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Gun owners vent their anger as police work to explain new gun law

State Police hosted a public meeting in Ithaca on Tuesday evening, one of many being held across the state this week to answer questions about New York’s new gun restrictions.
Ithaca (WSYR-TV) - State Police hosted a public meeting in Ithaca on Tuesday evening, one of many being held across the state this week to answer questions about New York’s new gun restrictions.

Gun owners vented, with one asking, "My question to you is, when are you going to deem this NY SAFE Act unlawful and unconstitutional?"

State Police Deputy Superintendent Kevin Gagan told NewsChannel 9, "I think the frustrations come from people feeling insecure. Not understanding how the law is going to be applied. It is new. It's early. So, there is a lot of angst in that way.”

Questions quickly turned to confrontation, with some outright asking troopers not to enforce restrictions.

"You will defend the constitution of the United States correct? Isn't that a conflict of interest?" asked one person.

Amid praise and protest, sales of semiautomatic rifles capable of receiving a detachable magazine and featuring one military-style characteristic were banned in mid-January.  More regulations roll out over the next several months.

March 15, 2013
- Background checks will be required for private sales.

April 15, 2013
- Registration for assault weapons begins.
- Magazines sales will be limited to 7 rounds.

January 15, 2014
- Background checks will be required for ammunition purchases.
- Magazines with more than 10 rounds must be sold, discarded, or modified.

April 15, 2014
- All assault weapons must be registered with the New York State Police.

People who already own a banned semiautomatic rifle can keep it, but cannot sell it in New York.  Banned guns cannot be passed to family members after the owner dies. That news riled the crowd in Ithaca, where people were more concerned about how the law passed than why it was passed.

Matthew Stiles, an avid gun collector, said, "The governor didn't take the time to do his due diligence. They should have had these meetings long before the law ever came out. Doing it now is a day late and a dollar short."

For specific questions about rifles, shotguns, and pistols, click here to visit a state website with an overview of the law.  People with questions can also call the state hotline: 1-855-LAWGUNS.

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