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,