April 15th, 2013

New York State Mandatory Registration Program Starts Today

The state of New York has activated its online registration service for owners of semi-automatic firearms that have been re-classified as “Assault Weapons” under New York’s SAFE Act. We put that term in quotes because the same firearms, such as AR-platform rifles, are legal to own, with few restrictions, in most other U.S. states. New York owners of newly-restricted semi-automatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns have one year from today to register their firearms. Failure to register a newly-defined “assault weapon” by April 15th, 2014 is punishable as a Class A Misdemeanor, with forfeiture of the firearm(s).

Graphic from NY State Police Website
NY gunregistration state police

The online registration system is implemented through the New York Division of State Police website at: https://firearms.troopers.ny.gov/safeact/welcome.faces.

If you are a New York gun owner with firearm(s) that may be covered by the SAFE Act, you should read the statute carefully and possibly consult with an attorney if you have questions about your legal obligations. There are many confusing provisions in the new law, but primarily the law requires registration of any auto-loading firearm (pistol, shotgun or rifle) that takes a detachable magazine and has any one or more “evil” features, which are separately enumerated for pistols, rifles, and shotguns. Click these links to read the exact list of banned features.

Pistol Banned Features | Rifle Banned Features | Shotgun Banned Features

New York has issued a non-exhaustive list of rifles classified as “assault weapons”. However, even if you don’t see your rifle on this list, it may still be restricted. Under the SAFE Act, ANY semi-automatic rifle “capable of receiving a detachable magazine” is considered an “assault rifle” if it has any ONE or more of these “military characteristics”:

Grenade Launcher
Folding Stock
Thumbhole Stock
Protruding Pistol Grip
Second handgrip or “protruding grip that can be held by the non-shooting hand”.
Bayonet Mount
Flash Suppressor
Muzzle Brake
Muzzle Compensator
Threaded barrel “designed to accommodate” Brake, Suppressor, or Compensator.

In addition to the new registration requirement, the sale and/or transfer of newly-defined “assault weapons” is banned within the state, although sales out of state are permitted. Possession of the newly-defined “assault weapons” is allowed only if they were possessed at the time that the law was passed, and they must be registered with the state within one year (of today) by the owner. The SAFE Act grandfathers the prior ownership of “assault weapons”, but requires that they be registered with the NY State Police by April 15, 2014 — plus they must be recertified every five years. More information can be found at www.Renzullilaw.com.

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March 24th, 2013

Lawsuit Filed in Federal Court to Over-Turn New York’s SAFE Act

New York State Rifle Pistol Assn. logoLed by the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA) and the NRA, a group of gun organizations filed suit on March 21, 2013, seeking to overturn the recently-passed New York SAFE Act. The pro-Second Amendment coalition filed suit in Federal court in Buffalo seeking to toss out New York’s new gun control law on a variety of constitutional grounds.

Specifically, the complaint states that the SAFE Act violates the Second Amendment as well the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The Buffalo News explains: “The lawsuit says the gun law… violates the U.S. Constitution’s commerce clause, which empowers the federal government to regulate interstate commerce, because the law restricts interstate commerce by requiring private gun owners to go through dealers if they want to sell guns to a private party in another state.” Read Full Article from BuffaloNews.com.

NYSRPA President Thomas King says the SAFE Act infringes New Yorkers’ Second Amendment rights: “The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed an individual right to keep and bear arms in the landmark 2008 case of Heller v. District of Columbia and incorporated that decision to the states in the 2010 case of McDonald v. Chicago. These decisions apply to all New Yorkers”. Chris Cox, Executive Director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, added: “Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature usurped the legislative and democratic process in passing these extreme anti-gun measures with no committee hearings and no public input“.

Along with the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, other plaintiffs in this action are the NRA, the Westchester County Firearms Owners Association, Sportsmen’s Association for Firearms Education, New York State Amateur Trapshooting Association, Bedell Custom, Beikirch Ammunition Corporation, Blueline Tactical & Police Supply, and three individual citizens.

Injunction Against SAFE Act Denied in State Action
In another related lawsuit, on March 12, N.Y. State Supreme Court Justice Thomas McNamara refused to enjoin implementation of the SAFE Act. That ruling applied to a lawsuit brought by Robert Schultz and hundreds of other private citizen plaintiffs. A motion had been filed asking the court to temporarily halt the SAFE Act on the grounds that the legislation had been rushed through, without proper consideration or the opportunity for citizen input. The judge denied the motion, holding that the Legislature was authorized by “messages of necessity” to enact the SAFE Act on a “fast track” schedule. Schultz stated that his group would appeal the ruling to the N.Y. State Court of Appeals: “We’re saying the language of the Message of Necessity has to match up with the legislation.”

READ More about Schultz Lawsuit in N.Y. State Court.

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March 10th, 2013

New York State Second Amendment Rally Draws 10,000 Citizens

On Thursday, February 28, the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (supported by the NRA-ILA), held a rally to stand up for the Second Amendment and protest New York’s recent passage of the so-called S.A.F.E. Act. The rally drew more than 10,000 law-abiding gun owners. According to the New York State Police, it was one of the largest rallies ever held at the State Capital in Albany, New York.

NRA President David Keene was the featured speaker and told attendees that NRA is committed to helping repeal the S.A.F.E. Act, saying NRA would do “whatever is necessary”–including going to court–to defend the Second Amendment. For the latest updates on efforts to repeal New York’s S.A.F.E. Act, visit www.NRA-ILA.org

Women for Second Amendment at S.A.F.E Act Rally

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