If you reside in or visit America’s large cities — many with anti-gun, anti-police, left-leaning governments — expect police response times to increase. Unless you wish to become a victim, you must be prepared to act on your own within the law.
Minneapolis — Nickname: ‘30 Below Keeps the Riffraff Out’
On June 26, the Minneapolis City Council gave preliminary approval to a proposed charter amendment to eliminate the minimum staffing levels now required in the Minneapolis Police Department — currently 888 sworn officers. Minimum staffing levels are directed by Section 7.3(c) of the city charter.
Accepted by the city’s charter commission a month later, the proposed amendment will be placed on the ballot for November 2020. In bureaucrat-speak, this amendment “will be referred to voters as a ballot question.”
If voters agree, this amendment would essentially eliminate the police department as a charter department in a city of 430,000 residents. In its place, it would create a new charter department for “community safety and violence prevention.” The new department would have overall responsibility for public safety services prioritizing a holistic, public-health-oriented approach.
If you plan on visiting, Minnesota is a shall-issue state. Concealed carry permits are issued at the local level. The state has full preemption over local laws relating to firearms. Permits from other states will be honored if the carry laws are similar to Minnesota’s (currently 15 states).
New Nickname: Where RiffRaff Rules!
Seattle — Nickname: ‘The Emerald City’
Just a week ago, the Seattle City Council approved a budget package to cut spending for its police department, including slashing salaries for police leadership. (Chief Carmen Best has since resigned.) The vote was 7-1. Councilmember Kshama Sawant was the only dissenting vote.
The Seattle budget trims about $3 million of the department’s $400 million annual budget this year. The cuts could reduce the police department by up to 100 officers through layoffs and attrition. It could also cut the mounted patrol, school resource officers, harbor patrol and the navigation team, which works with the homeless. Seattle has about 1,400 police officers, and the reductions fall far short of the 50 percent cut that Black Lives Matter protesters were seeking.
Councilmember Andrew Lewis presented a resolution outlining what he says could be a roadmap for changes to the department, including a public vote on a “civilian-led Department of Community Safety & Violence Prevention” in 2021. Lewis’ motion passed 8-0.
If visiting Washington, open carry is legal statewide without a permit. However, Washington law allows a city or county to regulate open carry of loaded firearms in public places. Holders of concealed carry permits are exempt.
New York City — Nickname: ‘The Big Apple’
New York City officials recently agreed to what the media calls “a grim coronavirus-era budget.” The new budget sharply curtails municipal services, imposes a hiring freeze and, in a move designed to placate calls to defund the police, shifts roughly $1 billion from the police department.
NYC’s $88.1 billion budget reflected the economic shutdown that followed the outbreak of the virus. Supposedly, the economic destruction wreaked on the economy and millions of private individuals caused a $9 billion revenue shortfall, and this forced the city to make drastic across-the-board spending cuts.
And of course, some people just can’t be pleased. According to the New York Times, “Several Black city council members have lashed out at progressives, comparing calls to defund the police to ‘colonization’ and ‘political gentrification.’”
If visiting, New York is a may-issue state. Concealed weapons permits are issued at the local level by a county sheriff or court system. New York City prohibits the possession of a “loaded” handgun outside of the home or place of business without a permit. Ten states and Puerto Rico have reciprocity with New York. The city, however, is an entirely different story.
New Nickname: Fuhgeddaboudit.