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January 30, 2013

Gun owners question new state law

LAKE PLACID — The new state gun-control law met with a myriad of questions here Tuesday.

An information session presented by State Police officials on the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act (NYSAFE) was well-attended.

Local sportsmen and gun owners inquired about gun ownership and their Second Amendment rights in conjunction with the new law.

LAW PROVISIONS

The Firearms Enforcement Act made it illegal to purchase assault weapons in New York.

And gun owners who have an assault weapon bought before Jan. 15 — even those used for hunting — are required to register them by April 15, 2014. The registration period opens on April 15 of this year.

The new law will phase in numerous other actions, including mandatory background checks for gun and ammunition purchases.

Starting April 15, only magazines that contain seven rounds or fewer will be sold in New York state.

Gun owners can permanently modify their existing ammunition magazines so they hold no more than 10 rounds, State Police Col. Tom Fazio explained in a presentation, going through specific changes in gun-ownership law. But they can load only seven rounds starting on April 15.

Background checks for ammunition sales will go into effect on Jan. 15, 2014.

If assault weapons are not registered and are found on a person or at their residence after April 15 of next year, police will issue a warning and give the gun owner 30 days to register it.

After that, it would be a misdemeanor criminal offense, and the gun could be taken away.

MILITARY-STYLE GUNS

The definition of “assault weapon” applies to very specific guns.

“Most guns that are used for hunting are not assault weapons and are not affected by this law,” Fazio said.

“Typical shotguns and hunting rifles are exempt, as the law specifies military-style assault weapons by design characteristics.”

Steve Buzzell of Saranac Lake asked if any assault weapons can be sold now in New York.

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