April 15th is not just a tax day for many New Yorkers. It is also the day that any gun owners in possession of a semi-automatic rifle (falsely called assault weapons by NY) will have to register their guns with the state in accordance with the SAFE Act.
But already there are many saying that this deadline will be completely disregarded and that the SAFE Act is unconstitutional and needs to be repealed.
Registration is equal to confiscation. How so? Under the SAFE Act law, after a semi-automatic rifle is registered with the state it cannot be transferred to a family member. It can only be turned into the police or out of state to another state where the gun is legal.
This means that after the owner of the gun dies the gun is essentially confiscated and any monetary value of the firearm is lost. The firearm cannot be passed down to a family member or given to family as part of an inheritance. If that’s not confiscation I don’t know what is.
The law requires any semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines and at least one military style feature, like pistol grips or adjustable stocks, to be registered. This means the millions of New Yorkers who own the popular AR-15 rifles or rifles like it will be turned into felons over night if they fail to comply.
So far Governor Cuomo who pushed this law through has not specified how many have actually registered their firearms, but it’s clear so far that many are saying they will not register their guns.
According to Syracuse.com,
“People are pretty much convinced once they get on this registration, the next time they’ll say they’ve got to turn them in,” said Stephen Aldstadt, president of the Shooters Committee on Political Education, who helped organize a protest at the Capitol last week against the law.
“I refuse to comply,” said Jeff Tutuska, a graphic artist from West Seneca who was among a few thousand at the Capitol protest. He held a sign saying: “I’d rather have it & not need it than need it & not have it.”
Reuben Tompkins, 59, of Greenville, said he didn’t know of anyone who planned to register a gun under the new law. “I hope nobody does,” he said.
Part of the New York penal code defines possession of a knowingly unregistered gun as a low-level felony. The misdemeanor carries up to a year in jail, the felony, up to four years in prison.
Then there is the question of how police will enforce this law. We already heard about at least one cop in CT who couldn’t wait to break down the doors of gun owners, but many would be reluctant to carry out such orders.
Karl Tompkins, 49, said the law itself is illegal and unconstitutional. “You’re supposed to obey the constitution. It’s un-American.”