January 30, 2013

Gun owners question new state law



“You can’t transfer assault weapons in New York,” Fazio said. 


Nathan Mattoon from Tupper Lake said he paid $100 for a complete mental-health and criminal-background check last fall to get a permit to carry a handgun in New York.

“The Glock 19 is now rendered useless,” he said. “I find the hypocrisy of the SAFE Act to be insulting.”

State Police attorney Kevin Bruen said their job has always been to reinforce laws as written. 

“We are not here trying to make people criminals who aren’t,” Bruen said.


It became clear through several hours of calm discourse that most questions from gun owners focused on Second Amendment boundaries and the right to bear arms.

Geoff Hewston from Jay likened the new rules to Prohibition-era laws.

“The people who will register their assault weapons are those who obey the law,” he said.

“There will just be a black market for them.”

For 20 years, Hewston was a federal firearms licensing agent, and he watched gun sales as the new law went into effect.

Already, prices for ammunition have doubled in some cases, he said.

“By rushing this thing through, they (lawmakers) missed a lot of details. The gun culture of the U.S. is what settled the United States, and we won’t give it up.

“The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting. It has to do with gun ownership and self defense.”

In the back of the room, one man commented without giving his name: “Was there a provision in the law that criminals would only load seven rounds in their Glocks?”

That drew rousing applause.


Nathan’s father, Barry Mattoon, also from Tupper Lake, asked when 30-round magazines will be banned.

By Jan. 15 next year, gun owners will have to discard, sell or permanently modify magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, Fazio said.

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