Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Fake News on Gun Confiscation

Friday, December 22, 2017

Fake News on Gun Confiscation

A member of the group New Yorkers Against Gun Violence (NYAGV) recently penned a newspaper opinion piece on the upcoming deadline for recertifying handgun licenses in New York State. Titled, “Gun recertification a step for safety, not confiscation,” the writer ridicules New York State handgun owners as being “‘up in arms’ again over the fact that they have to recertify” their eligibility to possess a handgun. For “too many gun owners,” he adds, “any gun safety legislation is wrong, viewed as the camel’s nose in the tent of gun confiscation.” He concludes by expressing his disgust at what he calls “…the mindless fealty to the NRA and its affiliates’ spin that all gun laws are unconstitutional and will lead to confiscation. There are 300 million guns in our country; do the math. No one is coming for your guns.” 

Every person is entitled to his or her own opinion, of course, but facts are a different matter. 

The passage of New York’s so-called SAFE Act (“Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013”) drastically changed the landscape for lawful gun owners in the Empire State. Besides new restrictions on commonly owned semi-automatic rifles the state calls “assault weapons,” bans on magazines, and limits on the number of rounds that could be loaded into a gun, the Act imposed a requirement that handgun license holders be “recertified” every five years, with all licensees completing the initial recertification by January 31, 2018. The recertification form requires that the licensee disclose his or her “name, date of birth, gender, race, residential address, social security number, [and] firearms possessed by such license holder,” along with the listed identifying details (make, model, caliber, and serial number). (“Firearm” under the applicable New York law means a handgun or other gun of a size which may be concealed upon the person.) 

A failure to recertify operates as an automatic revocation of the license. Possession of a “firearm” without a valid license is a criminal offense, and the revocation makes the person ineligible to apply for or renew a license. Once a license is revoked, state law mandates that every gun owned or possessed by the licensee be “surrendered” to a law enforcement agency. A New York State Police field guide on the SAFE Act, prepared by attorneys for the Division of State Police, unequivocally instructs officers that when “a licensee becomes ineligible to hold a pistol permit, the Safe Act requires the person to surrender all firearms to police, including all rifles and shotguns for which no license or registration is required.” (Emphasis in the original.) 

Should the person fail to comply by turning in every gun, the SAFE Act (codified as NY Penal Law § 400.00(11)(c)) not only authorizes but requires that police officers confiscate such property: the guns “shall be removed and declared a nuisance and any police officer or peace officer acting pursuant to his or her special duties is authorized to remove any and all such weapons.”

Once the gun is deemed a “nuisance,” the owner loses the ability to reclaim or legally transfer it. State law directs that nuisance guns be destroyed without the need for a court order or other judicial proceedings, and courts have confirmed that a person has no “legitimate possessory interest” in firearms for which he or she has no license.   

The policy of recertification is clear: licensees who fail to comply – by inadvertently missing the deadline, for example – face having all guns, and not just the firearms covered by the license, permanently confiscated by law enforcement officers. Far from being overblown hyperbole, describing the recertification law as “the camel’s nose in the tent of gun confiscation” is not only accurate but arguably, an unduly benign portrayal of a grossly disproportionate regime to enforce recertification through mandatory surrender, police seizure, and destruction of otherwise legal property.       

Even assuming that license recertification is “a step for safety,” as the NYAGV member claims, it’s not clear how much less secure or safe residents would be if the recertification process included, instead, a grace period for late compliance or imposed a penalty fee for licensees who miss the deadlines but are eligible to recertify. Felons and other criminals are notoriously unlikely to obey gun licensing rules, and state law already makes any weapon that is used in the commission of a crime or that is unlawfully possessed a “nuisance” weapon. Judging from statistics from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (Nov. 2017) on “firearm activity” (based on reports from police agencies across the state), New York residents aren’t significantly more safe since the 2013 gun control legislation was imposed. The total figures for 2016 for “shooting incidents involving injury” and “shooting victims (persons hit)” exceed the totals listed in each of the previous seven years; the 2016 figure for “individuals killed by gun violence” shows a just under ten percent increase as compared to the five-year average prior to 2016.  

