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Local News

April 15, 2014

SAFE Act registration deadline arrives

Gun owners urged to comply or face criminal charges

(Continued)

The law allows gun owners to register their weapons within 30 days if they unknowingly miss today’s registration deadline. A field guide distributed to troopers last year directs that those who failed to comply with guns purchased prior to Jan. 15, 2013 face misdemeanor charges. If the weapons were purchased later, they would be prosecuted on felony charges.

Guns can be registered at: www.governor.ny.gov/nysafeact/gun-reform.

Even with the threat of criminal sanctions salted into the statute, Otsego County Sheriff Richard Devlin Jr. said he is seeing “no rush to register.”

“No one’s guns are being taken away from them unless they use them illegally,” Devlin said.

Pressed for details on how compliance would be enforced statewide, a spokeswoman for State Police declined to provide specifics, saying the agency cannot comment on policies and procedures. New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico is an appointee of Cuomo who hailed the SAFE Act as the nation’s first legislative response to the Sandy Hook tragedy.

The state police spokeswoman, Darcy Wells, also cited what she said are confidentiality requirements in the Safe Act that prevent the release of information concerning the number of guns that have been registered. However, the state Committee on Open Government and even a group that supports the Safe Act, New Yorkers Against Violence, have a different interpretation of the statute, saying the confidentiality part of the statute does not apply to raw numerical data that does not disclose the names of those registered the weapons.

Said Losie: “So few people are registering guns that the state police must be embarrassed by the whole thing. They don’t want you to know the truth.”

Critics of the legislation, said Leah Gunn Barrett of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, should work within the legislative process if they are convinced amendments need to be made to the SAFE Act. The statute, she added, citing recent polls, is supported by nearly two-thirds of New York voters.

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