Tsunami of New York gun laws need deeper review

Bill Hilts“Never trust a politician who doesn’t trust you to own a gun.”

That little bit of wisdom was passed along from my grandfather, Irvin Hilts. I still have his gun that was passed on to me for deer hunting, an old Model 18 Remington 20 gauge shotgun. It was responsible for my first deer and my first buck, as well as a number of other whitetails over the years. I still pull it out from time to time for memory’s sake.

Following the tsunami of state and federal gun laws that have hit Empire State residents in the past couple of weeks, anti-gun politicians have made what they are calling “common sense” gun laws. New York is now the most restrictive gun state in the country, with presidential hopeful Gov. Andrew Cuomo beating the president to the punch on who could impose strict new gun legislation first. However, it appears that common sense is being thrown out the window entirely – it’s about the media hype. It’s about control.

For starters, there was no reason to enact these new laws without any discussion. The politicians in Albany were elected by the people, for the people. Yet a 72-page document was rammed down the throats of New Yorkers without any discussion. That was just not right, with the powers that be in Albany usurping their authority. How could they have possibly reviewed and digested the legislation before they could vote on it?

Of course, their rush to pass the bill while riding the emotional wave of the tragedy in Connecticut already created problems. There was no provision for law enforcement regarding the so-called “assault weapons” and the high-capacity magazines that were banned with the passing of the new laws. Anything over seven rounds will make their use illegal. Who do they think will be abiding by these new laws? Criminals? Yeah, right. And the check is in the mail…written on a closed account.

Tougher penalties on criminals for illegal guns? This is something we’ve been fighting for in the past, but now with this new gun legislation in effect they’ve made many law-abiding gun owners criminals if they don’t abide by the letter of the law. If you fail to register an “assault rifle” and you take it out on the range for shooting at your local gun club, what happens if you get caught with it? In all likelihood you will be convicted of a very serious crime, you will lose all your guns and they will be confiscated. The same goes if you are found with eight rounds in the 10-shot clip.

Let’s all get away from using the term “assault weapon.” The new buzz term should be “modern sporting rifles.” Yes, they are used for hunting and for target practice. They are used in shooting competitions around the country. Life as we know it as it relates to guns has changed – unless we do our part to get involved and let our voice be heard.

Getting involved is an important part of the democratic process through phone calls, letter writing and by voting. It’s time to wake up and realize that these changes aren’t good for the average law-abiding citizens of this state or this country. Taking away our Constitutional rights was not why our country was formed in the first place. It was to preserve our rights and give the people the power. We need to unite to fight this battle and it’s already started. More than 2,000 Second Amendment supporters turned out in Albany for Gun Appreciation Day on Jan. 19. Similar gatherings were reported around the state like Buffalo. It’s time to stand up and be counted.

Categories: New York – Bill Hilts Jr

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