On Thursday of this week, more than 70,000 New York pistol permit holders woke up as felons. Law-breakers.
What was their crime? They didn’t register their handguns with the state. Now, why on God’s green earth would they have to do that?
Emperor Gov. Andrew Cuomo rammed through the NY Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act in 2013. This insidious law requires pistol permit holders to register their handguns and recertify their licenses every five years. Failure to do so is a Class E felony.
The objective was clear. Build a massive central database of every handgun owner in New York. Not only who they are and where they live, but what handguns they have in their possession. Hmmm. Why would a government want to know which citizens are armed? I’ll leave you to answer that.
“We’ll have for the first time a statewide handgun database that will allow the state, allow local officials to check periodically,” Cuomo said while pitching the SAFE Act, adding, “You don’t want criminals and people who are mentally ill to have guns.”
Right, because violent criminals and murderous madmen register their firearms. And to catch these evildoers, all police are going to have to do is consult this handy-dandy database. Crime fighting at its finest.
For over 370,000 New Yorkers, all of whom were issued a permit before the rollout of the SAFE Act, the deadline to recertify was Jan. 31, 2018. This past Wednesday. Estimates suggest that only 300,000 followed through with the mandate. Meaning, approximately 70,000 or more did not.
To calm the nerves of worried gun owners, state police have said they will not prosecute those who “unknowingly” missed the deadline.
“The state police are not going to penalize those people who fail to recertify unknowingly by the deadline,” said Beau Duffy, Director of Public Information for New York State Police.
“What we’re going to do is continue to accept recertifications past the deadline,” he added. “We want to make sure everyone is aware and has the opportunity to recertify so we can have the best records possible.”
Okay, so the state police aren’t going to punish people for “unknowingly” missing the deadline — at least for now. But what about the county judges and officers in charge of issuing permits? Don’t forget, New York is a May-Issue state. Permits are issued at the discretion of county judges – not state police. How will these county officials respond to those who missed the deadline? Will they start pulling permits?
“It’s in the law but I don’t want to speculate how they’re going to move forward on it,” Duffy said. “It would be up to each office to make that decision.”
Let’s unpack that. Duffy has no idea how your local county official is going to respond. That judge may revoke your permit. He may not. Glad we cleared that up.
To state the obvious. This is a disaster. The whole thing. And I didn’t even say how much it’s costing taxpayers. You ready for this? $28 million, according to NPR. Wow! Talk about a giant waste of money.
My favorite aspect of this whole SNAFU is this answer on the Q&A page of SafeAct.NY.Gov. The question reads: Will permit holders’ guns be confiscated if they can’t prove they recertified?
To be clear, the State Police will not be confiscating weapons from those permit holders who fail to recertify by January 31st. This provision was never intended to be a “Gotcha” for pistol permit holders. It was included in the law that was passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor in order to update the accuracy of both state and local records. To that end, the State Police will continue to accept recertifications throughout 2018 while we continue to update the database.
What a lie! This whole system is a “gotcha” scheme. As Cuomo said, it’s for police to “check periodically…” What are they checking for if not to confiscate guns from those who shouldn’t have them?
Watch what happens down the road. Two or three years from now. State police will be checking the list regularly for people with expired licenses. Why? Because they’re felons under the law. They are guilty of criminal possession of a firearm. Consequently, their guns will have to be seized.