Will Hundreds of Thousands of New Yorkers Refuse to Follow Registration Law by Tomorrow?
Will New York owners of firearms that the state has deemed “assault weapons” be emboldened by the civil disobedience of Connecticut residents, or perhaps the recent situation at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada and refuse to register their firearms by tomorrow’s deadline?
It is thought there are hundreds of thousands of possibly even millions of firearms that are now considered “assault weapons” (yes, that is an actual legal term in NY now) under New York’s SAFE Act. By law, those weapons must be registered, modified or removed from the state by tomorrow, April 15th.
However, there is growing concern that gun owners are going to refuse to comply with this new law en masse.
In Connecticut, it is thought that at least tens of thousands of residents did not comply with their new registration law, with some estimates going into the hundreds of thousands. Will New York face a similar situation?
For those who do refuse to abide by the new law (and I think at this point it’s simply a question of how many), they could face either a misdemeanor or felony charge. According to poughkeepsiejournal.com, law enforcement agencies are being instructed to charge people with firearms purchased prior to 2014 with a misdemeanor and a felony for firearms purchased in 2014.
Tracking the exact registration rate is going to be tough. The registration numbers are not going to be made public and it’s not known exactly how many firearms that are covered by the new law exist in the state. It’s also unknown how many people sold/transferred their firearms out of state and/or modified them so they are no longer affected by the new law.
As we’ve seen from several manufacturers, the race to make a New York legal AR-15 variant has already been successful, and residents are already using those modifications to keep their current firearms.
Of course, the anti-gun crowd is crying foul. From the poughkeepsiejournal.com,
With the deadline set to take effect, the head of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence — one of the SAFE Act’s biggest proponents — said gun owners should be expected to follow the law.
“They can make all the noise they want, but the law is the law,” said Leah Gunn Barrett, the group’s executive director. “The New York SAFE Act was passed by a bipartisan legislature, signed by Gov. Cuomo well over a year ago. It’s being implemented, and people are expected to comply with the law.”
Local gun clubs, ranges, and organizations are largely being quiet when asked by their members what to do with most saying it’s a personal decision for each gun owner to make.