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Thread: How Does a Pennsylvania Resident Protect Themselves While in NYS?

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    Default How Does a Pennsylvania Resident Protect Themselves While in NYS?

    OK, I'm in a frustrating situation. I live 1/2-mile over the border in PA.

    Now, that has some great things going for it. I can walk into any gun store in the state, point to a handgun in the display case, say "Gimme!" and walk out of the store with it in about 15 minutes. No muss, no fuss - and never ever needed a permit.

    I also walked into my Sheriff's office, said I wanted a CCW, they said "no problem", I filled out a form and the permit arrived in the mail less than a week later.

    However, the down side is that there are no decent sized cities near me. So I make the 10-minute drive across the border and into the Southern Tier, where I do 99% of my shopping and business.

    Unfortunately the less undesirables of life are moving into the area. So my wife and I feel rather naked anymore - even in broad daylight.

    Obviously "packing" is out of the question. (And I've heard that even if the Senate did pass the reciprocity bill and Obama did sign it, I still couldn't carry because PA's requirements are so lax compared to NY's.) So I got to thinking, no problem - Pepper Spray for the wife and I. Especially that neat little item from Kimber. But I started to do some web searches and if I am reading things right, non-residents cannot even carry pepper spray.

    Am I reading the laws correctly? And if that is true, how exactly is a non-resident supposed to protect themselves these days? Any suggestions? (besides telling me to move to another location in PA)

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    carry a knife

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    Knife. Pepper spray. Situational Awareness.
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    How Does a Pennsylvania Resident Protect Themselves While in NYS?
    Simple, stay in PA.

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    Lets keep this constructive please.
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    Use harsh language. Sorry, actually pepper spray and or a big dog might be your best bet

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    Bear spray should be legal to carry?

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    That's the best pepper spray

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    Large Philips screw driver and Kimber pepper spray for both of you, then deal with the law after the fact. A CCW would set you down a ”George Zimmerman" situation.

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    I feel your pain. When you cannot carry your handguns, you need to augment the deficit with other tools or skills.

    Pepper spray, unarmed self defense training, better awareness, pre planning your trips, folding knives (and training), improvised weaponry instruction, cane/umbrella/walking stick classes........

    Any of the above won't fill the void perfectly, but with a varied approach and skill training, you can use a combination of the above (and more) to augment your inability to have the firearm with you.

    There is always an option. The gun is not the only solution, it's just one tool that would be used in an extreme situation. You are more likely to face an adversary in a non lethal force situation than a lethal one anyway, so why should a gun be your only answer?
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    make friends with people from NY that carry and travel in a pack.
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    Thanks for the responses. What had me confused is the convoluted way the New York laws are written.

    The law reads that NY residents have to purchase their pepper spray from New York State dealers, and they cannot buy it or bring it in from outside of the state. Since NYS residents could only have "NYS" pepper spray (not sure how anyone would know where you bought it) and spray from outside the border is not allowed, I was not sure how they would interpret a non-resident having it in their possession when crossing the state line.

    After initially having no luck in finding anything on the NYS Govt sites, I ended up calling my local State Police barracks. The lady I talked to tried to be helpful - not sure if she was office staff or a trooper - but out of frustration told me I would be better off calling that Troop's HQ. The trooper I talked to there checked into things and from what he knew or could find, there was nothing against a non-resident carrying pepper spray. Mace - yes, but pepper spray no.

    That same trooper also saw how the law said that NYS residents had to fill out a form when they purchased pepper spray. He was not aware of or had ever seen that form.

    Eventually I did stumble upon the law. It's New York Penal Code 265, section 265.20 - Exemptions, and specifically parts numbered 14 and 15. Here's the complete code:
    New York Penal - Article 265 - 265.20 Exemptions - New York Attorney Resources - New York Laws

    Funny that part 15(b) specifically says that the signed forms are to be sent to the State Police, but this trooper had never seen or heard of said form.

    I told the trooper that my concern was that I wanted to carry the Kimber spray and, since it was shaped somewhat in the form of a handgun, I was concerned that some LEO would interpret it as a real weapon. I've read too many news articles and seen too many videos where the men in blue immediately assume the worst, take massive physical action first and then get the details and facts later. I don't want to be "famous" for that.

