In a move described as a “stunning repudiation” of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his “anti-gun Democrat allies,” residents of the state have issued a “veto” of a new gun regulation.
By simply ignoring it.
The impact of the move was described recently by the Gun Owners of America.
“We now know that less than 4.5 percent of the ‘assault weapons’ in New York were registered with the state as required by the draconian 2013 law, despite threats and warnings from hysterical New York Democrats and their allies in the media,” said a posting from Bob Owens on the GOA website.
“This is an even greater refusal rate than was experienced in next door Connecticut, where anti-gun [advocates] rammed through a similar law in the wake of Sandy Hook [and] saw at least 85 percent of the Constitution State’s gun owners defiantly refuse to register their firearms, some going so far as to dare Gov. Dannel Malloy … to attempt confiscation,” GAO said.
GAO called it a “stunning repudiation” of Cuomo.
The revolt began in 2013 when New York, like neighboring Connecticut, adopted a number of gun measures after the Sandy Hook school shooting in which one man shot and killed 20 children and six adults before killing himself.
One of the requirements was that people who own what the state newly defined as an “assault weapon” register it with the state. Such weapons were defined by certain characteristics, some of which were cosmetic. For example, triggering features include a detachable magazine or a pistol grip.
At the time, the move drew the opposition of the state sheriff’s association, which said the wording prevents the possession of “many weapons that are legitimately used for hunting, target shooting and self-defense.”
So in the time since adoption, 23,847 New Yorkers have registered the weapons they believe fall into the category of assault weapons. But the GOA said there are an estimated “at least” 1 million firearms that fall under the definition in the state.
The law went into effect in January 2013, and the numbers were given to attorney Paloma Capanna in a recent lawsuit action.
“Folks, this is stunning, [by] any measure,” the GOA commentary said. “As Frank Minister noted last year just days before the registration deadline, the National Shooting Sports Foundation conservatively estimated the number of firearms that qualify as ‘assault weapons’ under New York’s law were ‘at least’ one million.”
The law was adopted by lawmakers on Jan. 25, 2013, in the middle of the night and described as so critical that a three-day review period was waived.
It bans “high-capacity magazines,” imposes new background check requirements, requires stolen guns to be reported, requires “safe storage” and increases penalties for taking a gun on school property.
Cuomo said it “stops criminals and the dangerously mentally ill from buying a gun by requiring universal background checks on gun purchases, increases penalties for people who use illegal guns, mandates life in prison without parole for anyone who murders a first responder, and imposes the toughest assault weapons ban in the country.”
The Times-Union reported critics of the law contending that the low level of compliance “was proof of a widespread boycott.”
“The people of New York state who have been calling for a repeal (of the SAFE Act) have decided to repeal it on their own by not complying,” Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, told the paper.
In Connecticut, a similar ban resulted in the registration of 50,016 “assault weapons.”
But Connecticut has 3.6 million residents to New York’s 19.5 million.
Associated Press reported a state group, NY2A, called the law a failure because of the low compliance level.