New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Monday to outlaw bump stocks and extend waiting periods for firearm purchases that aren’t immediately approved by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
“For too long gun violence has plagued communities across our nation and while the federal government turns a blind eye, New York continues leading the way forward to protect our families and our children,” said Cuomo in a press release obtained by GunsAmerica.
“By signing these measures into law we are strengthening our nation-leading gun laws – banning devices whose sole purpose is to create the most bloodshed in the shortest timeframe and providing law enforcement the tools they need to stop firearms from falling into dangerous hands,” he continued.
When it comes to guns and the 2A, the ignorance of Cuomo cannot be overstated. For starters, President Trump outlawed reciprocating stocks nationwide last year, forcing owners from all 50 states to either turn them over to authorities or destroy them. Today, anyone caught possessing, selling or purchasing bump stocks can be charged with unlawful possession of a “machinegun,” a federal crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison, according to the DOJ.
That’s hardly turning “a blind eye” to this issue, which if we’re being honest isn’t really an issue at all. For two reasons. First, one doesn’t need a reciprocating stock to bump fire a black rifle. Common household items like rubber bands and belt loops will also do the trick. Should a deranged killer want to mag dump on a crowd from an elevated position, he doesn’t need a bump stock.
Second, the argument that bump stocks are these insidious devices that make rifles more lethal is unfounded. Most users contend that while the device helps to increase the rate of fire, it comes at a high cost in that accuracy and controllability are compromised. Since it’s shot placement — not the number of rounds discharged — that ultimately determines lethality, it’s hard to view bump stocks as anything more than a range novelty for shooters that like to waste ammo.
What Cuomo did, then, is ban an innocuous piece of plastic that was already prohibited under federal law because like so many other politicians in New York he knows virtually nothing about firearms nor the laws regulating them.
It gets worse, though. The governor signed another bill that, as mentioned, extends the NICS wait period to 30 days for potential purchasers who get a “delayed” response. As you already know, NICS issues three notifications at the point of sale: “proceed,” “denied” or “delayed.”
Usually, a gun dealer has to wait three days before he (or she) can complete the sale to a prospective purchaser who gets a “delayed” response. They call it “default to proceed.” The thought process is that three days is the maximum time an individual should wait. Because if the buyer is not a prohibited person, which is more probable than not as study after study shows that the vast majority of criminals obtain guns through illegal channels and not at gun stores (makes sense, why would they risk getting caught?), then it becomes a case of a right delayed is a right denied.
As we’ve reported in the past, background checks are often delayed unnecessarily due to bureaucratic errors. To that end, a single mother of three who just left an abusive ex may need a firearm to protect herself and her children today. Not three days from now, let alone 30 days. Denying her that right because she gets a “delayed” NICS response could mean the difference between life and death. This is why it’s important that the FBI do its job as promptly as it possibly can. And with its $9.8 billion annual budget, that doesn’t seem like a lot to ask.
Nevertheless, one might argue and say that if the FBI needs more time, give it more time. The reality is that it does have more time. It has 90 days to complete the investigation. The firearm may be transferred after three days, but if at any time during those subsequent 87 days the agency determines that the transferee is a prohibited person, it will send out agents to confiscate the firearm.
Still, certain Dems in Congress believe that three-day window should be extended to 10 days, and earlier this year introduced legislation to do just that. Maybe that’s reasonable. Maybe not (I’d argue it isn’t). What’s interesting is why the bill Cuomo signed increases the window to 30 days.
The reason is NICS checks are only valid for 30 days. Depending on how the business days fall in a given month one’s background check may expire before the firearm may be transferred, which would mean that another check would be required, which may yield another “delayed” response. The buyer would then find himself or herself in a NICS purgatory of sorts — that wouldn’t be easy to get out of as the FBI has no appeals process for a delayed check.
But, hey, no worries. The overlords in New York are convinced that indefinitely delaying gun purchases, along with banning banned bump stocks, will “save lives.”
“This legislation extending the background check waiting period and banning bump stocks will help to ensure that firearms do not get into the wrong hands and bans the use of devices that have been used to wreak havoc,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “We are committed to building on our nation-leading policies to stop senseless gun violence and save lives.”