ALBANY - Once they got driver's licenses under Gov. Spitzer's plan, illegal immigrants could arm themselves to the teeth simply by lying about their status, gun experts said Thursday.
"They could definitely get shotguns and rifles," said Thomas King, executive director of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association.
King said illegal immigrants could simply go to gun shops, use the licenses as ID, pick out the long guns of their choice and attest on Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives forms that they are citizens or legal residents.
As long as a computer check showed the customer had no criminal record or outstanding arrest warrants, the gun dealer would likely complete the sale - because there are no other records that would flag illegal immigrants.
Meanwhile, Mayor Bloomberg took issue with Spitzer's plan again, saying on CNN that only those who have obtained "secure" licenses should be allowed to buy guns in New York State.
Now on the talking heads shows last night someone stated that these licenses couldn't be used for ID to get on flights. I'm wondering how they are different from the regular licenses. Could that difference be sufficient that all gun dealers will know and understand that they aren't allowed for use for gun purchases?
Spitzer aides called such a scenario highly unlikely. If illegal immigrants wanted a gun, they'd more likely buy them on the streets, they reasoned.That is true, they could get them illegally, but why would they bother if they could easily walk into a store and buy one? I'm betting that would be faster than trying to find one on the black market, and much less risky.
This article does describe the tiered licensing that NY has gotten an agreement with DHS on.
Under the compromise, New York will produce an "enhanced driver's license" that will be as secure as a passport. It is intended for people who soon will need to meet such ID requirements, even for a short drive to Canada.Wonder how gun dealers or anyone else who has to deal with these IDs will be able to figure out the difference between the tiers. They could make it real simple like simple colorizing, but nothing says what the differentiator is.
A second version of the license will meet new federal standards of the Real ID Act. That law is designed to make it much harder for illegal immigrants or would-be terrorists to obtain licenses.
A third type of license will be available to undocumented immigrants.