Gun ownership statistics shows that an average gun owners owns 8 guns. The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution grants Americans the right to arm themselves. Recent tragedies involving mass shootings have brought this issue to the forefront of the political and social landscape. The Second Amendment has recently came under fire by the media, and the political left. However, to many Americans, the right to bear arms is an intrinsic part of being American that cannot and should not be infringed upon.
The New York SAFE Act
After the Bundy standoff in Bunkerville, Nevada and the National Wildlife Refuge occupation in Harney County, Oregon, some lawmakers voiced concern about how easily Americans can collect and store firearms. The New York SAFE Act, which was passed in 2013, addressed many of these concerns. Under this act, a number of firearms and clips have been classified unfit for private ownership within New York State. In addition, individuals seeking to purchase firearms must go through a lengthy process, filled with background checks and layers of paperwork.
Redefining assault weapon Legislation
In addition, the New York SAFE Act re-defines an assault weapon in New York State and bans private citizens from owning what the legislature considers assault weapons. The problem is that the definition they have created is is incredibly vague. In addition, the SAFE act gives police officers the authority to seize all weapons that are deemed assault weapons which are not registered with the state. This has created a lot of confusion, as many citizens are not exactly sure if their weapon meets the criteria or not and they are afraid to inquire for fear of being arrested. What this means is that, under the New York SAFE Act, a police officer in New York has the authority to seize a weapon, without any warrant, that he or she believes to be an assault weapon.
Assault weapons owner will not have their guns confiscated
Citizens who register with weapons are grandfathered in and will not have their guns confiscated. Because many gun owning New Yorkers fear that registering their assault weapons will lead to future seizures, they simply aren’t doing it. Whether or not New York Gun Ownership law will come after those citizens who recently registered their assault weapons remains to be seen. New York is not the only state to introduce a bill allowing the government to confiscate firearms. California passed a law in the beginning of 2016 which gives the state authority to seize guns from citizens deemed to be dangerous. The criteria which defines a citizen as dangerous, however, has yet to be released.
With the presidential elections not far away, Americans will have the chance to have their voices heard as each candidate will undoubtedly have to answer many questions about their stance on gun control and the 2ndAmendment.
If you need legal help or advice regarding any of New York’s gun laws, please contact Cambareri & Brenneck to have an experienced New York lawyers