NY Authorities Confiscate Gun Dealers Records, May Lead to Gun Confiscations Under SAFE Act
New York State – This is a perfect example of how a convoluted law can make criminals out of people who go out of their way to try and comply with it.
A gun shop owner in New York has found himself on the wrong side of the NY SAFE Act, which was hastily passed after the Sandy Hook shootings in late 2012. Joseph F. Palumbo, who owns the Albion Gun Shop, began making modified AR-15 rifles with “bullet buttons”. These modifications make it difficult to change the magazine on semi-automatic rifles. This modification means the rifle isn’t considered to have a removable magazine in most restrictive gun control states. However, it seems Palumbo’s mod didn’t make the rifles legal (even though authorities originally told him it did).
According to local media outlets,
Palumbo, who has owned the shop on Hamilton Street for the past two years, said that when the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 went into effect, he made what he believed to be proper modifications on the AR-15, an assault rifle, by adding a “bullet button modification.”
“We were (originally) told that the modifications on our AR-15 were legal and compliant. We had called the New York State gun laws hotline. We had police departments, local, county and state police from two different barracks, sheriffs from Orleans, Niagara, Erie, Genesee, Monroe, ATF, border patrol, assistant district attorneys. Nobody said get them off my shelf,” he said. “And now they are saying that they are illegal.”
According to some reports, Palumbo’s shop came under investigation after a person was found to be in possession of one of his AR-15’s with the bullet button removed and converted back to a standard detachable magazine configuration. Some reports are saying this owner was reported through New York’s anonymous tip line in which people who report “illegal” gun owners can get a $500 reward.
According to TheBlaze, that resulted in an all out seizure of the shop’s records,
After he was initially informed by the undercover officer that the state police wanted the customer records related to the modified AR-15 rifles, Palumbo said police didn’t want to return to his gun shop and requested that the list be sent via email. He said he reluctantly complied because his hands were tied due to the restrictive provisions found in the SAFE Act and he realized a SWAT team could raid his store and confiscate all of his inventory.
Perhaps what is most disturbing is that New York State authorities threatened the owner with a SWAT raid of his business if he didn’t comply and turn over the records. If that isn’t confiscation at theoretical gunpoint I don’t know what is.
The store owner is concerned that the records police now have in their possession may result in his customers’ guns being confiscated.