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    Massive noncompliance with SAFE Act

    Massive noncompliance with SAFE Act


    Photo: brian.ch via Flickr

    In January 2013, as the nation still mourned the Sandy Hook massacre, New York State enacted one of the nation’s strictest gun control laws. But three and a half years later, state records obtained after a lengthy court battle show that a key provision of the New York Safe Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act — mandatory registration of assault weapons — has been roundly ignored by gun owners in Ulster County and across the state.

    The NY SAFE Act defines assault weapons as any rifle, pistol or shotgun that uses a detachable magazine and has one of a laundry list of “military features,” including flash suppressors, folding stocks, bayonet lugs and heat shields. The law banned new sales of assault weapons in the state and required current owners to register the firearms with state police.

    In 2014, attorney and policy analyst Paloma Capanna filed suit on behalf of Rochester-based radio host Bill Robinson seeking data on NY SAFE Act compliance: specifically, how many assault weapons had actually been registered in the state.

    Cuomo administration officials first ignored, then denied Robinson’s Freedom of Information Act request. But, on June 22, following two years of litigation, state police released the information based on a court decision which found that while the law forbade the disclosure of the actual registration forms, nothing precluded the release of aggregate data.

    That data shows massive noncompliance with the assault weapon registration requirement. Based on an estimate from the National Shooting Sports Federation, about 1 million firearms in New York State meet the law’s assault-weapon criteria, but just 44,000 have been registered. That’s a compliance rate of about 4 percent. Capanna said that the high rate of noncompliance with the law could only be interpreted as a large-scale civil disobedience, given the high level of interest and concern about the law on the part of gun owners.

    “It’s not that they aren’t aware of the law,” said Capanna. “The lack of registration is a massive act of civil disobedience by gun owners statewide.”

    Opposition to the SAFE Act has been widespread across upstate New York, where 52 of the state’s 62 counties, including Ulster, have passed resolutions opposing the law. Upstate police agencies have also demonstrated a marked lack of enthusiasm for enforcing the ban on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines. According to statistics compiled by the state Department of Criminal Justice Services, there have been just 11 arrests for failure to register an otherwise-legal assault weapon since the SAFE Act took effect in March 2013 and 62 for possession of a large capacity magazine. In Ulster County, where 463 assault weapons have been registered, there have been just three arrests for possession of large-capacity magazines and none for failure to register an assault weapon. Ulster County Sheriff Paul VanBlarcum has been a vocal critic of the law; he said he believed large numbers of Ulster County gun owners had chosen to ignore the registration requirement.

    “We’re a rural county with a lot of gun enthusiasts,” said VanBlarcum. “So [463] sounds like a very low number.”

    Signs at last year’s O+ Festival supported the SAFE Act. (Photo: Dan Barton)

    VanBlarcum said he had advised deputies to use their discretion when it came to making arrests for SAFE Act violations like unregistered assault weapons and he had no plans to undertake proactive enforcement measures.

    “We are not actively out looking to enforce any aspect of the SAFE Act,” said VanBlarcum.

    Capanna said the registration debacle pointed to bigger issues with the SAFE Act: while federal firearms laws and the bureaucracy that enforces them date back a century, New York was effectively trying to create an entirely new regulatory framework from scratch. Capanna pointed to a SAFE Act requirement for background checks on ammunition sales as an example of regulatory overreach. The mandate has gone unenforced because the federal database used to screen gun buyers cannot be legally used for any other purpose. The state, meanwhile, has failed to come up with its own database to track ammunition sales.

    Capanna added that the state police, who are charged with enforcing the registration requirements, are a police agency, not a regulatory agency with experience interpreting and enforcing complex rules governing lawful activities like firearms and ammunition sales.

    “Cuomo would like to mimic the federal government,” said Capanna. “But that’s a substantial, extremely advanced system and he’s doing it as a startup, I think that led to a lot of fumbles along the way.”
    Pat ------> NRA Lifetime Endowment Member #FAAFO

    #2
    "That’s a compliance rate of about 4 percent. Capanna said that the high rate of noncompliance with the law could only be interpreted as a large-scale civil disobedience, given the high level of interest and concern about the law on the part of gun owners."


    You could also interpret it as an incompetent act by the governor of the state?
    LI Ammo, 2 Larkfield Rd. East Northport,

    Comment


      #3
      96% non-compliance and no blood in the streets...

      So who and where is the problem with 'assault weapons'?

