MINEOLA, NEW YORK — At best count, fourteen prosecutors have been killed in the line of duty over the course of the past century. The District Attorney of Nassau County seems to think that this is proof positive that prosecutors in her county need not carry or even own firearms. According to a recent US News & World Report article, District Attorney Kathleen Rice has issued a decision urging prosecutors to forgo arming themselves.
The prosecutors in Nassau County were quick to tersely debate the subject.
“There are cases where you’re physically in danger if you’re an assistant DA,” says William Fitzpatrick, president of the National District Attorneys Association.
In Rice’s decision, she cited that being armed may pose a risk to the prosecutor in especially tense criminal court cases. Oddly, she also cited “friendly fire” as a potential hazard for prosecutors investigating active crime scenes.
So justice is blind after all or has it simply become a lot dumber?
After decades of making the concealed carry permitting process and legal gun ownership onerous and burdensome for so may law-abiding citizens within the five burroughs and Long Island, it’s finally time to disarm the men and women who prosecute criminals? Whether this decision will ultimately become the law of the land is still being taken up in debate as county prosecutors operating within Nassau County are understandably worried. After all, they are called upon to make cases against violent and sometimes powerful, influential men and women. It’s not uncommon for prosecutors to receive death threats or even be subject to worse forms of intimidation.
One thing this Nassau County District Attorney may have conveniently ignored – 9 out of the 14 deaths of prosecutors happened within the past 25 years.
If anything, it appears the job of being a county prosecutor got statistically more dangerous — albeit statistically unlikely.
It’s also something county prosecutors in neighboring Suffolk County and the five burroughs of New York City aren’t required to do. Why? Because it’s dangerous. In a profession where it’s your job to put murders, gangsters, and violent men and women behind bars, there is the inherent danger that someone will take up issue with you and attempt to pursue it. Almost guaranteeably, they won’t be worrying about violating one of the many harsh gun laws prohibiting average citizens from carrying.
And apparently, Rice stopped just short of actually enforcing the measure that prosecutors can not even own guns.
The Nassau DA’s office changed the policy Wednesday to say prosecutors can own handguns but can’t carry them while working.
“I’m satisfied that we are ensuring that everyone’s rights are protected,” acting DA Madeline Singas said Thursday. The old policy was enacted under predecessor Kathleen Rice, now a congresswoman.
This has understandably ruffled some feathers with other district attorneys within the State of New York whom see the policy as ultimately in violation of a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms. Those laws don’t apply in New York for the common citizenry but once a sensitive position is exposed because of it — notice how fast they clamor to that Second Amendment.
As much as it’s sure to put a smirk on any gunowner’s face — especially in light of how much scrutiny a gunowner has to go through simply to own a firearm — it definitely highlights how members of the justice system are using their positions to unduly influence and violate the constitutional rights of citizens AND employees. But Kathleen Rice is now a senator, so that means she has an entourage of highly trained federal agents guarding her night and day at taxpayer expense. Meanwhile, plenty of county prosecutors probably take the train to go home at the end of a long night putting criminals behind bars.
Something to consider.