Reading the gun control measures specifically cited in NY Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State report, it reminds me so much of what happened to Massachusetts gun owners in the late `90s. If you were a legal gun owner who had your state-issued firearms identification card, it was good for life unless you were convicted of a disqualifying offense and it was revoked. Then, one day, the legislature told gun owners that “valid for life” really meant “valid until we want more money from you.”
In New York’s case, it’s the same for grandfathering. One day, gun owners were told that they could keep the regular capacity magazines they already owned for their guns. Now, they are being told that those magazines will no longer be legal:
Because magazines are not generally stamped with a serial number or other mark that would identify the date of manufacture, it is virtually impossible for law enforcement to determine whether a large capacity magazine was manufactured prior to 1994, and, as aresult, we effectively have no ban in New York State. In order to fix this problem, Governor Cuomo will propose tightening our assault weapons ban and eliminating large capacity magazines regardless of date of manufacture.
The same is being said for pistol licenses. “Good for life” will no longer mean what you think it means. It means constant renewal, even when you’re not convicted, arrested, or even accused of any disqualifying offense, which presumably also means more money for the government.
Currently, licenses for handguns are issued by the county in which the gun owner lives. With few exceptions, licenses are valid for life. As a result, while certain checks—for example, checks against criminal convictions, involuntary commitment records,convictions for crimes of domestic violence, open orders of protection—are run at the time a license is issued, once a license is obtained, there is no subsequent check to determine whether the holder is still eligible to own a gun. Governor Cuomo will propose a single standard across the state to ensure that appropriate checks can be run to bar convicted felons and other prohibited people from possessing firearms.
There are other issues mentioned, but none in quite as much detail as the two above. I’ll let the folks who specialize in NY gun laws break down what the rest of the big push from the Governor will mean in practical terms.
Oh, and I should mention as a warning to New York gun owners: When Massachusetts converted their firearms identification cards from “good for life” to renewable, the state admits that they didn’t bother to tell thousands of gun owners. Even years after it changed, the state pro-gun group would get phone calls from guys who were just stopped with rounds of shotgun ammunition in the car or coming in from a day of hunting, and they were promptly charged with having an expired FID card – even though the card they held said it was good for life. Oh yes, innocent people who think they are following the law will be hurt by these changes if they go through.
So, New Yorkers, get involved with your state groups and try to get a repeat of Illinois.
27 Responses to “New York Gun Control Proposals”
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