N.Y. Enacts Drastic Gun Law Diminishing Personal Protection

• No more than seven rounds in any gun; “assault” weapons targeted

By Pat Shannan

New York’s NY SAFE Act, passed in January, looks to be another political deception straight out of the pages of George Orwell. Officially called the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, the new law is merely another end-run offensive around the Second Amendment.

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law only an hour after its passage, waiving the required three-day public comment period. This was enough to raise the attention and ire of the law abiding citizenry and serve as a warning of what liberal politicians have in mind for other states.

Among a host of restrictions, the SAFE Act limits the size of ammunition magazines to a maximum of seven cartridges, requires a background check on the purchase of all ammunition and places a total ban on the sale of any “military-style” “assault weapons” to anyone other than law enforcement officers or agencies. Current owners of such rifles must register them with the state before the year is out and renew the registration every five years. They will also never be able to sell them to any N.Y. resident in the future. Finally, it is now a criminal offense not to report the loss or theft of a firearm or ammunition within 24 hours.

Past National Rifle Association Board of Directors member Harold “Budd” Schroeder spoke of the act as “the rape of our gun rights” and suggested that the new law is harsher than those in some European nations where people don’t even have a Bill of Rights.

The SAFE Act drastically inhibits home defense. Although the state’s penal law allows the use of deadly force in the event of a home invasion, the new act makes the use of more than a seven-round capacity in self defense a criminal act. This means that if someone fails to stop an attacker with his legal weapon, because too many shots missed the target, he must either find another weapon quickly or surrender to the criminal’s demands.

The law also stipulates that a handgun permit in N.Y. is more than a mere permit to carry a firearm. It is now a permit to possess the weapon. Should a person defend himself with a high-capacity magazine, his permit will be revoked and all handguns in the home will be confiscated and destroyed without compensation, stripping the home totally of any protection.

Some researchers contend that the seven-round limit alone effectively bans or severely restricts approximately three-quarters of the firearms designed in the past century. For instance, more than 5M of the popular Ruger 10/22 rifle, one that so many fathers raised their sons on, have been manufactured since the 1960s. As suggested by its name, it carries a 10-shot clip of .22 caliber ammunition. While the existing gun is “grandfathered” into the new statute, it still forbids the insertion of more than seven rounds.

Empire State residents must ask themselves: Is the real intent of this law to make the citizenry safer or to suppress the common use of firearms, even those nowhere near the description of an “assault weapon?”

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Pat Shannan is an AFP contributing editor and the author of several best-selling videos and books.