NY's New Gun Law Is About Control
As Bryan Preston wrote earlier this afternoon, the New York state legislature passed the toughest gun law in the nation, despite a decrease in violent crime for the fifth straight year back in June of 2012. The Washington Examiner posted today that the new law would would add the following measures.
—Further restrict assault weapons to define them by a single feature, such as a pistol grip. Current law requires two features.
—Make the unsafe storage of assault weapons a misdemeanor.
—Mandate a police registry of assault weapons.
—Establish a state registry for all private sales, with a background check done through a licensed dealer for a fee, excluding sales to immediate relatives.
—Require a therapist who believes a mental health patient made a credible threat to use a gun illegally to report the threat to a mental health director who would then have to report serious threats to the state Department of Criminal Justice Services. A patient's gun could be taken from him or her.
—Ban the Internet sale of assault weapons.
—Require stores that sell ammunition to register with the state, run background checks on buyers of bullets and keep an electronic database of bullet sales.
—Restrict ammunition magazines to seven bullets, from the current national standard of 10. Current owners of higher-capacity magazines would have a year to sell them out of state. Someone caught with eight or more bullets in a magazine could face a misdemeanor charge.
—Require that stolen guns be reported within 24 hours. Otherwise, the owner would face a possible misdemeanor.
—Increase sentences for gun crimes including for taking a gun on school property.
—Increase penalties for shooting first responders, called the "Webster provision." Two firefighters were killed when shot by a person who set a fire in the western New York town of Webster last month. The crime would be punishable by life in prison without parole.
—Limit the state records law to protect handgun owners from being identified publicly. The provision would allow a handgun permit holder a means to maintain privacy under the Freedom of Information law.
—Require pistol permit holders or those who will be registered as owners of assault rifles to be recertified at least every five years to make sure they are still legally able to own the guns.
This isn't about keeping people safe. It is about control. It's also about Gov. Cuomo's tossing his hat into the presidential ring for 2016, but that's a different matter. As Emily Miller of The Washington Times wrote on January 14:
In a backroom deal that could hit the floor of the Empire State Senate as early as Friday, the governor’s plan would ban all so-called assault weapons outright. Mr. Cuomo even told WGDJ-AM radio that “confiscation could be an option.” That’s a radical step, and one that would do nothing to improve public safety, as only five of the 447 killings by firearm in New York were committed with a rifle of any type in 2011.
Furthermore, Preston, citing The New York Times, stated that "rank-and-file senators had only a few minutes to read the bill before voting on it." This only adds to the suspicions conservatives have about new gun laws. It also doesn't give much faith in the legislative process, which has seen rather large bills, like Obamacare, being passed without anyone really reading it. It's only a $1 trillion dollar new entitlement program. Governor Cuomo says,“this is New York, the progressive capital, you should show them how we lead." Well, it looks a lot like what we see in Washington. Nevertheless, the bill passed the Assembly 104-43, and 43-18 in the Senate.
Should we be shocked? No. New York is a bastion of cancerous progressivism. After all, their court system ruled that viewing child pornography is not a crime. However, as the political left in New York celebrate their victory that gives them more control over the residents of the Empire State, let's look at Vermont. It's a state that doesn't require conceal and carry permits. Furthermore, concerning handguns and rifles, you do not need to obtain a permit to purchase them, license them, or register them. Yet, I don't hear anyone slamming their congressional delegation for stricter laws. This was a point aptly made by Michael A. Walsh in The New York Post in the aftermath of Rep. Gabby Giffords' assassination attempt by Jared Loughner.
New York has passed a law that draws the ire of conservatives, but at least it's contained at the state-level. Legislatures in liberal states have the right to pass stupid laws. If you don't like them, you can leave. However, the real fight begins tomorrow, as liberals seek to federalize what New York has done.