Wednesday, January 16, 2013

NY's New Gun Law

According to NBC:
Under current state law, assault weapons are defined by having two "military rifle" features such as folding stock, muzzle flash suppressor or bayonet mount. The proposal reduces that to one feature and includes the popular pistol grip. ...
Ammunition magazines will be restricted to seven bullets, from the current 10, and current owners of higher-capacity magazines will have a year to sell them out of state.
I think most people hear the term "assault weapon" and have a vague idea of something much more insidious than what we're really talking about. I'm not convinced, for example, that a rifle with a folding stock is substantially more dangerous than a rifle with a one piece stock. I don't see why a shotgun with a pistol grip is more dangerous than a shotgun with a straight stock. It seems like legislators picked some fairly meaningless distinctions when defining "assault weapons." Then people hear "assault weapon" and assume it's some kind of considerably more dangerous, ominous firearm.

And how does limiting the magazine capacity further protect law-abiders? Now legally registered gun owners will have to turn in their firearms for having 10-cartridge magazines. I'm sure the people who own guns illegally will be lining right up with the law-abiders to hand the weapons over. -.-

NBC quotes Governor Cuomo asking, "At what point do you say, 'No more innocent loss of life'?"

What a loaded question! I understand the motive of every day gun control advocates (though I don't trust politicians for anything), but I get a little tired of people asserting that banning guns will inherently save lives. It's clear that some people have used guns to do horrible things, and other people have used guns to protect themselves and others. It's not at all clear that more gun control = less innocent loss of life.

According to the New York Times:
Mr. Cuomo, saying that gun violence constituted an emergency requiring immediate action, waived a constitutionally required three-day waiting period between the introduction of legislation and a vote to allow speedy action on the gun-law package.
I didn't realize Governors had the power to waive constitutional requirements. I assume they're referring here to a state constitution? That's a lot of pressure, if you can't even wait three days to discuss something like this.

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