I was looking for stuff on google for my letter urging a repeal of the state awb and found thiswww.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?BRD=386&dept_id=444919&newsid=12955679&PAG=461&rfi=9
Assault-weapons ban doesn’t fade away for New Yorkers
By JOHN T. EBERTH , The Times Herald 09/19/2004
Jim Ervin, owner of Big Jim's Guns in Olean, holds a Spanish-made CETME rifle ordered by a customer. Photo by John T. Eberth.
A federal law banning certain types of military-style rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines has ended, but a New York state ban on assault weapons is still in effect.
The federal law was passed by Congress and adopted by President Clinton in 1994. Written into the law was a clause requiring it to expire or “sunset” after 10 years. That deadline passed Monday. But New York Legislators adopted the federal assault weapons ban as a state law and that law is still in place.
State Police Lt. Glenn Miner is a spokesperson assigned to the state’s handgun permit bureau in Albany. He said the end of the assault weapons ban shouldn’t really affect New Yorkers.
“New York State passed legislation in 2000 that mirrors the federal law and that law is still on the books and we continue to enforce it,” he said.
The New York law will end only if the Legislature repeals it. Seven states adopted similar laws based on the federal law. Those states are California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. Those laws remain in effect.
The laws restrict the sale of semiautomatic rifles patterned after fully automatic military weapons. A semiautomatic gun shoots every time a person pulls the trigger. The trigger must be released and allowed to spring forward between shots. A fully automatic gun will fire a stream of bullets as long as its trigger is depressed and ammunition is available. Such guns are commonly called machine guns. It is generally illegal for citizens to own fully automatic weapons.
The ban also restricted the capacity of magazines for the guns to 10 rounds. Magazines are spring-loaded metal boxes that feed ammunition into guns. They typically hold 7, 10, 20 or 30 rounds of ammunition. Both the federal and state assault weapons bans only restricted guns and magazines made after the bans were adopted as law. Lt. Miner said it was and is legal for people to own and sell guns and magazines manufactured before the laws were passed.
“There was a grandfather clause in the law, so this only applies to guns manufactured after the law took effect,” he said. “Any of those weapons that were already existing are legal to own.”
Jim Ervin owns Big Jim’s Gun Shop at 1214 W. State St. in Olean. He knows that New York’s law is still in place but questions what the change in federal law means to him.
“I’m waiting for someone to come to me and tell me how this sun setting of the federal assault weapons ban affects me,” he said.
Mr. Ervin said he’d like to know what he should do if someone from out of state wants to sell or trade a gun they bought legally in their home state that is still illegal to own in New York. It’s an important question because Pennsylvania never adopted the federal assault weapons ban and it is legal for civilians to transport, trade and sell rifles across state lines.
Bob Porcello owns Whitetail County Sports World Inc. at 1102 W. State St. in Olean. He said he too would like a letter or a call from someone in Albany or from the federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, telling him how the change in law impacts his business.
“The amazing thing is we’ve never received anything in the mail from the state or federal government about it,” he said. “I’d like to know because it affects my business.”
Both men said customers who have asked for military-style guns have been able to get them. While a reporter was interviewing Mr. Ervin, a UPS truck delivered a Spanish-made CETME semiautomatic rifle that feeds from a 20-round magazine. The rifle was designed shortly after World War II and has been used by military organizations around the world.
The gun ordered by Mr. Ervin’s customer was manufactured before the 1994-assault weapons ban took effect, so it is legal to own.
Mr. Porcello said he doesn’t believe any of the assault weapons bans have had an effect on reducing crime.
“There were millions of guns out there that do the same thing that the banned guns do that were made before the ban took effect,” he said. “Contrary to popular opinion, it really didn’t make a difference.”
He said he watched a television news broadcast about the assault weapons ban sunset that angered him. The program aired a picture of someone shooting a fully automatic weapon. He said he believes the program was designed to scare people.
“It’s so slanted, you’ve never been able to own a gun that’s fully automatic,” he said. “So the average person, who knows nothing about guns, looks at that and says ‘Wow.’ But you can’t blame the average person for their reaction because they’re just going on the information that’s been given to them.”
Mr. Porcello said he sells “very few” military-style rifles.
“We sell some of the Colt’s and some of the higher-priced stuff, but they’re not a big item,” he said. “They could say fully automatic is legal tomorrow and I would have maybe 10 or 15 guys come in looking to buy one.”
Colt’s Manufacturing Co. makes the AR-15, the civilian version of the U.S. military’s M-16 assault rifle.
Even some gun-control advocates question the effectiveness of the assault weapons bans.
The Violence Policy Center, a national gun-control group, issued a policy statement last week on the end of the federal law. In the statement, Kristen Rand, the center’s legislative director, said the federal ban and its ending have had little impact on controlling the sale of guns.
The center estimates that more than one million ‘post-ban’ military style weapons have been manufactured in the United States since the passage of the 1994 law. The guns were legal to manufacture because companies made cosmetic changes to them, such as eliminating pistol-grip stocks, to comply with the law.
“The sad truth is that mere renewal would have done little to stop this flood of assault weapons,” she said. “Conversely, the end of the ban only makes official what was already known: Assault weapons are readily available in America. The only difference is that the arbitrary distinction between pre- and post-ban assault weapons is now gone.”
The center is calling for tougher gun-control laws at the state and federal levels.
link has a pic of a gun dealer in Olean with a cetme
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