Under the SAFE Act, residents of New York are required to register firearms that meet the state’s criteria for “military-style assault weapons.” The deadline is April 15.
Last Sunday, gun rights advocates met at the Saratoga-Wilton Elks Lodge 161 in Saratoga Springs to protest the registration requirement.
News10.com reported from the event:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkeBoSnOmV8
The event was organized by the NY2A Grassroots Coalition. Co-founder Jake Palmateer told Post Star that said the goal is for people not to register their assault weapon as an act of civil disobedience:
“We are opposed to registration because the evidence is clear that registration leads to confiscation.”
Palmateer estimates that less than 3,000 New York assault weapons have been registered and he says State Police estimated that there are several hundred thousand. The gun industry believes the number may be high as 1.2 million, he said.
The second purpose of the event was to “kick off advocacy efforts for the 2014 election.” NY2A will be vetting Assembly and Senate candidates for their stance on gun rights, Palmateer said:
“Make sure we are putting people in who are pro-civil rights. Ultimately, this is a civil rights issue.”
Palmateer said the SAFE Act infringes on due process rights, the right to privacy and the right to equal protection under the law.
Other event participants told the Post Star why they participated in the protest:
E.J. Stokes, leader of the Warren County chapter of New York Revolution, said he was participating because he believes in the U.S. Constitution.
“Once the Second (Amendment) falls, the rest will go with it. It’s an unconstitutional law, done in the middle of the night with no input from the public,” he said.
Kevin Sisson, a Carlisle councilman in Schoharie County, said he and others are defending the Constitution.
“We are not extremists,” he said. “We are simply free men who love our country.”
Protesters said they hope that so few people register their guns that the registry portion of the law fails.
Connecticut passed a similar law last year that was also met with resistance, as Kimberly Paxton reported:
Tens of thousands of people in Connecticut have just knowingly become “criminals” under a hastily passed state law requiring the registration of certain firearms.
The law, adopted after Sandy Hook, bans the sale of any semiautomatic firearm that also has a “military feature” such as a pistol grip. Residents were told that if they register their “assault weapons” by December 31, 2013, that they’d be “allowed” to keep them.
About 50,000 people in CT registered their guns, and officials said that was just a small percentage. They estimated that up to 350,000 “assault weapons” remained unregistered as of the deadline.
Paxton also pointed out that history has proven that registration often leads to confiscation:
In a speech, Katie Worthman, who was an eyewitness to Hitler’s occupation of Austria, said:
“We also had gun registration. All the Austrian people… had guns. But the government said, ‘the guns are very dangerous. Children are playing with guns. Hunting accidents happen and we really have to have total controlled safety. And we had criminals again. And the only way that we can trace the criminal was by the serial number of the gun.’
“So we dutifully went to the police station and we registered our guns. Not long after they said, ‘No, it didn’t help. The only way that we won’t have accidents and crimes [is] you bring the guns to the police station and then we don’t have any crimes anymore and any accidents. And if you don’t do that: capital punishment.’”
Has a law ever prevented a crime? Clearly, registration is about control and ultimately, unarming the people.
“One of the ordinary modes, by which tyrants accomplish their purposes without resistance, is, by disarming the people, and making it an offense to keep arms.” – Constitutional scholar and Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story