What Do We Do If We Don’t Like A Law?

According to SCOPE we ignore it. And we encourage others to ignore it.

“We believe the law is unconstitutional and therefore there is no duty to obey an unconstitutional law.” Chris Edes, Chair of  the Monroe County Chapter of SCOPE,.

Edes was talking on Rochester’s NPR (WXXI) News Interview program, “Connections” during their June 29 program, “No Changes to the SAFE Act”, which  is available as a free podcast. Edes was on the program with former State Police Officer, Gary Pudup, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.

The program started out discussing the SAFE Act’s Assault Weapons regulations. The New York State SAFE Act places limitations on Assault Weapons—not outlawed them. According to the Guide to the New York Safe Act for Members of the Division of State Police:

“Anyone who lawfully possessed a weapon on or before January 15, 2013, that has been redefined as an Assault Weapon by the Act, may keep that weapon provided the person registers the weapon by April 15, 2014.” They explain a quick, simple and free way to register them on the internet (https://firearms.troopers.ny.gov/safeact/welcome.faces).

People who register the assault weapons will be disqualified from owning if:

They have been convicted of a crime or serious offense. They can not have an Order of Protection, or where a mental health professional has determined that he or she is likely to engage in dangerous behavior.

Once registered, the person who registered it may keep the assault weapon for life, but may not transfer it to another unless the person he or she transfers it to is exempt from the the law (a police officer, a firearm dealer, or a person in another state where possession of the weapon be lawful).

There is NO exception to transfer an Assault Weapon to a family member.

Did you notice the date the Assault  Weapon had to be registered by? SCOPE, Gun Owners assault-weapon-rifleof America,  and Bill Robinson–radio host of the syndicated “Second Amendment Radio Show” filed a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request to find out how many new Yorkers had registered their Assault  Weapon. The New York State Police denied their request. They were taken to court, and in May the New York Supreme Court issued a Court Order to the State Police to give the requested information.

A total of  23,847  New Yorkers followed the law, and registered  44,485 assault weapons.    In the NY 23rd Congressional District, 1652 residents followed the law as they registered 2,664 assault weapons. These can be broken down by counties–(first number is applications, second number is assault weapons turned in) Allegany 83, (202), Cattaraugus 137, (201),  Chautauqua 311, (500), Chemung 195, (314),  Ontario 260, (453), Schuyler 49, (72),  Seneca 69, (128), Steuben 205, (335), Tioga 122, (206), Tompkins 134, (199), Yates 47 (54). To see the lists for each NYS County go to http://www.scribd.com/doc/269404699/Gun-stats-pdf .

The numbers are interesting, but they give us little information. Nobody know how many guns have not been registered. The State Police estimates there are a million assault weapons in New York. SCOPE believes there between a million and two million. The NRA reports there are over 2 million. If we use the one million figure, that means that more than 95% of the assault weapons owners are breaking the law by having unregistered assault weapons.

It really does’t matter if they don’t like the law, or if you they feel  it is unconstitutional–the law is the law.

Gary Pudup, who represented New Yorkers Against Gun Violence questioned, “What part of the SAFE Act is unconstitutional?” Then he added,  “Even in Heller v DC, the Supreme Court said that these types of regulations are constitutional.  The argument is being made because someone thinks that somehow, based on no cases that this is going to be found unconstitutional. It haas been found constitutional tie and time again. That they can break the law. Flawed logic.”

Assault weapons are same weapons our military use to kill people. That is what they are made to do, and they do it well.   The fact that there may be 950,000 angry New Yorkers with unregistered assault weapons should be an eye opener. They think it is ok to break the law. They feel they are above the law.

Our elected leaders sees those law-breakers as their supporters. How many District Attorneys ran on the platform of not supporting the SAFE Act? Yates County’s District Attorney did. How many Sheriff’s has spoken out against the SAFE Act? Yates County’s Sheriff did. How many New York State Congressmen has stated that the SAFE Act is unconstitutional ? Ours has, many times.

Let’s review their oaths of offices

The Federal oath of office includes:

I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; 

The New York State Oath of Office states:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the constitution of the United States, and the constitution of the State of New York, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of …………, according to the best of my ability;”

Our elected officials should do their jobs.

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.
This entry was posted in 2016, Congress, Constituents, Constitution, Gun Violence, NYS Government, Reed's Views and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to What Do We Do If We Don’t Like A Law?

  1. whungerford says:

    Thanks for this thought-provoking article, Rich. We have sometimes seen an even broader claim–that the Federal Government is somehow unconstitutional and therefore some radical action is justified.


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