Andrew Cuomo, who aspires to the US presidency, beat Barack Obama to the gun control door today and signed a new gun bill called SAFE, Secure and Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act.
There are good provisions in the bill but it also includes measures that impinge on peoples’ freedoms.
New York already had the toughest laws in the nation, but they sometimes hurt the very people they are meant to protect.
For example, it is illegal to defend yourself with a gun in New York. You can’t carry a gun. You have some rights in your own home. If someone breaks into your home, crosses the threshold, and is facing you, you can shoot him/her/them. Other than that, it is a potential first degree murder charge.
The bill creates a new, statewide registry for assault weapons and pistols that would be off limits to public disclosure.
A stricter ban on assault weapons will take place immediately. New York already has an assault weapons ban but this closes any loophole.
- SAFE will completely ban all pre-1994 high capacity magazines.
- It will ban any magazine that can hold over seven rounds (down from a limit of 10). Ten round magazines will be grandfathered in but cannot be filled beyond 7.
- Real time background checks of ammunition purchases will be required in order to alert law enforcement of high volume buyers.
- Under the stricter definitions, semi-automatic pistols and rifles with detachable magazines and one military style feature will be considered assault weapons. Semi-automatic shotguns with one military style feature will also be considered assault weapons. Military features include types of grip, ammunition magazines, flash suppressors, et al. In other words, if a gun looks scary, it is illegal.
In terms of the mentally ill, the bill directs mental-health professionals to report patients they deem a possible threat to themselves or others. Patients who are reported must surrender any guns and permits.
School security measures such as cameras will be partially funded. Possessing a gun on school premises or on a school bus will be a Class E Felony.
In the case of orders of protection, if a judge feels there is a presenting danger, he must order the surrender of all weapons.
There will be tougher measures against illegal firearms. [I hope the criminals get the memo]
The Webster provision is included and it states that the murder of a first responder who is engaged in his or her duties would become a Class A-1 felony, with a mandatory penalty of life in prison without parole.
Kendra’s law will be extended for two years. This law provides for court-ordered assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) for certain people with mental illness who, in view of their treatment history and present circumstances, are unlikely to survive safely in the community without supervision.
Private gun sales, except for those among immediate family members, are subject to federal National Instant Criminal Background Check.
Rank-and-file lawmakers received the bill proposal only an hour before the Senate began voting on it and it was poorly written. THERE WILL BE A LIMIT ON HOW MANY BULLETS A POLICE GUN CAN HOLD!
Assemb. Steve Katz (R-Mohegan Lake) said Tuesday the hastily-drafted bill was driven by Cuomo’s “misguided, egotistical” desire to call New York the first to act since Newtown.
They also said the hastily drafted legislation was an example of bad government — rank-and-file lawmakers got copies of the lengthy proposal about an hour before the state Senate began voting Monday.
“This is haphazard,” said Assemb. Al Graf (R-Holbrook). “We’re not supposed to be here to advance any one person’s political agenda.”
During the Assembly debate, Graf pointed out several flaws in the bill as drafted — for instance, he said it would limit the number of bullets a policeman’s gun could hold. Democrats said the bill would be amended later, but Graf said it revealed problems with rushing. He also said Assembly Republicans had no opportunity to offer input.
“I’m voting no because of a lot of flaws in the bill, because of the way it was presented to us and because of the way they cut us out of the discussion,” Graf said.
Assemb. Marc Butler (R-Newport) said the legislation would threaten up to 300 jobs at Remington Arms in the Mohawk Valley. He said statewide hearings should have taken place before the bill was rammed through the Senate and Assembly.
The assault-weapons ban was among the centerpieces of the legislation…