By Marion Algier – AskMarion
Eagle Rising: Aaron Weiss is a combat veteran of the war in Iraq, and he now serves the people of Dutchess County, New York as a police officer. In March, he rose to speak at a meeting of the county legislature as they considered a move to repeal NY’s SAFE Act. The SAFE Act is a gun control measure that was written and passed on the heels of the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
Mr. Weiss argues passionately, first against the idea that the legislators who passed this gun control measure were “brave,” noting that they did it in secret and moved quickly to ram it through. He also reminded these legislatures that, at the most basic level, they are stripping the rights of people away from them — and there is nothing brave about that.
Mr. Weiss also reminds the legislators and the citizens in attendance at the meeting what the cost of preserving those rights has been. These are not rights won and kept by the bloodless debates of bureaucrats. These are rights won and kept by the men and women who fight to protect them–those who give their youth, their innocence, their health and their very lives on the battlefield–so that the rest of us can sit comfortably at home enjoying those rights in the manner we’ve come to expect.
This may well be the best defense of the 2nd Amendment given in recent days. Our elected officials could do a whole lot worse than to sit down with Mr. Weiss and ask him to tell them why our 2nd Amendment is so important. In fact, that is exactly what many of our politicians should do; maybe it would give them some much needed perspective on our God given rights.
Thank you, Mr. Weiss, for your service, your character, your courage and your willingness to stand up and fight for us once again.
Wikipedia: NY SAFE Act
The New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 commonly known as the NY SAFE Act is a gun control law in the state of New York. The law was passed by the New York State Legislature on January 15, 2013, and was signed into law by Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo on the same day.
The legislation was written in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. It was sponsored by State Senator Martin Golden. It passed the New York State Senate on Monday, January 14, and the State Assembly on Tuesday, January 15. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law half an hour after it passed the legislature. Cuomo described the law as the “toughest” gun control law in the United States.
The NY SAFE Act contains a number of firearms regulations, and a severability provision, in case the broad prohibitions against weapons are invalidated by the courts.
The SAFE Act includes the following provisions:
- Bans possession of any “high-capacity magazines” regardless of when they were made or sold. The maximum capacity for all magazines is 10 rounds. It is a misdemeanor to load more than 7 rounds into a magazine, even at home, for personal and family protection. There is a limited exception, while at a gun range, ten rounds may be loaded into a magazine for target practice or in shooting competitions. Magazines owned before passage of the SAFE Act able to hold seven to ten rounds can be possessed, but cannot be loaded with more than seven rounds. .22 caliber tubular magazines are exempt from this limit. Previously legal “pre-1994-ban” magazines with a capacity of 30 rounds are not exempt, and must be sold within one year to an out-of-state resident or turned in to local authorities. The magazine limit took effect April 15, 2013. In March 2013, the magazine limit provision was scaled back, allowing ten round magazines, but still only loaded with seven rounds outside of ranges and competitions.
- Ammunition dealers are required to do background checks, similar to those for gun buyers. Dealers are required to report all sales, including amounts, to the state. Internet sales of ammunition are allowed, but the ammunition will have to be shipped to a licensed dealer in New York state for pickup. Ammunition background checks will begin January 15, 2014.
- Requires creation of a registry of assault weapons. Those New Yorkers who already own such weapons would be required to register their guns with the state. Registry began on April 15, 2013 and must be completed before April 15, 2014.
- Requires designated mental health professionals who believe a mental health patient made a credible threat of harming others to report the threat to a mental health director, who would then have to report serious threats to the state Department of Criminal Justice Services. A patient’s gun could be taken from him or her.
- Stolen guns are required be reported within 24 hours. Failure to report can result in a misdemeanor.
- Broadens definition of “assault weapon” from two identified features to one. The sale and/or transfer of newly defined assault weapons is banned within the state, although sales out of state are permitted. Possession of the newly-defined assault weapons is allowed only if they were possessed at the time that the law was passed, and must be registered with the state within one year.
- Requires background checks for all gun sales, including by private sellers – except for sales to members of the seller’s immediate family. Private sale background checks began March 15, 2013.
- Guns must be “safely stored” from any household member who has been convicted of a felony or domestic violence crime, has been involuntarily committed, or is currently under an order of protection. Unsafe storage of assault weapons is a misdemeanor.
- Bans the Internet sale of assault weapons.
- Increases sentences for gun crimes, including upgrading the offense for taking a gun on school property from a misdemeanor to a felony.
- Increases penalties for shooting first responders (Webster provision) to life in prison without parole.
- Limits the state records law to protect handgun owners from being identified publicly. However, existing permit holders have to opt into this provision by filing a form within 120 days of the law’s enactment. There also may exist issues with respect to “registered” owners in the new regulations vs “permit” holders under previous law.
- Requires pistol permit holders or owners of registered assault weapons to have them renewed at least every five years.
- Allows law enforcement officials to pre-emptively seize one’s firearms without a warrant or court order when there is probable cause the individual is mentally unstable or intends to use the weapons to commit a crime.