New Yorkers Protest “Assault Weapon” Registration Law

By:  Warren Mass
04/22/2014
       
New Yorkers Protest “Assault Weapon” Registration Law

April 15 was the deadline for residents of New York to register “assault weapons” that they owned before the passage of the state’s SAFE Act gun control law.

But on the day of the deadline, pro-Second Amendment advocates, in an act of protest, gathered in downtown Buffalo to shred gun registration forms.

“They have been shredding the Constitution for years,” Russ Thompson, the leader of the April 15 rally was quoted by the Buffalo News as saying.

“You shred the Constitution, we’ll shred any form you want us to fill out. They can’t arrest a million people. What are they going to do?” 

“Nobody is going to comply with this,” added Tim Swedenhjelm, identified by the News as a gun owner and a 30-year range safety officer from Springville. “We don’t call them ‘assault rifles’ because they’re not ‘assault rifles.’ Assault rifles are automatic weapons. These are not automatic weapons. When I hear politicians call them assault rifles, you know they don’t know what they’re talking about.”

As of April 5, only 3,000 to 5,000 New Yorkers had registered their guns, and defenders of the Second Amendment estimate that compliance will be less than 10 percent.

In Erie County, where Buffalo is located, Sheriff Timothy Howard said he will not force his deputies to enforce registration under the new law. “Theoretically, any law enforcement officer who encounters anyone with this type of gun at a minimum is supposed to record the serial number and the individual’s identity and report it to Albany,” Howard said, according to the News.

Asked if he would force his deputies to comply, Howard replied, “I don’t know. I am not encouraging them to do it. At the same time, their own consciences should be their guide. I am not forcing my conscience on them. That is a decision they should make.”

A reporter for WIVB News in Buffalo noted: The SAFE Act redefines an ‘assault weapon’ as almost any semi-automatic weapon with a ‘military-style feature,’ including a telescoping stock, long guns with a pistol grip, or the ability to hold a detachable magazine.”

The law also broadens definition of “assault weapon” from two identified features to one, including the above, as well as a thumbhole mount, bayonet mount, flash suppressor, or grenade launcher.

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