Magazine Size Restrictions, Ammunition Sales Limitations Become Law Today In New York

Today – January 15, 2014 – marks the one year anniversary of the passing of the so called SAFE act.  If you are a New Yorker who has been holding onto your legally acquired large capacity magazines holding out hope that the courts would reverse the so called SAFE act, you are officially a criminal today.  Under the law passed a year ago, you were given the opportunity to sell those magazines to a dealer, or an out of state resident before today.  As of today, you can now be arrested for possessing those magazine that you legally acquired.

The magazine restriction isn’t the only provision of the so called SAFE act that goes into affect today – the controversial ammunition sale restrictions also become law today.  As originally written, this new law required that you purchase ammunition only in a face to face transaction with an authorized ammunition dealer.  It also required that you undergo a background check before you would be permitted to purchase ammunition, and it also required that the seller collect and retain your name, address, occupation, and the type and amount of ammunition that you purchased, so that this information would be available to the state.  That’s right – if your local gunshop is having a sale, and you buy what the state determines is too much ammunition – you might get a visit from the state police inquiring about your purchase.  Scary stuff.

Apparently, the State of New York isn’t any better at building websites than the federal government, so the background checks are on hold until the state can figure out how to implement the background checks, but all other restrictions on ammunition sales in NY are in force today.  We are no longer to take advantage of the cheap ammunition available from on line wholesalers – we can only buy face to face at brick and mortar stores.

This restriction may very well run afoul of the commerce clause of our Constitution, and court cases are ongoing challenging its constitutionality. The provision forbidding people from placing more than seven rounds of ammunition in their ten round magazines has already been found unconstitutional.  In the meantime, be careful how much ammunition you buy – and in what caliber – because big brother is watching.  For the moment, Pennsylvania gun shops are selling ammunition to New Yorkers.  Expect ammunition stores to pop up next to those fireworks tents all along the NY/Pennsylvania line.

Thanks for reading,

Adam
__________________________________________

Adam M. Gee, Esq.
NY and PA Injury and Malpractice Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY  14901
Phone: (607)733-8866
Fax: (607)732-6062
Email: [email protected]

 

 


Thousands Rally Against New NY Gun Law As State’s Supreme Court Questions Its Constitutionality

About 5,000 gun-rights supporters attended a rally Thursday in Albany against New York State's new gun-control law.

About 5,000 gun-rights supporters attended a rally Thursday against New York State’s new gun-control law.

Thousands of gun-rights supporters rallied in Albany Thursday, calling for the repeal of New York State’s tough new gun-control law, one day after a state Supreme Court justice issued an order requiring the state to show good cause that the law is constitutional.

The pressure on Gov. Andrew Cuomo grew more intense Thursday when state Sen. Kathy Marchione, R-Halfmoon, introduced a bill that would repeal the SAFE Act.

Protesters came to Albany in about 100 buses from all over the state for the noon protest outside the Capitol.

The new law bans so called “assault weapons” and limits magazine sizes to seven bullets – despite the fact that seven round magazines aren’t made for most semi-automatic weapons.

Before you read much more, here is some background: I have written about the good and bad in the new gun law here, and you can read about the new law here, including an FAQ here, on the governor’s website.

At Thursday’s rally, state Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, was among the state lawmakers who added their voices to the protesters’, calling for the repeal of the law. He acknowledged, however, that that is unlikely and said he hopes an expected lawsuit that will challenge it will get the law tossed.

“I think the court challenge is the best opportunity to make some changes in the bill, to make it more reasonable and workable in terms of law-abiding gun owners in New York,” Seward said.

Thursday’s rally was the third (and largest!) by gun-rights supporters since the law was adopted. State Police estimated that 5,000 people were there.

The governor has defended the law, arguing it will protect New Yorkers from gun violence. The law includes harsher punishments for illegal gun use and provisions to keep guns out of the hands of people with mental illnesses.

“I’m proud of the law. I’m proud of what we did,” Cuomo said told reporters on Thursday. “I am a gun owner. This is not about taking anyone’s gun. This is not about saying there is no such thing as the Second Amendment.”

But Dave Coolbaugh, a 54-year-old from Elmira, told Gannett News Service state leaders are taking away New Yorkers’ gun rights to forward their own political agenda. “I don’t know what they think gives them that right,” he said.

Marchione’s bill, which faces an uncertain future in the Senate and Assembly, calls for the repeal of the provisions related to the expanded ban and ammunition restrictions. You can read Marchione’s bill here.

Residents of Elmira, Corning and the Twin Tiers, did you travel to the rally Thursday? Whether you went to Albany or not, please share your thoughts on this important issue in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Adam
__________________________________________

Adam M. Gee, Esq.
NY and PA Injury and Malpractice Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY  14901
Phone: (607)733-8866
Fax: (607)732-6062
Email: [email protected]

 


How Do New York’s New Gun Laws Affect YOU?

ar15Unless you have been living under a rock, you are certainly aware that the federal government, as well as several states, have been beating the drums to enact new gun laws that would place further restrictions on WHO can own guns of any kind (a GOOD thing) and what KIND of guns law abiding citizens can own (a BAD thing).

