Rep. Reed’s Advice to Assault Weapons Owners

No Assault WeaponsUnder the New York State’s SAFE Act, assault weapons need to be registered with the police by  Tuesday, April 15. The law forbids selling or purchasing assault weapons in New York State, or to bring those weapons into the state. Those who already own assault weapons, including the popular AR-15s, need to register them by next Tuesday.

According to Bearing Arms website, there are an estimated 1 million assault weapons in the state. The State Police, because of a provision in the SAFE Act, can not share the number of firearms that have been registered. Bearing Arms, based on a rumored New York State Police “leak”, reported that  “compliance might be as low as just 3,000-5,000 firearms have been registered.”

If that is true a lot of law-abiding citizens will be come law-breaking citizens on April 16.  According to the SAFE Act, not registering an assault weapon by the deadline is punishable as a misdemeanor, and forfeiture of the weapon. Another law defines possession of a knowingly unregistered gun as a low-level felony, which carries an up to four years in prison.

There have been many reasons given for the refusal to register their assault weapons. Most of the anti-SAFE Act demonstrators  cite the “fact” (opinion) that the SAFE Act is unconstitutional. That has been reinforced by candidates from local district attorneys to state representatives to federal congressional candidates. Many believe the government will take their guns away if they are registered. Some even believe a “registry of assault weapons… (is) going to make New York less safe if Canada decides to invade.” The State Police have been registering weapons for more than 80 years.

On Monday, our congressman, Rep. Tom Reed, who has attended many gun-rights rallies and receives campaign donations from the NRA, had the following advice for assault weapons owners:

“Fundamentally it is the law, and I would encourage people to respect that law.  At the same time, I understand that this is an infringement upon our constitutional freedoms, and I would encourage people to make that determination (themselves).”

Which is it, Rep. Reed? Do you encourage them to respect the law, or not? Many of your constituents need to know. You can’t have it both ways. It is time to take a stand.

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About pystew

Retired Teacher, political science geek, village trustee. I lean a little left, but like a good political discussion. My blog, the New NY 23rd (http://newny23rd) is about discussing the issues facing the people of our new congressional district. Let's hear all sides of the issues, not just what the candidates want us to hear.
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6 Responses to Rep. Reed’s Advice to Assault Weapons Owners

  1. whungerford says:

    Some seem upset with Reed’s statement even though the SAFE Act is State Law which isn’t his responsibility. Although weasel-worded (fundamentally–what does that mean?) Tom statement is minimally responsible–he could hardly advocate lawlessness. The idea that individuals can decide for themselves what is Constitutional is wrong, and Tom is wrong to encourage it.

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  2. pystew says:

    I saw Tom’s statement as a way to get two good sound bites out of one quote. He can say that he is promoting respect for the law in one campaign ad, and that the SAFE Act is unconstitutional in a different campaign ad, targeted at a different audience. Very self-serving.

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  3. BOB McGILL says:

    Have you ever noticed, that there are many laws on the books that are not enforced ? Have you ever noticed that activists break laws all the time ? Sometimes when enough people ignore a law, that the law is sometimes changed. If enough gun owners ignore the law in protest, maybe the law will be changed. People like the ones on this blog do it all the time, you’re good at it. 🙂

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  4. BOB McGILL says:

    Let me remind you that there is approximately 9 million gun owners in New York State, Andy would be wise to not piss them off before November.

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  5. solodm says:

    I absolutely love the fact that some posters on Rep. Reed’s page ( who were obviously gun rights enthusiasts) called him out for this. Reed gave loud and clear calls for those against the SAFE Act to “stand their ground”. Now when they press him to continue to voice his rhetoric more and more, he tries to weasel out of the commitment, saying ” Please, don’t tread on me”.

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  6. pystew says:

    I’m adding it to my list of My Favorite Tom Reed’s Quotes. It has to up there with bios reason that he voted to shut down the government AND to default on our bills, and his saying that he always supports the veterans (at the Bath Town Hall in November).I’m on the look out for more.

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