The upshot of so many gun laws is that law abiding citizens see their gun freedoms restricted, while criminals are free to be even better criminals.
(USA Today) “We’re not looking to demonize gun owners,” Governor Cuomo (who hasn’t given up his own armed security) said. “Gun owners have done nothing wrong.”
Yet, the legislation demonizes gun owners
(NY Times, which refuses to give up their own armed guards) The expanded ban on assault weapons would broaden the definition of such weapons, banning semiautomatic pistols and rifles with detachable magazines and one military-style feature, as well as semiautomatic shotguns with one military-style feature. New Yorkers who already own such guns could keep them but would be required to register them with the state.
What will they designate as “military style features”? Since the text of the legislation is not online, that’s hard to know. Does it shoot bullets? That sounds military style. Is it a scary black color? Military style.
The legislative package, which Mr. Cuomo said he believed would be “the most comprehensive package in the nation,” would ban any gun magazine that can hold over 7 rounds of ammunition — the current limit is 10 rounds. It would also require background checks of ammunition buyers and automated alerts to law enforcement of high-volume purchases.
Again, the devil is in the details. No story I have perused says whether this only applies to new sales or is retroactive. Most handguns come with magazines that are at least 8. My Walther P99 came with a 15 round mag, and P22 has a 10 round mag. Either gun makers will have to create magazines that only hold 7 rounds to fit in guns that have grips that are designed to hold more, or they will just not bother selling in New York state. Which I suspect is the point.
The legislation does increase punishment for those who shoot first responders, and would protect gun owners information from open records requests (see the USA Today article.)
It would also require background checks for ammunition purchases. Again, devil/details, in terms of does a buyer need one each time, or just a permit such as when purchasing a handgun?
Here’s where it gets even more interesting
In an acknowledgment that many people have suggested that part of the solution to gun violence is a better government response to mental illness, the legislation includes not only new restrictions on gun ownership, but also efforts to limit access to guns by the mentally ill.
The most significant new proposal would require mental health professionals to report to local mental health officials when they believe that patients are likely to harm themselves or others. Law enforcement would then be authorized to confiscate any firearm owned by a dangerous patient; therapists would not be sanctioned for a failure to report such patients if they acted “in good faith.”
“People who have mental health issues should not have guns,” Mr. Cuomo told reporters. “They could hurt themselves, they could hurt other people.”
The article then goes on to mention that this affects patient confidentiality, and could keep people with mental health issues from seeking treatment. The law would further expand the ability of judges to order people to receive outpatient treatment.
Now, over in the comments at Right Wing News and other places I’ve seen both right and left agree that we need to do something about the mentally ill. But, let me through this out there: have they broken laws to where their rights should be taken away?
This is a slippery slope. Obviously, some mentally ill are a serious danger to themselves and/or others. But, what about someone, from a right-side point of view, who rants on about 9/11 being an inside job and that every mention of the dangers from Islamists is “Islamophobia”? From a left-side POV, what about someone who rants on about the danger from The Government and becomes a survivalists living far, far away from everyone else? Are they mentally ill? Could they be deemed mentally ill?
Wherein lies the point where The State can deem someone ill enough to take away their Constitutional Right to be armed even though they have broken no laws nor been convicted of any laws?