Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the measure into law less than an hour after it won final passage in the Legislature, with supporters hailing it as a model for the nation and gun-rights activists condemning it as a knee-jerk piece of legislation that won't make anyone safer and is too extreme to win support in the rest of the country.
One Year Ago
In addition to outlawing a broader array of military-style weapons, the measure restricts ammunition magazines to seven rounds, down from the current 10, creates a more comprehensive database of people barred from owning guns, and makes New York the first state to require background checks to buy bullets. The system will also help flag customers who buy large amounts of ammo.
It also requires therapists, doctors and other mental health professionals to tell state authorities if a patient threatens to use a gun illegally. The patient's weapon could then be taken away.Since the major provisions of the law took effect in March, a total of 1,291 charges had been issued under the SAFE Act through Dec. 17, according to the state Division of Criminal Justice Services. Of those, 1,155 were for felony possession of an illegal firearm, which had been a misdemeanor prior to the new gun laws
|SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
at The Bottom of This Page
Or On Facebook.com/WBEN930
What the Changes have Meant in This Past Year
|And At The Ballot Box....
In the month after he signed the NYS Safe Act, Gov. Cuomo's favorability hit the lowest level since he'd been elected, according to Siena College. But for most of the year statewide, it has still been the envy of most any governor ever, at almost 2-1.
In the year since it was signed, The Siena Poll also says there are strong pockets of upstate opposition to the SAFE ACT, even though it is still favored statewide.
"It certainly has hurt his standing upstate," says Canisius College Political Science Prof. Kevin Hardwick, a Republican member of the Erie County Legislature. "in the end however, the political calculation may have been it will help with the liberal base if he's running for president down the road.,"
But in New York State? Most say the gun law might hurt his effectiveness, but not stop his re-election.
"The reaction has really surprised Gov. Cuomo and could be his demise," says Michael Caputo, a GOP campaign strategist who helped lead Carl Paladino's 2009 challenge against Cuomo.
"If you ask anyone who has been in politics 30, 40, 50 years, they'll tell you the Second Amendment never wins elections. I think this is different," Caputo says. "In one of 20 yards upstate, you'll see an anti safe act sign. So this creates an opposition that is already so motivated, they might be motivated enough to come out and change the face of the election in November. "
At The Gun Store.....
Wheatfield, NY (WBEN) - For gun store owners, the past year has brought many new questions from customers.
"They're asking all sorts of questions about the SAFE Act," said Dennis Deasy, Owner of the Niagara Gun Range. "I have as much information as they have."
Deasy says that the SAFE Act hasn't changed too much, because he can still sell firearms, just not ones with certain features. The hardest part of the law for his is that it is often times confusing.
"There's really been nothing from the state, explicitly telling us what we can or can not do." Deasy says that he has not been given a "straight answer" in regards to specifics of the law. "Why cant I operate like any other legal, legitimate business in the state, and not be under the rules and regulations of somebody who decides (laws) on a whim?"
And while Deasy the business owner will try to understand the law, Deasy the gun owner has his own opinions.
"The SAFE Act making New York safer is 'make it so confusing that nobody knows what to do, therefore nobody does anything.' It's just been a royal pain in the butt, period."
Clerk's Office Busier Since NYSAFEBuffalo, NY (WBEN) In the one year since the NYSAFE Act took effect, it's become a very busy time inside Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs' office.
"We have certainly seen a dramatic increase in applications and amendments, in particular the first four months when the NYSAFE Act took effect," says Jacobs. He says there was a 40 percent increase in transactions from 2012 to 2013 in that first four month period.
Jacobs says in addition to the applications, he says 30,000 permit holders applied to opt-out of having their records made public. "Our office has gone through about half of them," says Jacobs, who adds his limited staff has also dealt with a number of questions regarding NYSAFE.