. The way you react is always the same: Stop them quickly,” he said.
Hochul’s new gun laws are already facing “the first of what is expected to be multiple legal challenges,” Spectrum News 1 reported on Tuesday. Republican businessman and congressional candidate Carl Paladino filed a complaint against the law’s requirement that businesses declare guns are welcome in their establishments. Paladino called the measure “patently unconstitutional for the state to require citizens to seek permission” from a business or property owner before entering, according to the report.
The NYS Jewish Gun Club is also looking for plaintiffs “who have a clean criminal and mental background to join a lawsuit” against Hochul’s gun laws, according to the club’s website.
“The new law that Governor Hochul signed into law on July 1, 2022, flies in the face of the Supreme Court’s ruling in NYSRPA v. Bruen and definitely against the Constitution’s ‘shall not be infringed,'” the website reads.
In a news conference on Tuesday, Hochul contended the measure will survive legal scrutiny.
“We worked very intentionally with top legal minds around this country to craft legislation working with the Legislature to ensure it met all constitutional requirements and thresholds,” she said. “We passed a law we believe is constitutionally sound and we will defend it.”
Waldman began his gun club around five years ago when he “realized there is not much support or help for the Jewish community because it is very hard to get training,” he said. He noted that a lot of instructors and top tier schools hold classes on Saturdays, which is when Orthodox Jews observe the Sabbath.
“I wanted to build an environment that’s more aligned with Jewish values, and it’s not to be out there with camo clothing and ‘ra, ra, ra.’ It’s more out of necessity to protect and it comes from a good place.”
“…It’s more out of willingness to protect your fellow neighbor. Let’s say I’m at synagogue and something happens — everybody around there are my friends, children, and family members. … We are a very, very tight community,” he continued.
He also spoke about the Jewish community’s changing views toward firearms, telling Breitbart News that “guns are quite taboo in the Jewish world for various reasons.”
“One of [the reasons] is, our grandparents were forced into the gas chambers with [guns]. And whenever they see it, it brings up these horrible memories … they don’t want to relive those images,” he said.
“But at the end of the day, I think we are past that generation. and the next generation had the opportunity to grow up in a culture where guns are part of our society, meaning it’s part of American culture. It’s here as the founding fathers wanted — to protect us and to prevent a tyrannical government from ever pulling a fast one on us.”