New York SAFE Act Chaos Scandal and Irony
In the last couple of days, the twenty million residents of the great state of New York have gotten some good, bad, and horrible news about the ever-evolving monster of the anti-gun SAFE Act that was signed into law in early 2013. It seems there are a thousand new instant felons, a federal judge torn by the second amendment, a pending disaster on background checks, and a former billionaire mayor who is still protected by a team of armed agents in a defenseless city.
1146 New Felons
As part of the tough new SAFE Act, simple possession of a firearm that isn't properly registered or is not in accordance of state law has now gone from a simple misdemeanor, punishable by a token fee, to a felony. In recent data released by the DCJS, some 1291 arrests and arraignments were made under the terms of the new law across the state of New York in 2013.
Of these, 1146 were hit with a felony possession of a weapon charge-- about 90% of which came from New York City itself. These range from everything from having too many rounds in a magazine to having high capacity mag itself, to having an unregistered or restricted firearm.
That's a whole prison full of now hard-core criminals, many of which in other states such as Texas or Mississippi would have been simply seen as good citizens.
Federal Judge upholds
The minute the legislation known as the SAFE Act was signed into law, the wagons started to circle to challenge it in Federal Court. Well, after 11 months of motion, countermotion, and discussion, a federal judge weighed in on the new law. Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny on December 31, 2013 found that the New York SAFE Act is constitutional and does not violate the Second Amendment as he interprets it. He did however, rejected the law's seven-round magazine limit, which was a quiet but token nod to the Constitution.
A piece in the New York Daily News soon came out with the headline, "The gun nuts lose again: A federal judge sides with the state on its sound, sane new laws" in response to this action.
Still, even with this, the mandate to register everything that the SAFE Act decrees as an 'assault weapon' by April 15 of this year is seen by many in the state as being unenforceable. It's already being publicly said that your average owner will probably run the risk of not registering their currently legal 'assault weapon' before the deadline, especially if they live in more rural parts of New York State. They idea is that they will bank on local law enforcement having bigger fish to fry than to come after the little guy with his AR-15 sitting quietly in the closet.
"The rank and file troopers don't want anything to do with it," Assemblyman Bill Nojay (R-Pittsford) said Monday. "I don't know of a single sheriff upstate who is going to enforce it."
"If you don't have the troopers and you don't have the sheriffs, who have you got? You've got Andrew Cuomo pounding on the table in Albany," Nojay said.
Background check clause up in the air
In reports from across the Empire State, it appears that the mandate for performing 100% background checks on every new gun and ammunition purchases by January 15 is running into problems. According to WHAM news in Rochester, the state is not ready to perform these checks and doesn't have a date for when they expect to be able to.
"By mid-January, Jackson Guns and Ammo is supposed to keep detailed logs anytime it sells ammunition. It includes the buyer's name, age, occupation, and address. Background checks are also required for anyone who is buying as much as a bullet. "Usually an ammunition purchase is in and out," says Josh Perkins from Jackson Guns & Ammo. "With having to do a background check, it would keep someone here at least 20 minutes. The state is supposed to set up a call center, paperwork, and all sorts of procedures and we haven't heard a single thing."
Other reports across the state from the Finger Lakes to Syracuse say the same thing.
Bloomberg gone but not forgotten
Although Mayor Michael Bloomberg, seen by many as an architect of the SAFE act just left office today, he will be continuing to have his multi-person law enforcement detail of armed dignitary protection staff around to keep him safe. Some Pro-2A writers are already calling him 'the most dangerous man in America.' With quotes like ""I think I have a responsibility, and I think you and all your viewers have responsibilities, to try to make this country safer for our families and for each other. And if I can do that by spending some money and by taking the NRA from being the only voice to being one of the voices so the public can really understand the issues, then I think my money would be well spent, and I think I have an obligation to do that." We can see why.
Of course, we don't think there is anything wrong with the political machine in Gotham though. To back us up New York City's Department of Investigation (DOI) inspectors working undercover were only able to obtain fraudulent ballots 97 % of the time for city elections in a recent investigation.
There is always that 3% we have going for us.