Well, New York was the first one to take affirmative steps to pass new laws, and they jumped in with both guns a blazing (with the new state maximum seven rounds per magazine only, of course).  A bill passed by the NY Senate in the early morning hours is projected to be quickly passed by the Assembly and be the law of NY before sunset.  The proposed law, when passed, will enact sweeping changes to gun laws that go far beyond what any other state has ever tried to do, and may very well run afoul of our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.  And when I say sweeping changes, I mean it.  The bill would make multiple changes to The Criminal Procedure Law, The Family Court Act, The Education Law, The Correction Law, The Executive Law, The General Business Law,  The Judiciary Law, The Mental Hygiene Law, The Domestic Relations Law, The Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act, and last but not least, The Penal Law.

THE GOOD

As with virtually every law, it isn’t all bad.  Governor Cuomo increased the penalties for certain gun related crimes, including the murder of first responders, gang activities, possessing guns on school grounds and buses, possessing guns while engaged in drug trafficking, and providing a gun to a person not authorized to possess one. That’s it.  That is the only real good he accomplished in this bill.

THE NEUTRAL

There were also several meaningless changes –  judges already possess the power to take away people’s guns at arraignment, as a condition of bail, as part of a conditional discharge or probation at the end of a case, or nearly whenever they feel it is in the best interest of the public to do so.  Not only did judges already have this power – they were already using this power. Despite this, the bill would make new laws allowing judges to do what they are already allowed to do.  For example – the Criminal Procedure Law is amended to do what was routinely done anyway – require the surrender of weapons of criminal defendants found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect, or that they are incapacitated.  It also allows the surrender of weapons owned by a person against whom an Order of Protection has been issued in family or criminal court – again, something that occurs routinely under existing powers of those judges.

The Mental Hygiene Law will be amended to allow mental health records already reviewed as part of a federal background check to also be maintained by the state, and to require mental health workers to report if a patient is likely to engage in conduct that will cause serious harm to himself or others – such a report may result in the removal of any weapons by the Department of Criminal Justice Services.  Since mental health workers are already allowed to breach their privilege to do this, there is no improvement in safety.

The Bill also extends “Kendra’s Law” – a 1999 law which allows a court to “order” outpatient treatment for certain mentally ill people not so ill as to require inpatient treatment – this law is largely ineffective because it has no enforcement provision, and its extension does nothing to provide an enforcement.

THE BAD

Now for the part you have all been waiting for.  The State of NY has joined the misinformation campaign and decided it needs to further restrict the meaningless term “assault weapons” – but it goes far beyond anything any other state or nation has ever done to ban as many previously legal firearms as possible. Before this law, a semiautomatic weapon with a removable clip (which is damn near every semiautomatic weapon in existence not called a shotgun) was considered an assault weapon if it had any two of a list of characteristics, including a telescoping stock (you know, so your son and you can both comfortably fire the same gun, or a woman, or anyone with a short stature or short arms), a pistol grip (because they look scary) a bayonet mount (like the rifle my grandfather carried in the army, which was probably the last time anyone used a bayonet) a flash suppressor (because it sounds scary) or a grenade launcher (I agree these are not necessary!)  But not anymore…

Now your semi-automatic weapon is considered an assault weapon if it has even ONE of those characteristics!  That’s right – the gun you could buy off the shelf yesterday will be illegal as soon as the governor and Assembly sign off on this law.  And they also added several new characteristics which they deem to make your rifle an assault weapon – such as a thumb hole stock, a forward grip or a muzzle break.  And by the way, your semiautomatic shotguns are illegal if they have any one of these characteristics, too.  No – you won’t have to turn in a weapon you currently own – but the government will require you to register your weapon.

Not only is our state government banning an entire class of weapons simply because of the way they look, they are also restricting how many cartridges our weapons are allowed to hold.  As of the moment this bill is signed into law, no one may possess any magazine with a capacity of more than 10 cartridges, no matter whether it was grandfathered in at any point in the past.  The law goes even further – its says that no magazine may be loaded with more than seven rounds – no matter the actual capacity of the magazine.  Also, effective immediately – no magazine may be sold with a capacity of more than 7 cartridges – which means the sale of virtually all semi-automatic handguns is over in NY – because there are almost no guns currently sold with a magazine holding seven rounds or less.

YOU WILL NO LONGER BE ALLOWED TO OWN ANY MAGAZINE HOLDING MORE THAN 10 ROUNDS OF AMMUNITION  – ANY MAGAZINE YOU CURRENTLY OWN HOLDING MORE THAN 10 ROUNDS OF AMMUNITION IS IMMEDIATELY ILLEGAL (unless it qualifies as an antiquity or a relic)- AND YOU MAY NOT PLACE MORE THAN SEVEN ROUNDS IN THE MAGAZINE.

If you own a rifle with a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds, you had better get rid of the magazine, because it is now illegal.  Unfortunately, no one makes a seven round magazine, so good luck finding one.

The government will also be keeping track of your ammunition purchases from now on.  All ammunition purchases must occur through registered sellers, and information on your purchases will be submitted to and examined by the state to determine whether they need to pay you a visit.

There will no longer be any private sales of firearms, except between immediate family members – all others must occur through a federal firearms license holder.

This is just a thumbnail sketch of the worst parts of this bill.  A lawsuit has already been filed challenging it’s constitutionality.

READ THE BILL – KNOW WHAT IT SAYS – THE STATE OF NY MAY HAVE ALREADY MADE YOU A CRIMINAL!

Thanks for reading,

Adam
__________________________________________

Adam M. Gee, Esq.
NY and PA Injury and Malpractice Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY  14901
Phone: (607)733-8866
Fax: (607)732-6062
Email: [email protected]