    One other thing about being careful of how to interpret responses given by police barracks. The first woman I talked to INSISTED that it was illegal to ever monitor the police frequencies with a scanner - even a base unit! I told her that did not make sense - especially since those frequencies are always covered by manufacturers like Uniden. She said that you can buy a lot of things you aren't supposed to have! I said I could understand you having a problem with someone having access to the new digital trunking systems, but analog? She said yes.

    While on the phone with the Troop HQ I told him about the scanner concern. He said that was nonsense - of course you can listen to the police bands. Like I had said, it isn't legal for me to get the new digital systems. But you can even have a unit in your car, as long as it is portable. The concern they have is when a unit is hard-wired into a vehicle.

    I've often said that New York State would be a better place if they broke off everything south of area code 914 and make it the 51st state - requiring it to be self-sufficient as well. And the rest of us could happily, as Ed Koch put it, "waste time in a pickup truck when you have to drive 20 miles to buy a gingham dress or a Sears Roebuck suit".

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    Make out a Will, carry a cell phone and keep it on all the time for tracking purposes, program the cellphone for 911 so they will know where to start looking for the body, remove all security on the phone for telephone access in the hope that whoever robs, assaults, etc you may use the phone - that way s/he can be tracked.

    Unfortunately, I'm serious.

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    The trooper I talked to there checked into things and from what he knew or could find, there was nothing against a non-resident carrying pepper spray. Mace - yes, but pepper spray no.
    Interesting, since Mace is simply a brand of pepper spray. He may be confusing chemical defense spray with a brand name.

    I'm close to being in the same boat as you. I live in Endicott, NY right now, but my store is in PA. Right now I have a PA LTCF and a NYS CCW permit, so I am good. (As long as I don't forget and carry normal capacity mags back across the border.) But, I want to move down here. Then I will be screwed when going back to NY to visit friends. (Screw shopping, 6% vs 8.25% sales tax? Psssh.)

    I have martial arts training. I have pepper spray. I'd still rather have my gun. I plan to be around to watch my daughter grow up, not dead because some punk with a knife bested me in hand-to-hand combat.
    Last edited by JStarX7; 04-25-2012 at 12:19 PM.
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    I was in the NYC subway the other day when I came upon a cop wrestling with a crackhead. The cop was losing. The cop had used pepper spray/mace on the guy and had begun beating the guy with a telescoping baton, but the perp was getting it away from the cop. At this point I yelled out about assisting and the 2 of us were able to subdue and cuff the guy on the ground at which point police backup showed up.

    The point being, the cop unloaded police grade pepper spray/mace on the guy to the point where the whole area made everyone annoyed, but didn't stop anyone or the perp from doing anything. I'd say it's not even worth carrying it. It's just going to go everywhere, most likely including on yourself. Your loud voice, assertive tone, some beginner's martial arts experience, and a cell phone are all way more effective and practical.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoodfu View Post
    The point being, the cop unloaded police grade pepper spray/mace on the guy to the point where the whole area made everyone annoyed, but didn't stop anyone or the perp from doing anything. I'd say it's not even worth carrying it. It's just going to go everywhere, most likely including on yourself.
    That's why I am looking into the Kimber unit. Unlike traditional sprays that could blow back into the person trying to defend themselves, Kimber's is more of a liquid mass directed right at the attacker. Or so the ads claim. I still want to do a little more research.

    Quote Originally Posted by hoodfu View Post
    Your loud voice, assertive tone, some beginner's martial arts experience,
    Again, I'm just doing some research into the matter, but I've heard that traditional martial arts doesn't quite cut it. Sort of like what James Garner said to a guy whose butt he just whipped in the pilot episode of The Rockford Files - "That's the problem with karate - it's based upon the premise that the other guy is going to fight fair".

    Instead, just like the idea of carrying a handgun is to kill your attacker, hand-to-hand fighting has to be done with idea of killing or seriously maiming your attacker. Break one major bone and he's done. I've gotten Tim Larkin's Target Focused Training "Critical 5 Seconds of Your Life" set cheap on eBay, and from Paladin Press got Jim Grover's Combatives set in the past two months. I just need to set aside the time to study and review them.