In the same way that anti-gun advocates consistently seek to disguise restrictive gun control measures under the veneer of “common sense,” “gun safety,” or “gun law reform,” they aim to influence public opinion towards “strengthening” gun laws by dismissing opposition to such laws by ordinary, informed Americans as the “mindless” nattering of a handful of extremists.   

As for New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, the group’s own website proclaims that “NYAGV was instrumental in the passage of the NY SAFE Act in 2013.” That being the case, we may be excused for dismissing the article as no more than a stakeholder’s spin, aimed at securing public buy-in for a gun control law that extinguishes rights in the name of “public safety.”     

 

IN THIS ARTICLE
New York SAFE Act
TRENDING NOW
Out of Style: Levi’s Fawns Over Shannon Watts in Pantmaker’s Latest Gun Control Effort

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Out of Style: Levi’s Fawns Over Shannon Watts in Pantmaker’s Latest Gun Control Effort

At the National Retail Federation’s 2018 convention in New York City, Levi Strauss & Co. Brand President James Curleigh told those assembled that the multinational pants manufacturer intends to be the “most relevant lifestyle brand.” Evidently, part ...

Trump Administration, Other Pro-Gun Heavyweights Lend Support on Pending Supreme Court Case

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Trump Administration, Other Pro-Gun Heavyweights Lend Support on Pending Supreme Court Case

As NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox reported in March, the U.S. Supreme Court has taken up a challenge by an NRA state affiliate to a New York City gun control scheme that effectively prohibits lawfully ...

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Only What We Want Ye to Hear

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Only What We Want Ye to Hear

Can we finally put the claim that “gun violence” research is underfunded to rest? The Bloomberg Professor of American Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, Daniel Webster, and his colleagues at the Hopkins ...

Gov. Abbott Signs NRA-Backed Tenants' Rights Bill

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Gov. Abbott Signs NRA-Backed Tenants' Rights Bill

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) applauded Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday for signing NRA-backed legislation that protects tenants’ rights by prohibiting “no firearms” clauses in residential leases.   

Retired Justice Stevens Continues Crusade Against Guns

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Retired Justice Stevens Continues Crusade Against Guns

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens does not believe a law-abiding citizen has a right to possess firearms under the Second Amendment, and he wants to make sure everyone knows it. He made his ...

Illinois Committee Passes Bill to Increase Cost of FOID 1000

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Illinois Committee Passes Bill to Increase Cost of FOID 1000

On May 21st, the Illinois state House Judiciary Committee voted 12-7 to pass House Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 1966.  While it has not yet been scheduled for further action, the House may take it ...

California: Firearm Excise Tax Bill Fails to Meet Fiscal Deadline While Other Gun Control Bills Move Forward

Monday, May 20, 2019

California: Firearm Excise Tax Bill Fails to Meet Fiscal Deadline While Other Gun Control Bills Move Forward

Last week, the Assembly and Senate Appropriations Committees took up their respective suspense files ahead of the Friday, May 17, fiscal deadline. Some of the more egregious gun bills failed to meet the deadline including ...

Nevada: Omnibus Anti-Gun Bill Granted Waiver From Deadlines

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Nevada: Omnibus Anti-Gun Bill Granted Waiver From Deadlines

As previously alerted, yesterday was the deadline for legislation to pass out of the policy committee in the second chamber.  A waiver was granted for Assembly Bill 291, exempting the bill from the deadlines.  This waiver ...

Illinois: Committee To Receive FOID Cost Increase Legislation

Friday, May 17, 2019

Illinois: Committee To Receive FOID Cost Increase Legislation

On May 21st, the Illinois state House of Representatives Rules Committee will hear House Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 1966 and send it to the Judiciary Committee for further consideration.  HA 1 to SB 1966 would ...

NRA Supports Guns Save Life's Challenge to Illinois’s FOID Act

News  

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

NRA Supports Guns Save Life's Challenge to Illinois’s FOID Act

NRA is supporting a legal challenge to Illinois's FOID Act brought by Guns Save Life, an organization dedicated to defending the Second Amendment rights of Illinois residents. 

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.