New gun law answers, communication still lacking

Photo By Windigo Images Used: Photo By Windigo Images
(Photo by Windigo Images)

When Gov. Kathy Hochul brought together state legislators for an “extraordinary” session in late June, and waved the three-day discussion period before passing the Concealed Carry Improvement Act on July 1, there was a sense of urgency to pass new gun laws. Yet, none of the effective dates (fortunately) for these new laws were immediate. There’s been nothing but confusion since, and few answers, as the Hochul administration and the legislature have now left it up to law enforcement (State Police, DEC and county sheriffs) to figure out.

As we’re about to report on the cover of the forthcoming Aug. 26 issue of New York Outdoor News, across the state sporting groups, gun shops, shooting clubs and others have brought regional politicians and often county sheriffs to public forums in hopes of answering the many questions New York gun owners have. The sheriffs, obviously can only address their counties, and the politicians attending these meetings, and who oppose the new gun laws, have mostly shared their frustration with their colleagues. Many of these leaders themselves have as many questions as answers.

With that, here’s the basics of what we know, so far:

According to DEC, the hardshell gun case you are supposed to have all firearms stored and locked in when leaving them in an unoccupied vehicle can be plastic. However, the law, as written, says they have to be tamper proof and fireproof (which, like microstamping, does not exist).

Also pertaining to transporting firearms, be careful where you stop in your travels. If you enter property where the owner does not welcome firearms (by law, with signage) you are breaking the law.

Although hunting is exempt from the private property ruling, that only applies if, as in the past, you have permission to hunt the property from the landowner. Otherwise, if you trespass with a firearm you are committing a felony. Carrying written permission is advised.

The issue of “Parks” as a sensitive area remains debatable. Although the Governor and her spokespeople have said that this ruling does not apply to the Adirondack and Catskill State Park, which encompass both public and private lands, the politicians questioning this (who are wrongly being accuse of fear-mongering) point out that the CCIA does include Parks, and that during the debate on the congressional floor sponsoring politicians stated that the Adirondacks and Catskills were included. So, there is remaining confusion here.

The State Police are about to have their hands full. They are being charged with several tasks, despite being understaffed. These include eventually implementing a program for background checks on ammunition purchases, previously part of the NYSAFE Act, and running background checks on firearms purchases (in between buyer and NICS), and working with firearms dealers on a number of requirements.

It’s hard to tell what the training component will end up being. While gun owners generally support training, nearly everyone in the firearms community feels 16 hours, plus two hours at the range, is a bit extreme. All I can say is that I’ve heard talk of that being dialed back. We’ll see if that’s eventually the case.

And speaking of firearms dealers, they have to work with the state police on the above, lock all firearms up when not open, install numerous expensive security cameras/systems, increase inventory reports and so much more. Just stop into your local gun shop and ask, you’ll get an earful.

As for social media tracking, personal interviews and such, county judges and sheriffs offices aren’t sure where they’re going to get the resources to do any of this and it may be all but safe to say that they’ll never happen.

Finally, there are pending lawsuits, including the Gun Owners of America lawsuit that could soon result in an injunction. With Sept. 1 lurking just weeks away, all of the aforementioned parties involved, and New York’s entire gun-owning community can only hope that’s the case.

As always, stay tuned!

Categories: Dan Ladd, Firearms

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