Right Hooks

New Yorkers Say 'No' to SAFE Act

Jordan Candler · Jun. 24, 2015

The New York State Police initially shot down inquiries into how many “assault weapons” have been registered with the state after its legislature enacted the SAFE Act in 2013, and we now have a pretty good idea why — because compliance is abysmal. On April 30, New York Supreme Court Judge Thomas McNamara ordered the State Police to disclose registration statistics. According to the figures, which were made public this week, just 23,847 gun owners have registered a total of 44,485 military-looking weapons. For perspective, that’s less than the 50,000 firearms registered under a similar law in Connecticut. Keep in mind, Connecticut has a population of 3.6 million, according to the Census Bureau. New York’s is 19.8 million. Just a small disparity. Keep in mind also that New Yorkers own somewhere around 1,000,000 of these so-called assault rifles, which would mean just 4% of eligible firearms have been registered. Leah Barrett, executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, tried to put a positive spin on the numbers, responding, “Tens of thousands of people have complied with the law. That’s important. It shouldn’t be overlooked.” What shouldn’t be overlooked either is that the overwhelming majority of New Yorkers are exercising civil disobedience by rejecting a blatantly unconstitutional law. And they aren’t afraid to be jailed for it, either.

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