WASHINGTON, April 5, 2014 – New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo might have though he won the battle against guns in New York by enacting strict new gun laws. He may have thought he won the battle, but he knows he is losing the war.
The Safe Act, or the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013, bans the sale of weapons categorized as “assault weapons” requiring that owners register them with the state by 15 April 2014. The Safe Act singles out certain features commonly found on this class of weapon including bayonet mounts, grenade launchers and “protruding pistol grips.”
With the new requirements gun manufacturers are altering their wares. H&H Firearms has been modifying its semi-automatic rifles to meet state law. Gun shops are offering services to replace the grip on non-compliant rifles, making them square with the new law.
“With the continual trampling of the 2nd Amendment in New York, Black Rain Ordnance is proud to announce their ‘New York Compliant’ rifles,” precision firearms manufacturer based out of Missouri declared on its website. “These rifles feature all of the quality and craftsmanship of the standard BRO-lines, but with the added features that allow for legal possession.”
Making the rifles compliant are the design that removes the pistol grip, has a low 10-round capacity magazine, non-threaded muzzle fixed stock and a Lo-Pro gas block. The company is offering 13 .223/5.56 and three 308/7.62 models
The New York Safe Act (Wikipedia):
- Bans possession of any “high-capacity magazines” regardless of when they were made or sold. The maximum capacity for all magazines is 10 rounds. .22 caliber tubular magazines are exempt from this limit. Previously legal “pre-1994-ban” magazines with a capacity of 30 rounds are not exempt, and must be sold within one year to an out-of-state resident or turned in to local authorities. The magazine limit took effect April 15, 2013. Originally the law allowed only seven rounds to be loaded into a magazine, but this provision was struck down by a federal judge on December 21, 2013.
- Ammunition dealers are required to do background checks, similar to those for gun buyers. Dealers are required to report all sales, including amounts, to the state. Internet sales of ammunition are allowed, but the ammunition will have to be shipped to a licensed dealer in New York state for pickup. Ammunition background checks will begin January 15, 2014.
- Requires creation of a registry of assault weapons. Those New Yorkers who already own such weapons would be required to register their guns with the state. Registry began on April 15, 2013 and must be completed before April 15, 2014.
- Requires designated mental health professionals who believe a mental health patient made a credible threat of harming others to report the threat to a mental health director, who would then have to report serious threats to the state Department of Criminal Justice Services. A patient’s gun could be taken from him or her.
- Stolen guns are required to be reported within 24 hours. Failure to report can result in a misdemeanor.
- Broadens definition of “assault weapon” from two identified features to one. The sale and/or transfer of newly defined assault weapons is banned within the state, although sales out of state are permitted. Possession of the newly defined assault weapons is allowed only if they were possessed at the time that the law was passed, and must be registered with the state within one year.
- Requires background checks for all gun sales, including by private sellers – except for sales to members of the seller’s immediate family. Private sale background checks began March 15, 2013.
- Guns must be “safely stored” from any household member who has been convicted of a felony or domestic violence crime, has been involuntarily committed, or is currently under an order of protection. Unsafe storage of assault weapons is a misdemeanor.
- Bans the Internet sale of assault weapons.
- Increases sentences for gun crimes, including upgrading the offense for taking a gun on school property from a misdemeanor to a felony.
- Increases penalties for shooting first responders (Webster provision) to life in prison without parole.
- Limits the state records law to protect handgun owners from being identified publicly. However, existing permit holders have to opt into this provision by filing a form within 120 days of the law’s enactment.  There also may exist issues with respect to “registered” owners in the new regulations vs “permit” holders under previous law.
- Requires pistol permit holders or owners of registered assault weapons to have them renewed at least every five years.
- Allows law enforcement officials to pre-emptively seize one’s firearms without a warrant or court order when there is probable cause the individual is mentally unstable or intends to use the weapons to commit a crime
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