New York’s assault weapon registration begins under NY SAFE Act

| April 15, 2013

ALBANY — Key measures of New York’s tough new gun law have kicked in, meaning owners of firearms now reclassified as assault weapons are required to register their guns. There are also new limits on the number of bullets allowed in magazines.

The new provisions took effect Monday. New York’s affiliate of the National Rifle Association says it expects to ask a federal judge late in the afternoon to immediately halt the magazine limit. The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association says the law violates the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens “to keep commonly possessed firearms.”

Association president Tom King says they are advising members to obey the law until it’s proven unconstitutional.

For now, the Supreme Court is staying out of the gun debate. The justices on Monday declined to hear a challenge to a strict New York law that makes it difficult for residents to get a license to carry a concealed handgun in public.

The NY SAFE Act includes a ban on the possession of pre-1994 high capacity magazines. The legislation outlines a stricter definition of assault weapons, and implements an immediate ban of defined assault weapons. Under the stricter definitions, semi-automatic pistols and rifles with detachable magazines and one military style feature will be considered assault weapons. Semi-automatic shotguns with one military style feature will also be considered assault weapons.

Assault weapons possessed before the effective date (April 15, 2013) must be registered within a year – by April 15, 2014. They must also be recertified every five years. Owners of grandfathered assault weapons may only sell out of state or through an in state federal firearms licensee.

Under the legislation, magazines may only carry seven rounds, down from the current limit of ten. To track high-volume ammunition purchasers, ammunition sellers must be registered with the State Police and each sale will require both a state background check and transmission of a record of the sale to State Police.

State police have posted online forms for registrations required by April 15, 2014.

(Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.)

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