Missing The Target

In December 2012, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared that the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act – better known as the SAFE Act – “gave New York State the toughest, strongest protections against gun violence in the nation.” In November 2019 James Jacobs – Chief Justice Warren E. Burger Professor of Constitutional Law and the Courts and Zoe Fuhr – a fellow at NYU Law’s Center for Research in Crime and Justice in their book The Toughest Gun Control Law in the Nation took a deep dive into how the law has been implemented over the past half-decade. Jacobs said, “The SAFE Act has been almost totally ineffective. I would call it symbolic politics.”

Their conclusions were none of the law’s key provisions have worked as envisioned. The SAFE Act’s biggest flaw, Jacobs said, is that its drafters gave little consideration to how it would be enforced. Because the law was passed so quickly, the state and local government agencies that would be responsible for implementing many of its provisions had had no input into the bill. Some were openly hostile to the SAFE Act. “The New York Sheriffs’ Association sharply criticized the [assault weapons] ban, and a number of individual sheriffs vowed not to actively enforce it,” Jacobs and Fuhr wrote. Such statements probably encouraged many assault weapons owners not to register their guns.

Gov. Cuomo announced his resignation today effective in 14 days. Now is the time to finally get this inane law repealed and have it go with him. As Representative Elise Stefanik (NY-21) said in a statement released today Aug 10, 2021 “New Yorkers have lived for far too long under the Worst Governor in America’s corrupt and criminal tenure.” Congresswoman Stefanik introduced the Second Amendment Guarantee Act (H.R. 1715: SAGA) on March 9 2021. In a statement released that day Congresswoman Stefanik said “The Second Amendment Guarantee Act will not only void the SAFE Act and award New Yorkers with any damages caused by this unconstitutional law – it would prevent other states across the country from further limiting and banning constitutionally protected firearms. I am introducing this bill at a critical time, as Democrats and the White House are pushing Far-Left gun control measures including gun bans.”

UPDATE- H.R. 1715: SAGA Died in a previous Congress

A right to keep and bear arms amendment needs to be added to the New York Constitution. The following is a good example taken from the Iowa RKBA amendment to be presented to Iowa voters in the general election scheduled for November 8th, 2022.

The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The sovereign state of New York affirms and recognizes this right to be a fundamental individual right. Any and all restrictions of this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.