Protests as gun control legislation comes into law

Steve Watson
April 16, 2014

In an act of defiance, New York State gun owners came together in downtown Buffalo and shredded gun registration forms yesterday, on the day that the so called SAFE Act gun control legislation came into law.

The demonstrators had initially planned to burn the forms, an act previously carried out by Second Amendment supporters in Saratoga Springs last month. However, they were advised that open burning is illegal in Buffalo, so instead they decided to shred the forms, symbolic of how state lawmakers have shredded their Constitutional rights.

The bill requires all firearms deemed by the state to be “assault weapons” to be “grand fathered” into the law, that is registered, or permanently modified.

Critics note that the controversial law essentially redefines almost any semi-automatic weapon as an “assault weapon”. Guns with detachable magazines, a telescoping stock, or long guns with a pistol grip all now come under the description.

News station WIVB-TV captured footage of the protests in Buffalo, where demonstrators noted that “historically, registration has always led to confiscation.”

“We will not register our firearms, any firearms whatsoever,” one gun owner told reporters. Refusal to register such weapons could now lead to prosecution on a misdemeanor charge, with the possibility of a further felony charge for “illegal possession” of an “assault weapon.”

The protests have been led by the NY2A Grassroots Coalition, a pro Second Amendment group that has been encouraging non-compliance at educational forums across the state.

“Our goal is to keep the registration numbers as low as possible,” NY2A co-founder Lisa Donovan has noted. “84 percent of the counties of NY passed non-binding resolutions protesting the SAFE Act and the manner in which it was passed,” Donovan has also highlighted. “One of our major messages is that registration is confiscation,” Donovan has said. “The way the law is written, you can not pass these guns down after you die.”

Gun control advocates have denied that there are plans for confiscation. However, rejected proposals from early drafts of the bill included such provisions. In 2012, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo openly expressed support for confiscation, and said that the option was still on the table.

Confiscation has also taken place within New York city, as police have issued notices to registered gun owners demanding that they give up their firearms.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has this week pledged to spend $50 million on combating pro-gun groups, including the National Rifle Association. “We’ve got to make them afraid of us,” Bloomberg stated, bizarrely adding “I have earned my place in heaven.” Bloomberg is a co-founder of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns group, which bases its entire agenda around the confiscation of law-abiding citizens’ firearms.

Many New York gun owners will likely ignore the legislation, just as thousands did in Connecticut where a similar law was recently passed.

The legislation required residents to register ammunition magazines capable of carrying more than 10 rounds with state police by Jan. 1, 2014. However, weeks after the deadline, authorities admitted that only around 38,000 out of 2.4 million high-capacity magazines and just over 50,000 out of hundreds of thousands of semi-automatic rifles were registered with the state.


Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’, He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.

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