Collins Calls Cuomo Out Over NY Gun Laws

Rep. Chris Collins has proposed new federal legislation that would make key parts of New York's SAFE Act illegal.

Rep. Chris Collins has proposed new federal legislation that would make illegal key parts of New York's SAFE Act.
Rep. Chris Collins has proposed new federal legislation that would make illegal key parts of New York's SAFE Act. photo from democratandchronicle.comweb photo

According to news reports, New York State Rep. Chris Collins (R-Clarence) is going after the state’s ultra-restrictive SAFE Act gun-control laws.

"If our governor (Andrew M Cuomo) had his way there would be no guns in the state of New York. Well, the Second Amendment says otherwise," said Collins in this story from democratandchronicle.com.

Collin announced this week that he has proposed new federal legislation, called the Second Amendment Guarantee Act (SAGA), that would make key parts of New York’s SAFE Act illegal.

If passed, the legislation could have dramatic effects on gun laws in other states, as federal laws would take precedence over any state laws.

Collins called the SAFE Act an “egregious overstep of the Second Amendment” while speaking at the Rochester Brooks Gun Club, the story reports.

In October 2015, a federal appeals court upheld the SAFE Act laws, disagreeing with lower courts that said provisions in the legislation exceeded the state’s authority.

The SAFE Act was passed by the NY state legislature and was signed by Gov. Cuomo in January 2013. It was one of the first major pieces of gun control legislation passed in the aftermath of the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

The Act broaded the legal definition of “assault weapon” to include semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic handguns, and semi-auto shotguns with “one or more military-style features.” You know, evil things like telescoping stocks, bayonet mounts, and flash suppressors. Once the law went into effect, any “assault weapons” already owned by state residents would have to be registered.

The legislation also included a “high-capacity magazine” provision that stated, beginning April 15, 2013, only magazines with a seven-round capacity could legally be sold in New York. Magazines holding 10 rounds were grandfathered in, but it actually became illegal to load more than seven rounds into a ten-round magazine.

Between these two provisions, many shotguns and rifles long used by hunters and sportsmen were suddenly considered “assault weapons.”

The Act also requires ammunition dealers to conduct background checks for all ammunition purchases and bans the Internet sale of ammo. However, in 2015 the Cuomo and the Senate were forced to suspend the ammo-sale portions of the Act citing, “the lack of adequate technology.” They couldn’t make the elaborate ammunition sales and dealer database function.

The SAFE Act also requires mental health professionals including physicians, psychologists, nurses and licensed clinical works to report to authorities, “if they conclude, using reasonable professional judgement, that the individual is likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious hard to self or others.”

Those reported eventually end up in a database. If they have a gun permit, it’s revoked and they are barred from obtaining a permit until their name is purged, with no due process included.

Additionally, it requires background checks be conducted on priate gun sales; gun owners to report a lost or stolen gun or ammunition to authorities with in 24 hours or face misdemeanor charges; requires handgun permits to be re-certified every five years; requires those who live with a household member "who has been convicted of a felony or domestic violence crime, has been involuntarily committed, or is currently under an order of protection" to "safely store" any guns, using "an appropriate locking device including a trigger lock, a gun safe, or a secure gun cabinet;” and established tougher penalties for those who use illegal guns and measures to combat gang violence.

"Governor, you are on notice. We are going to repeal and declare null-and-void, your SAFE Act," Collins said during a speech, according to this story from 13wham.com