Tuesday, December 5, 2017

THE SAFE ACT MAY NOT BE SO SAFE by Budd Schroeder

Budd is past NRA Director and founding member of SCOPE inc in Upstate NY

THE RIGHT SIDE
BY BUDD SCHROEDER
DECEMBER  6, 2017

                         THE SAFE ACT MAY NOT BE SO SAFE

The SAFE Act in New York is one of the worst pieces of gun control laws in America.  It was rammed through the legislature with a “message of necessity.”  It prevented reasonable debate and a chance for people outside the legislative chambers to make comments regarding certain provisions .

The assemblymen and senators never had a proper chance to read the law and discuss it with experts in the field of law enforcement,  mental health or constitutional law.  The flaws showed up early.  For example, as the law was passed, one of the provisions was that a magazine for pistols and rifles could hold no more than seven rounds.  The legislators were so dumb, they did not exempt law enforcement and that was quickly brought to their attention.  Typical law enforcement agencies have weapons that use magazines that hold fifteen or more rounds.  It had to be quickly amended.

Then, it was discovered that most semi-automatic pistols came with ten round magazines and  manufacturers didn’t make magazines holding only seven rounds.  So. the legislators told the public that they could have a ten round magazine, but it would be a crime to put more than seven rounds in the magazine.   One Second Amendment activist had two magazines, each holding nine rounds.  He would put seven rounds in each magazine and tell his audience that he was a compliant citizen, but if he removed a cartridge from one of the magazines and put it in the other he could be arrested as a criminal.  That is the mentality of the anti-gun politicians.

That provision was ended by  a federal court where the judge called the seven round limit arbitrary and said that a ten round magazine could be loaded with ten rounds.  That was, and is, the law. Mere possession of a magazine that holds more than ten rounds is a felony.  If the person has only the magazine and no gun, he is still charged with a felony.  How that reduces the criminal misuse of firearms is still a mystery to most.

Along with the limit on magazines, the law bans the so called “assault weapons.”  The anti-gun crowd has conned the public into believing a semi-auto rifle with certain features  like a pistol grip, flash suppressor, adjustable stock, or a threaded barrel is  an assault rifle.  A proper definition of an assault rifle means it has a selector switch that can change it to a machine gun.  The semi-automatic rifle fires one round with each squeeze of the trigger, like a double action revolver.

The law allowed those who had a rifle with those features were allowed to keep it by registering it with the State Police.  It could never be sold or passed on to another person.   Some of the banned rifles could be modified to make them legal.  For example the M1 A could be made legal without registering it by having the threads ground off the barrel. It prevented the attachment of a flash suppressor and grenade launcher. "Stupid is as stupid does." said Forrest Gump 
The law was passed as a “matter of necessity” in 2013, but it contains a provision for recertification of pistol permits every five years.  The pistol permits have been issued as good until revoked, but now, they have to be re-registered with the State Police every five years.  This means that a person with the permit they may have had for decades now has to be recertified with the State Police.
When a person registers a gun at the county pistol permit department, the agency forwards the information to the State Police and put on record.  Perhaps there have been incidents where there was a foul up between the agencies and they are not the same.  Anyway, all people who have a permit issued before 2013 have to send the data on their pistol permit to the State Police before January 31, 2018.
Failure to comply means that the person will be in non-compliance with the law and their pistol permit is not valid anymore.  It also means that they are illegally in possession of a handgun and that is a felony which has a penalty of at least seven years in prison.  A person who has been an outstanding citizen for decades, without that piece of paper (permit), is now a criminal.

This issue has become newsworthy and people are not complying as the politicians hoped.  There is a lot of resistance and many are holding off to the last month to make it more difficult for the State Police to record the sent records.  Some are doing it on line which makes it easy for the officers to switch it to their data base. Many gun owners don’t want to make it easy.
Most of the people who are familiar with Second Amendment issues are reminded that historically, registration is the first step to confiscation of guns. This would make the confiscation more convenient for government to do.

Some are concerned that this is a process that could lead to the registration of all guns.This is already done in New York City and what New York City wants, they usually get.  The passage of the SAFE Act is positive proof of it. It would be easy for the State Police to do. They could do this just by checking who has a hunting license. It is reasonable to believe that the person would have at least one gun.

A letter could go out to all the hunters and that would be a large number.  That could be a huge data base and would not be surprising that the state would like to have the information.  A former governor had great disdain for hunters.  One of his famous quotes went something like:  “They don’t vote, drink beer and lie to their wives where they have been on the weekend.”  His son, Andrew Cuomo, is the apple that didn't fall far from the tree.

With all those guns registered, what would be the next logical step for the crooked politicians to seriously consider?  Of course, tax them! That also is done in New York City and should be a real concern to upstate gun owners.  We know the power to tax is the power to destroy and the NYC mentality says the fewer number of guns, the better.
This is a serious issue and with the state elections next year this could be a problem for incumbents.  The pro-gun groups are getting stronger because this is the type of law that will get formerly apathetic gun owners who didn’t vote in the last state election, to be angry enough to protect their rights.  The  Second Amendment movement is gaining momentum and the recertification is fuel to the fire.
                                                                -30-
             

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