New York gun owners are watching the November elections more closely than ever before.
This year, many of the estimated 6 million gun owners in the state will turn to a Candidate Report Card to guide their Election Day decisions, according to reports from gun rights groups around the state.
The reason they are so watchful this election is because of the real threat to gun rights from what’s being called “SAFE Act 2”.
SAFE Act 2 is a series of bills in the New York Assembly and Senate that place increased restrictions on guns, ammunitions, manufacturers and gun owners (a list of specific restrictions appears at the end of this article).
“We created the Candidate Report Card to grade candidates based on their record protecting Second Amendment rights,” said Stephen Aldstadt, President of SCOPE NY, a civil rights organization focused on the protection and preservation of the right of firearms ownership as guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
“After the SAFE Act was passed thousands of law-abiding New Yorkers became criminals overnight,” Aldstadt added. “SAFE Act 2 is an even more dangerous infringement on Second Amendment rights, and we are going to fight it at the ballot box.”
The Candidate Report Card lists 2014 candidates for NY Senate, Assembly and Congress. It also grades candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor. Candidates that have pledged to repeal the SAFE Act are also identified.
In 2010, a total of 4.6 million New Yorkers voted. If many of the 6 million gun owners vote along the lines of the Candidate Report Card, SAFE Act 2 is likely to go away, and the SAFE Act could be repealed.
According to the SCOPE website, the SAFE Act 2 includes the following:
- Requires that weapons be stored with a safety locking device or in a safe storage depository when left outside the immediate possession or control of the owner or other lawful possessor. Removal from the premises where a firearm was stored unsafely subjects violator to a class A misdemeanor and to a class E felony if injury or death occurs to another person, punishable by imprisonment, fine, license revocation and weapon surrender. Bill was first introduced in 2004.
- Requires all semiautomatic pistols manufactured or delivered to any licensed dealer in NYS to be capable of producing a unique alpha-numeric or geometric code on at least two locations on each cartridge case expended from such pistol. Makes it a class D felony to willfully deface a microstamping component of a semi-automatic pistol, subjecting violators to imprisonment, fine or both. Passed the Assembly, but died in Senate in 2008, 2010, and 2012. Bill was first introduced in 2008.
- Bans the possession, sale or transfer of 50-Caliber or larger weapons. Exemptions include any muzzle loading rifle or shotgun with a rifled bore and 50-caliber weapons purchased prior to the law’s effective date that are validly registered (similar to SAFE Act assault weapon registration). Passed the Assembly but died in Senate in 2010. Bill was first introduced in 2002.
- Requires the imposition of restrictive business practices, recordkeeping and reporting for lawful gun dealers including requiring that every dealer carry insurance coverage against liability (at least $1 million per incident) for damage to property and for injury or death of any person resulting from the sale, delivery, lease, or transfer of a firearm, rifle or shotgun. Prior versions passed the Assembly but died in Senate. Bill was first introduced in 2001.
- Prohibits the sale or transfer of a “child operated firearm” to another person. Defines “child operated firearm” as a pistol or revolver which does not contain a childproofing device, which would prevent an average five-year-old from operating it. Passed Assembly but died in Senate. Bill was first introduced in 2000.
- Prohibits a person from purchasing more than one firearm from a dealer within a 30-day- period. Prohibits a dealer from selling or transferring a firearm to a person who has purchased or taken possession of a firearm within the previous 30 days. Requires dealers to request approval for sale from the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). Violators are subject to a class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment, fine or both. Bill was first introduced in Senate in 2012.
- Prohibits a person from taking possession of any firearm from a dealer unless 10 days have elapsed from the date the dealer initiated the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background check of the purchaser and has received notice that the purchaser has passed all background checks required by federal, state and local law. Violators would be subject to class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment, fine or both. Bill was first introduced in Senate in 2012.
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