The Safe Act, enacted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in January 2013, just a month after the Newtown shooting, narrowed the definition of legal assault weapons. The new laws banned certain features — such as a protruding pistol grip or an adjustable shaft — from newly purchased semi-automatic weapons with removable magazines. But remove the pistol handle with an Allen wrench and some models of the AR-15 rifle — the same weapon Adam Lanza used in the shooting at a school in Newtown, Connecticut — become legal. This simple change does nothing to reduce the lethality of the weapon, according to critics of New York`s gun laws. Individuals who legally owned firearms with these characteristics prior to January 15, 2013 had until April 15 to legally register and retain their firearms. New York State Police say new gun laws prohibit them from saying how many gun owners have met the registration requirement. „It`s the same weapon, it just has a few different cosmetic properties,“ said David Simmons, president of the Baldwinsville Rod & Gun Club and the Federation of Onondaga County Sports Clubs. „They are designed to make these weapons more effective,“ she said. „In particular, the pistol grip gives the shooter a lot more control.“ But for Simmons and other gun owners, the Safe Act simply removes additional features and doesn`t affect the lethality of guns like the AR-15. The AR-15 Pre-Safe Act and Post-Safe Act both take the same cartridges — either .223 caliber cartridges or 5.56-millimeter cartridges, Simmons says. Other prohibited features, such as a bayonet stand and a flash suppressor, are „a kind of bells and whistles,“ Barrett acknowledged. Gun control advocates do not agree with this argument.
„If they`re so cosmetic, why are they so upset?“ says Leah Gunn Barrett of the New Yorker book Against Gun Violence. Some of these features — such as the pistol handle, a second handle, or a muzzle fairing (which allows someone to hold a muzzle heated by fired bullets) — make it easier for a shooter to aim at targets, shoot and spray ammunition, say gun control advocates like Barrett. Simmons also acknowledges that the prohibited functions (listed below) serve a purpose for hunters and shooters. An adjustable shaft makes it easier for people of different sizes (and arm lengths) to use the same rifle. The protruding pistol grip – unlike the newly made ones with a more flush grip – makes it easier to stabilize the weapon. Under the new law, magazines can only hold a maximum of 10 bullets. If you put any of these features on a semi-automatic rifle with a detachable magazine, the firearm will qualify as an „assault weapon“ within the meaning of the Safety Act: Folding or telescopic shaft Protruding pistol grip Thumb hole handle Used handle or protruding handle that can be held by a non-firing bayonet handle Flash suppression Muzzle brake Muzzle counter A threaded barrel designed to accommodate This is because the NY Safe Act redefined what constitutes an offensive weapon. As advocates of the Second Amendment in New York, one could imagine that we are familiar with „silly gun control laws.“ That`s why I noticed an article in this month`s Ballistic Magazine about the twelve dumbest gun laws. Certainly, New York, as well as neighboring New Jersey, are well represented on this list. Overall, I think New York State was very underrepresented on this list with its „SAFE“ law and its licensing/registration regiment.
But on the other hand, I think New York has a lot of competition. VAN BUREN, N.Y. – Semi-automatic rifles with removable magazines cannot be sold in New York City if they have a protruding pistol grip. If you apply any of these characteristics to a semi-automatic rifle with a removable magazine, the firearm will be classified as an „assault weapon“ under the Safety Act: if you are charged with a crime committed with a firearm. Please call us to discuss your case at 877-377-8666 or visit our website for more information.