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New York Gun Laws and How They Compare Nationally

New York Gun Laws and How They Compare Nationally

By    |   Sunday, 30 November 2014 05:23 PM

New York boasts some of the strictest gun laws in the country, including the most expansive ban on assault weapons.

Under Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s leadership, the state government in 2013 passed an extensive overhaul of gun laws, partly in response to the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting.

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In January 2014, a federal judge upheld most of those laws as valid, striking down the part of the law that restricted gun owners from putting more than seven rounds in a magazine, as a violation of the Second Amendment.

The SAFE Act, which stands for Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, makes the following requirements of gun owners, according to the SAFE website.

• Gun owners can purchase magazines with up to 10 rounds, but can only load seven rounds, regardless of capacity, unless the individual is at a firing range or competition. Active law enforcement is exempt from the prohibitions on high-capacity magazines and assault weapons.

• In regard to ammunition, the SAFE Act requires that all sellers must register with state police, and those with mental illnesses or felony records will not be approved. Individuals with a Federal Firearms License can continue selling ammunition. In addition, all ammunition sales must take place in person; if the sale occurs online, it must be facilitated by a New York State ammunition seller. Also, the state is putting together a database that registered ammunition sellers must use for a background check and to register ammunition sales, but that was not in operation as of October 2014.

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• Under the SAFE Act, all assault weapons had to be registered by April 15, 2014 and must be recertified every five years. No assault weapons could be purchased legally after January 15, 2013, in New York state.

• A gun owner is required to safely store his or her gun if someone at their residence was convicted of a felony or domestic violence crime, has been involuntarily committed, or is currently under an order of protection. “Safely” storing it means using a trigger lock, a gun safe, or a secure gun cabinet.

• Beginning on March 15, 2013, all private handgun, rifle, or shotgun sales or transfers (with the exception of those sales or transfers to and between certain family members) require a background check. The check must be completed by a dealer, who, by law, may not charge more than $10 for the service. Dealers are not required to offer the service of completing background checks.

The SAFE Act is being challenged as unconstitutional in a lawsuit filed by gun owners. In May 2014, attorney generals from 22 states joined the suit.

The focus is on the fact that the SAFE Act “redefined” what constitutes an assault weapon, including semi-automatic weapons with a detachable magazine that has a protruding pistol grip.

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New York boasts some of the strictest gun laws in the country, including the most expansive ban on assault weapons.
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Sunday, 30 November 2014 05:23 PM
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