    The above would be for "my life is on the line" attacks. If I was just trying to fend off an obnoxious drunk, I'd like to use the Russian Systema program. Unfortunately there are no licensed practitioners nearby. And what I've read of Krav Maga, it's become the "in" thing and a lot of people have jumped on the bandwagon. Unfortunately, many are teaching a watered down version that is nowhere close to what the Israeli special forces used. But then again, just knowing something from that would probably put you ahead of 98% of the public as well as 98% of the bad guys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoodfu View Post
    The point being, the cop unloaded police grade pepper spray/mace on the guy to the point where the whole area made everyone annoyed, but didn't stop anyone or the perp from doing anything. I'd say it's not even worth carrying it. It's just going to go everywhere, most likely including on yourself. Your loud voice, assertive tone, some beginner's martial arts experience, and a cell phone are all way more effective and practical.
    I have to disagree. While it often is less effective on someone on drugs, it does work and it's non-lethal. I used it several times during my police career (as did the men under my command) to great effect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by macnorfin View Post
    I have to disagree. While it often is less effective on someone on drugs, it does work and it's non-lethal. I used it several times during my police career (as did the men under my command) to great effect.
    For the sake of completeness, is the pepper spray that police carry different than what civilians in NY can carry? Do you remember what brand name or product you employed that had the best performance?

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    "That's the problem with karate - it's based upon the premise that the other guy is going to fight fair".
    Please don't quote TV shows when trying to make a point about reality. Karate is certainly not based upon any such premise.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoodfu View Post
    Do you remember what brand name or product you employed that had the best performance?
    I did some research and Sabre Red got the best rating out of the common civilian sprays. This was a few years ago though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff View Post
    I did some research and Sabre Red got the best rating out of the common civilian sprays. This was a few years ago though.
    this is what was recommended to me as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JStarX7 View Post
    Please don't quote TV shows when trying to make a point about reality. Karate is certainly not based upon any such premise.
    I wouldnt say Karate is based on fair fighting, but i would say it wont stand up to a criminal with a gun. The same with spray, unless you are within arms reach of the criminal pointing his gun at you, both would not have much chance. I dont know about everyone else but I would guess that most violent criminals in the cities have guns in this day and age.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoodfu View Post
    I was in the NYC subway the other day when I came upon a cop wrestling with a crackhead. The cop was losing. The cop had used pepper spray/mace on the guy and had begun beating the guy with a telescoping baton, but the perp was getting it away from the cop. At this point I yelled out about assisting and the 2 of us were able to subdue and cuff the guy on the ground at which point police backup showed up.

    The point being, the cop unloaded police grade pepper spray/mace on the guy to the point where the whole area made everyone annoyed, but didn't stop anyone or the perp from doing anything. I'd say it's not even worth carrying it. It's just going to go everywhere, most likely including on yourself. Your loud voice, assertive tone, some beginner's martial arts experience, and a cell phone are all way more effective and practical.
    I disagree and suspect this incident is highly unusual. Get a can of pepper spray and have a buddy try it on you. You'll go down faster than a prom dress.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blanketman View Post
    OK, I'm in a frustrating situation. I live 1/2-mile over the border in PA.

    Now, that has some great things going for it. I can walk into any gun store in the state, point to a handgun in the display case, say "Gimme!" and walk out of the store with it in about 15 minutes. No muss, no fuss - and never ever needed a permit.

    I also walked into my Sheriff's office, said I wanted a CCW, they said "no problem", I filled out a form and the permit arrived in the mail less than a week later.

    However, the down side is that there are no decent sized cities near me. So I make the 10-minute drive across the border and into the Southern Tier, where I do 99% of my shopping and business.


    Am I reading the laws correctly? And if that is true, how exactly is a non-resident supposed to protect themselves these days? Any suggestions? (besides telling me to move to another location in PA)
    We may have the "only" documented time where it is a benefit to live in NYS!

    I feel for you, I'm originally from McKean County in PA (my folks still live there). It is a shame that once I get my permit, I'll get my PA carry and be able to visit my dad and easily transport and shoot and then return home. However he will never be able to make the short drive to my place and do the same...

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