      FUAC AND THE NYS LEGISLATURE!







      SHIT... SHOULDN'T HAVE HAD THAT GIN AND TONIC BEFORE GETTING ON THE TRAIN... BUT IT WAS REALLY HOT TODAY!
      SHADAP VARMINT!

      Comment


        #4
        lol andy you dumb fuck there are more here now after your law
        fuac
        Originally posted by Mad Russian;n47464
        BUAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!
        The AR.....wins...????
        Oh God!
        I can't believe I said that!!!
        I'm gonna puke!!!
        BUAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!

        Comment


          #5
          Absolutely misleading and wrong. The logic for non-compliance stats in this article is puzzling as the SAFE act itself offered options to registering, none of which were recorded.


          1. They have no real records of the amount of rifles that would qualify as AW under SAFE. Estimates by their own experts have ranged widely.

          2. The SAFE act gave several options prior to the deadline, whihc included selling out of state, moving out of state or altering into a non-AW configuration. There is no accounting of this in the article or "estimate of non-compliance". It is very reasonable to think that most of these "AWs" were handled this way and there are no records for sales or alterations.

          It is reasonable to think most normies would sell rather than register many of their now-AW guns and there is zero record keeping of any of the legal options offered by SAFE.

          (10/22s with a threaded barrel instantly became an AW, and most would just swap the barrel or crown it rather than registering)

          In theory you can have zero registration and 100% compliance with SAFE act, as it was written.It is theoretically possible that everyone else sold or altered their AW to not meet the SAFE act feature qualifiers, so there is no way of knowing any real non-compliance and to assume that the majority of gunowners didn't take the legally provided options is naive.
          Last edited by Destro; 07-08-2016, 05:17 PM.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by 50bmgshooter View Post
            lol andy you dumb fuck there are more here now after your law
            fuac
            BUAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!

            The AR.....wins...????


            Oh God!



            I can't believe I said that!!!




            I'm gonna puke!!!




            BUAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!
            SHADAP VARMINT!

            Comment


              #7
              That data shows massive noncompliance with the assault weapon registration requirement. Based on an estimate from the National Shooting Sports Federation, about 1 million firearms in New York State meet the law’s assault-weapon criteria, but just 44,000 have been registered. That’s a compliance rate of about 4 percent. Capanna said that the high rate of noncompliance with the law could only be interpreted as a large-scale civil disobedience, given the high level of interest and concern about the law on the part of gun owners.
              Absolutely incorrect and stupid interpretation.

              No one had to legally register an AW. The Safe act itself said you could sell, move out of state, part or remove the features. Thus there is no way to know what number currently "need to be legally registered" as this "estimated 1 million" could have been sold, moved, or easily and legally turned into non-AWs as allowed by the damn act itself. A lot of gun-owners did do that, who knows how many, maybe the majority. There are no records or stats, nor will there ever be for any of that, as it is not required by the law. Sure there is some defiant non-compliance but this interpretation does not account for the above which is a huge point.

              Comment


                #8
                The rifles were rarely used in crime before the SAFE act and have hardly been criminally used since. The State has done nothing to heighten safety, has wasted a ton of time and money, all for some political theater to enhance the stature of politicians. The SAFE act has made felons out of historically law abiding, otherwise righteous Americans whose only desire was to be left alone. Every idiot hell bent on mass killing has an infinite array of options to cause mayhem, and will never be deterred by mag limits, neutered rifles and ammo sales registration.

                But alas, we again point our anger at Cuomo, Schumer, RINOS and so forth, when the fault lies with our fellow citizens who choose to remain sheep, fearful of life and ignorant of all things firearms. They polled in New York 80% in favor of SAFE act after Sandy Hook. The politicians were not going to swim against that wave.

                Ballistic: "Grif... You are my legal eagle spirit animal...."

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Mad Russian View Post

                  BUAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!

                  The AR.....wins...????


                  Oh God!



                  I can't believe I said that!!!




                  I'm gonna puke!!!




                  BUAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!
                  To be honest I just got my first"REAL" ak
                  after this
                  but still ar all the way
                  Originally posted by Mad Russian;n47464
                  BUAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!
                  The AR.....wins...????
                  Oh God!
                  I can't believe I said that!!!
                  I'm gonna puke!!!
                  BUAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by 50bmgshooter View Post

                    To be honest I just got my first ak
                    after this
                    KOMRAD! Dis bring teer to eye! I vedee proud of yoo!
                    Now yoo get vedee good Combloc ammunition,
                    ​​​​​ da!

