January 26, 2014

NY SAFE Act update: Law turns 1 year old

Last weekend I attended what was billed as the Warren County SAFE Act Forum held on the banks of the Hudson River in Lake Luzerne.

There, some 400 spectators gathered to hear the speeches of Second Amendment-supporting politicians such as Assemblymen Dan Stec and Steve McCoughlin, representatives from various pro-gun groups and even members of the law enforcement community.

The goal of the event’s organizers was to educate and inform the public about the NY SAFE Act around the timing of that law’s one-year anniversary. To call this gathering a celebration would be an insult. It did, however, serve its intended purpose: continuing to unite and inform gun owners in the state who New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA) president Tom King says continue to fight for their Second Amendment rights.

You may recall that the bill really was passed a year ago last week in the midnight hour giving the legislature little time to read it. Some parts of the SAFE Act are already in effect; others are on the calendar. Meanwhile, in early 2013, NYSRPA, with the support of the NRA, immediately began proceedings on a lawsuit to repeal the act. The first round did not result in a successful repeal but a federal judge recently overturned the ban on putting only seven rounds of ammunition in a 10-shot clip or magazine.

When it was passed in 2013 the SAFE Act gave New York its own definition of an assault weapon, which hadn’t been done since the Clinton gun ban of 1994. That definition considers an assault weapon to be any semiautomatic rifle or shotgun capable of accepting a detachable magazine with just one military-style that includes folding, telescoping or thumbhole stocks, a protruding pistol grip, a second grip for the weak hand, bayonet mount, flash suppressor, muzzle brake, threaded barrel or grenade launcher.

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