June 24, 2015
Millions of New York gun owners refused to register their firearms to comply with the draconian N.Y. SAFE Act.
Credit: 125o4 / Flickr
So far only around 24,000 gun owners, many of them cops, registered their semiautomatic rifles with the state, meaning that the law has effectively been repealed through civil disobedience.
“I am amused at the pathetically low numbers of New Yorkers who registered their so-called assault rifles,” New York State Rifle & Pistol Association President Tom King said. “The number of individuals who registered their guns is 24,000 and many of these are law-enforcement officials mandated to comply by their department.”
“New York gun owners know it is flawed and they are not complying with it. I am confident that we will ultimately prevail in getting significant portions of the law overturned in the courts.”
The SAFE Act, which created a gun registry for semiautomatic weapons using detachable magazines, was practically ignored by both gun owners and sheriffs since it was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2013.
Protesters against the law marked the April 15 registration deadline by destroying state registration cards.
“They have been shredding the Constitution for years,” gun owner Rus Thompson said. “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?”
Erie Co. Sheriff Timothy B. Howard publicly said he wouldn’t enforce the SAFE Act.
“The Constitution is the law of the land,” he stated. “If you know it’s a violation of the Constitution, how can you enforce it?”
Howard described the SAFE Act as one of the strongest examples of the government not listening to the people.
“It’s an unenforceable law and I believe it will ultimately be declared unconstitutional,” he said. “Do you want law enforcement people that will say ‘I will do this because I’m told to do this, even if I know it’s wrong?’”