                    Tonight I dreenk een yor honor!
                    SHADAP VARMINT!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      "They polled in New York 80% in favor of SAFE act after Sandy Hook. The politicians were not going to swim against that wave."

                      Only polled pro-safe act because of the way the question is asked. When you ask a non-gun person if they support common sense laws, of course they poll "yes".
                      Then you bait and switch and put the Safe Act on the books. No relation to common sense laws.

                      The average Joe or Jane thinks common sense gun laws mean locking up the bad guys that use guns for criminal acts. They have no idea that the politicians are too stupid to know that's what 'common sense' means.

                      So you ask the question in the poll, do you want a nice steak dinner?, but you deliver squirrel (or goat) stew, and you wonder why no one comes to the dinner table.
                      LI Ammo, 2 Larkfield Rd. East Northport,

                      Comment


                        #12
                        He's an ass.

                        NRA Lifetime Member / NRA RSO & Certified Basic Pistol Instructor
                        NYSRPA Member / Freeport R&R Member

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Destro View Post
                          ...
                          (10/22s with a threaded barrel instantly became an AW, and most would just swap the barrel or crown it rather than registering)
                          ...
                          Or, do nothing.

                          How many people who own an M1A likely took a grinder to the bayonet lug or cut off the comp and butchered a beautiful rifle. I don't own one but if I did at the time, I would have just ignored the law. I see non-compliant ARs at the range all the time. LOTS of them. Maybe they're all or mostly registered but I doubt it. My guess is hardly any of them are. And nobody's asking.

                          I get your point - there's no way of knowing the extent of non-compliance. There are only estimates. But this is in line with the estimates from other states with AWBs like CA and CT. Anywhere from 5-20% compliance.
                          Last edited by BLAMMO!!; 07-08-2016, 09:12 PM.
                          Give a man fire, and he stays warm for one night. Set a man on fire, and he stays warm for the rest of his life.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Mad Russian View Post

                            BUAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!

                            The AR.....wins...????


                            Oh God!



                            I can't believe I said that!!!




                            I'm gonna puke!!!




                            BUAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!

                            You said it.
                            We know you said it.
                            We have proof you said it.
                            We will NEVER let you forget it.
                            Ever.

                            Mods, please make a sticky
                            "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." Martin Luther King, Jr.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by BLAMMO!! View Post

                              Or, do nothing.

                              How many people who own an M1A likely took a grinder to the bayonet lug or cut off the comp and butchered a beautiful rifle. I don't own one but if I did at the time, I would have just ignored the law. I see non-compliant ARs at the range all the time. LOTS of them. Maybe they're all or mostly registered but I doubt it. My guess is hardly any of them are. And nobody's asking.

                              I get your point - there's now way of knowing the extent of non-compliance. There are only estimates. But this is in line with the estimates from other states with AWBs like CA and CT. Anywhere from 5-20% compliance.
                              Their estimates literally vary by millions. It would be impossible to know especially under the features criteria of SAFE how many rifles qualified as AWs.

                              1. They have zero, zero way of knowing how many ARs, AKs, hi points, other rifles with features from 10/22 to converted Saigas were in NY the day before SAFE. Barring a 4473 tinfoil, remember private sales with no records were still legal in early Jan 2013 in NY.

                              2. Many did convert as seen here by the plethora of "featureless builds" etc. In my opinion as an active long time member of the NY firearm community, who deals with lots of vendors and orgs, I would say most sold or did compliance work (changed features to legal limit). Why not when it was a legal option. Heck DSI flourished as a business from this option and many other companies sprung up or filled that void (sure, new sales accounted for it but a lot of it was retro-fit complaince). It was not hard to convert the now millions of odd guns which instantly qualified as AWs under SAFE. And also many, even anecdotally on here did sell guns like hi point carbines that they could not convert.

                              They're not even factoring these popular options to registering in their estimate of non compliance. It would be reasonable to assume that selling or removing features would take up a great percentage over registering. That's a huge factor to consider.


                              Point being, the defiant non-compliance given these *popular* above options would be very hard to accurately gauge at all, and is far off from their estimate (not saying it doesn't exist, but they are not accounting for it at all). Especially when selling or compliance work was a very widely popular option in this state (hell, we've had compliance work done for years under the old AWB and guns are modular and features easily changed).
                              Last edited by Destro; 07-08-2016, 06:14 PM.

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