Whether to capitalize on a tragedy for political purposes, or because their urge to “do something” isn’t tempered by a sense of reality, Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) reacted to the deplorable murders at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, last week by saying that they may reintroduce so-called “universal” background check legislation to require background checks on private sales and trades of firearms, including those between many family members and friends. NRA members and supporters will recall that a previous version of the Manchin-Toomey “universal” background check legislation was soundly defeated in the U.S. Senate in 2013.
As we noted at that time, such a system could only be enforced through national gun registration. But don’t just take our word for it, even Obama administration “experts” wrote that the effectiveness of “universal” background checks “depends on . . . requiring gun registration.”
Earlier this week, The Washington Post reported that Manchin wants to focus on preventing the acquisition of guns by people diagnosed with a mental illness. However, the person who admitted to the South Carolina church shooting had no such diagnosis in his background. Like the perpetrators of a large percentage of other multiple victim shootings, he passed a background check to acquire a gun because there was nothing in his record to prohibit him from doing so.
Background checks don’t stop criminals from stealing guns, or buying them on the black market, as noted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics in Table 14 of a May 2013 report. And they don’t stop criminals from getting guns through straw purchases—using people who can pass background checks to buy guns for people who cannot pass them—as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives indicated in a separate report.
In addition, there is another reason to oppose expanding the scope, intrusiveness and record-keeping practices of so-called “universal” background check systems. Giving in to what gun control supporters call “common sense” restrictions would simply take us closer to their ultimate goal.
Last year, Hillary Clinton said that people shouldn’t be allowed to even have an opinion in opposition to gun control. And just last week, former president Bill Clinton, who would presumably wield significant influence over public policy if Mrs. Clinton is elected president in 2016, said people shouldn’t be allowed to “walk around” with guns in public. At the same time, the Violence Policy Center encouraged people to believe there’s not much to be gained by carrying guns in public in the first place, falsely claiming that “Guns are rarely used to kill criminals or stop crimes.”
And then there’s former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, challenging Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nomination, who’s made it very clear that he supports a ban on the private possession of firearms. O’Malley’s position reflects gun control supporters’ refusal to recognize that people have a fundamental right to possess guns for self-defense; that guns are often used for self-defense; and that criminals would reap an enormous advantage from any gun-ban that is effectively implemented. As civil rights attorney Don Kates and Professor Gary Mauser have noted, “violent crime would not fall if guns were totally banned to civilians . . . . [I]ndividuals who commit violent crimes will either find guns despite severe controls or will find other weapons to use.”
Indeed, the FBI reports that one-third of murders, 59 percent of robberies and 78 percent of aggravated assaultsreported to law enforcement agencies are committed without firearms. As an example of the first of those statistics, Charles C.W. Cooke noted for National Review earlier this month that a woman was brutally killed by a knife-wielding attacker recently, unable to defend herself because her pending New Jersey handgun permit application hadn’t been approved.
Meanwhile, the Sydney Morning Herald reports that President Barack Obama, always enamored by gun bans in other parts of the world, cited, as he has previously, Australia’s massive gun ban and confiscation via a mandatory “buy-back” in the 1990s as an example of what he’d like to see happen in America.
Obama also blamed the Senate’s rejection of his 2013 gun control proposals on that perennial anti-gunner bogeyman, “the grip of the NRA on Congress.” What he fails to realize is that the NRA’s strength comes from its millions of members and tens of millions of supporters throughout the country. As a result, to gun control supporters’ everlasting regret, public opinion places more faith in guns and gun ownership than in gun control.
SOURCE :: NRA-ILA
With the State Police declining to appeal an earlier trial court decision ordering them to release the data, the number of people who have registered assault style weapons under the SAFE Act became public on Monday.
“I’m grinning from ear to ear,” said Rochester lawyer Paloma Capana, who successfully sued on behalf of a client for the information.
The bottom line: 23,847 people since the 2013 law took effect have applied to register assault style weapons. A total of 44,485 weapons have been registered.
Here’s a breakdown by county of applications to register assault weapons since Jan. 15, 2013:
Kings (Brooklyn) 54
New York (Manhattan) 1,640
Richmond (Staten Island) 52
Saint Lawrence 259
(Source: New York State Police)
And here is the court document with the registration data. Registration statistics are in the last five pages or so: NYSP Gun Stats PDF
The data had been withheld following an earlier request under the state’s Freedom of Information Law.
She had filed suit on behalf of Rochester radio host Bill Robinson under Article 78, a proceeding that allows legal actions against the state. She argued in State Supreme Court in Albany County that there was no reason the simple number of registrations should be kept secret.
The plaintiff’s FOIL was submitted on Jan. 27, 2014, and prompted the standard letter from a State Police Records Access Officer noting its receipt and promising another response within 20 days.
But then the State Police fell silent, ignoring two letters from Robinson sent in April and June. In July, he filed an appeal based on the contention that the non-response was a denial, and the judge agreed.
One of the highlights of the SAFE, or Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act is a ban on ”assault-style” weapons, which are defined as having military-type features such as a pistol grip or flash suppressor.
Weapons such as civilian versions of the M16 military rifle, or the Soviet-designed AK47 are popular examples of the guns banned under the law.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed the bill though at the start of 2013, just weeks after the Newtown, Conn. school massacre.
People who already owned assault style weapons, though, were grandfathered but they were supposed to register them with the State Police in April 2014.
Critics believed that was an intrusion into their privacy, and as the logistics of tracking the registration became clear, many predicted that only a handful of people would actually register their guns.
Capanna said that appears to be the case, with fewer than 45,000 weapons being registered.
While there is no firm count, observers have estimated there could be hundreds of thousands or even a million assault-style weapons in New York.
In Connecticut, which later passed a similar registration law, 50,016 weapons have been registered.
But with a population five times that of the Nutmeg State, fewer weapons have been registered in New York, suggesting widespread non-compliance.
Additionally, local police including several county sheriffs, have opposed parts of the SAFE Act and suggested that enforcement of the registration component was not a priority.
The trial court decision, from Acting Supreme Court Justice Thomas McNamara, directed the State Police to release 15 categories of information related to the state registry, including detailed geographic breakdowns (including county and ZIP code) and the number of applications as opposed to actual registrations.
There is also a breakdown of pistols, shotguns and rifles that were registered.
Source: Times Union
If you are not already aware, the Governor proposed a seven point plan for fighting gun violence at his State of the State address this week, many of which affect law abiding gun owners. His plan includes further restricting “assault weapons”, further restricting “high capacity” magazines, elimination of online ammunition sales to NY residents, background checks for all private sales and a state NICS check on all ammunition purchases.
Please take a few moments to write and, more importantly, CALL your state representatives as well as their leadership.
Some points to make:
• No new firearm restrictions
• No new magazine restrictions
• No new restrictions on the sale or purchase of ammunition
• No new registration of firearms
Who to contact:
Most importantly, please contact Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos – Office phone: (518) 455-3171, email: firstname.lastname@example.org , website: http://www.nysenate.gov/senator/dean-g-skelos/contact
Your own state senator who can be found here: http://www.nysenate.gov/
Gov. Cuomo at Office phone: (518) 474-8390, website: http://www.governor.ny.gov/contact/G…ontactForm.php
Senate Co Leader Jeffrey Klein at Office Phone: (518)-455-3595, email: email@example.com website: http://www.nysenate.gov/senator/jeffrey-d-klein/contact
Thank you for your time,
Jeff and the NYFirearms.com team