To discover that there is “massive noncompliance” with New York’s SAFE Act requiring registration of “assault-style” weapons.
In the years since Gov. Cuomo signed the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, otherwise known as the NY SAFE Act, a total of 23,847 people have applied to register their assault-style weapons with the state, according to statistics provided by the New York State Police.
Those individuals themselves registered 44,485 assault-style weapons — a term whose definition under the law was expanded to include military-style features like a pistol grip and popular civilian models of the M16 and AK47 assault rifles — with State Police, the data, which was first obtained by the Albany Times Union, show.
Law enforcement experts have estimated there could be nearly 1 million assault-style weapons in circulation across the state, suggesting that many New Yorkers are ignoring a central provision of what had been touted by gun control advocates as a milestone law.
“What these numbers expose is that, if there are people who are wilfully ignoring the law, that means tens of thousands of gun owners are not complying with a law that is supported by New Yorkers,” said (the ironically named) Leah Gunn Barrett, executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, citing a May poll commissioned by her group that showed state residents support key provisions of the SAFE Act.
Under New York law, failure to register an assault weapon by the April 2014 deadline can be treated as misdemeanor offense, punishable by “forfeiture of the weapon” and up to one year in jail, according to the New York State Police.
Under a different statute, the situation can also be treated as a low-level felony, punishable by up to four years in prison.
I know, let’s make not registering REALLY ILLEGAL!! THAT’ll work!