TTAG reader MH writes:
NY Senate Bill Senate Bill A09340 — “To amend the penal law, in relation to the sale of ammunition for assault weapons” — is possibly the dumbest gun law ever proposed. Here’s the text . . .
Introduced by M. of A. SIMON — read once and referred to the Committee on Codes
AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to the sale of ammunition for assault weapons
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEMBLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
Amended by chapter 180 of the laws of 1997, is amended to read as follows:
Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prevent, or interfere in any way with, the sale of ammunition for revolvers or pistols of any kind, or for rifles, shotguns, or other arms, belonging or which may belong to any persons whether as sporting or hunting weapons or for the purpose of protection to them in their homes, or, as they may go abroad; and manufacturers are authorized to continue to manufacture, and wholesalers and dealers to continue to deal in and freely to sell ammunition to all such persons for such purposes.
PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THE SALE OF AMMUNITION FOR ASSAULT WEAPONS, AS DEFINED BY SUBDIVISION TWENTY-TWO OF SECTION 265.00 OF THIS TITLE, SHALL BE LIMITED TO TWO TIMES THE CAPACITY OF AN AUTHORIZED WEAPON OVER A ONE HUNDRED TWENTY DAY PERIOD.
FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDIVISION, “AUTHORIZED WEAPON” SHALL MEAN A WEAPON REGISTERED IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUBDIVISION SIXTEEN-A OF SECTION 400.00 OF THIS CHAPTER. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY LAW, RULE OR REGULATION TO THE CONTRARY, THE VIOLATION OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL CONSTITUTE A CLASS E FELONY.
This act shall take effect immediately.
Did you follow that? New York State Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon of Brooklyn [above] is proposing a law which would regulate the sale of ammunition for what New York State defines as “assault weapons,” limiting your ability to purchase such ammo to 20 rounds every four months.
This is a rewrite of an earlier proposal, never submitted to the legislature, that would have put the same restrictions on more types of ammunition.
Let’s skip the obvious legal and constitutional problems, such as making the mere purchase of ammunition a felony, with this and cut right to the chase. Even if passed, this law is entirely unenforceable and beyond useless.
1. It relies on New York’s “assault weapon” registry to determine which weapons and gun owners have the ammo regulations applied to them. Perhaps MA Simon isn’t aware, but by some estimates, less than 10% of New Yorkers who owned “assault weapons” prior to the passage of the SAFE Act signed them up. That means hundreds of thousands of “assault weapon” owners buying all the ammo they want with no way to stop them. A thought which I’m sure would keep her up nights.
2. How does the dealer know the ammunition is being sold for a registered “assault weapon?” Will the dealers have access to the registry? Who’s setting that system up and paying for it? New York hasn’t even been able to get their ammunition purchase background check system working, so what sense does it make to add another layer to a system which does not exist?
3. What, pray tell, is this special ammunition that only works in “assault rifles?” Is MA Simon and her staff really so ignorant that they don’t understand that .223 Remington and 5.56x45mm are common rifle rounds that can be fired from a number of firearms which are not considered “assault rifles” under the SAFE Act? So even if a gun owner is flagged by a dealer, can he not just claim “hey, I’m buying all this for my Mini-14.”
What about a bolt action rifle in .223? The owner of such a gun could easily buy 500 rounds for that rifle then load them into an “assault weapon.” How would anyone know? And don’t get me started on .308, one of the most popular cartridges in the world that also, gasp, can be fired from an AR-10 or Springfield M1A. Or 7.62x39mm in a Saiga Sporter or Mini-30.
4. In New York, rifles properly modified are not considered “assault rifles” by the very law MA Simon amends in her proposal. They’re the same gun, only with no banned features. So the owner of that gun can buy all the 5.56 he or she wants?
5. Are there no gun stores in other states?
6. Let’s say a mass killer was planning on shooting up a soft target and owned a registered AR15. Would they abandon their plan because it suddenly became slightly harder get ammo for that one rifle, or just switch to another weapon? I’m guessing that being denied use of a registered AR15 or having to drive to Pennsylvania to buy gun food isn’t going to be a deal breaker.
There’s a couple of takeaways here.
First of all, as we gun-rights advocates constantly warn, passing gun control laws is like eating potato chips. One is never enough. The SAFE Act was supposed to be so all-encompassing and awesome that it would be the last word in gun-control. Until it wasn’t.
Second, not that this has a chance of passing, but if it did, it’s bad news for those who knuckled under and registered their guns. The state promised: “just go along with us, nothing bad is going to happen.” Well it seems that MA Simon didn’t get that memo because she has something very, very bad planned for you. And with New York State slowly turning more and more socialist, who knows if this crap might not be law one day.
Third, MA Simon’s original proposal to restrict purchases of many more types of ammunition was greeted with such a backlash that she had to pull back and reconsider. This is what she considers a compromise. That right there should terrify you.
Finally, is this the one? Is this the ultimate? Is this the dumbest gun law ever proposed? Sadly, probably not. For the supply of ignorance on the anti-gun side seems to be the only natural resource we have an infinite supply of.