New York State has been the first to act and pass more gun control legislation since the shootings at Newtown.
While there is expanded background checks and other measures, the biggest is the outright ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, not just for rifles but handguns and pistols as well.
The outright ban on these weapons means, obviously, they will no longer be sold in New York. But additionally, for those who already own these weapons, the law is now going to require current owners to register the weapons with the state. Since the weapons are now banned, those currently owning them, while not having them confiscated will not be able to sell them privately to anyone in New York. And more extensive background checks including those related to mental health are now going to include private sales.
These laws essentially fly in the face of the recent Supreme Court ruling on the second amendment that said, for the first time in American history,and contradicting 224 years of previous Supreme Court rulings, that the second amendment applied to individuals.
That this ruling was completely bogus as well as contrary to the amendment's intent, the intent of the Framers who created it, the words of the amendment itself, and 224 years of Supreme Court precedent is evident in the New York State legislature and governor Cuomo essentially ignoring the Roberts court ruling and passing the legislation they wanted.
Though gun laws and restrictions have typically been a local matter for state, city and town governments, the Federal government should immediately act to respect state law and pass legislation that makes it a federal crime to transport an assault weapon over state lines. While other states may act differently than New York and not ban these weapons, it should be incumbent on the federal government to make transporting these weapons over state lines a federal crime with harsh penalities -- 20 years would do nicely. This would insure the integrity of the law of any state that wants to ban these weapons as New York has.
The new law also bans magazine clips of more than 7 rounds, down from 10 rounds and substantially less than the 30 round clips that have done so much damage in mass shootings.
An opponent of the law, Republican Kathleen Marchione, said the law "weakened the second amendment constitutonal freedom of every New Yorker". Unfortunately for her argument, you cant "weaken" a constitutional provision. It is iron clad and if someone wants to challenge these new laws and take them to court as being unconstitutional, including the NRA, they are welcome to try. But it's unlikely anyone will.
The NRA has weighed in and said they are "outraged" by what they call "the draconian laws" just enacted by New York State. Okay, so they are outraged. So what? The question is what are they going to do about it? There was not a word from the NRA about the recent Supreme Court decision and not a word about challenging the new New York laws based on their constitutionality. We'll see if the NRA is more than "outraged". We'll see if they try and get these laws overturned. If not, they will prove again, emphatically that even the NRA knows better and won't push the idea that the second amendment applies to individuals. As former Chief Justice Warren Burger, a conservative appointed by Richard Nixon said repeatedly, the idea that the second amendment applies to the individual is "the biggest fraud, I repeat the word fraud, ever perpetrated by an interest group (the NRA) on the American people in my lifetime".
Marchione added one other statement which proves how wrong she and many Republicans are on the issue of assault weapons and gun safety. She tried to make the point as to why we didn't need tougher laws and why we didn't need a ban on assault weapons and very tough laws on gun owners who leave their guns accessbile to others.
Marchione said, “Law-abiding citizens who own guns are not our problem. Law-abiding citizens understand and know how to take care of their guns, not to be a danger to others.”
Tell that to the families of the victims at Newtown whose loved ones were killed by an assault weapon owned by a law abiding citizen who clearly did not understand how to take care of her gun and to make sure it was not a danger to others and left her weapon accessbile to her son who then took it, went to Sandy Hook Elementary school and used it for mass murder.