I have heard it said that extending the gun registration laws will not prevent criminals from obtaining guns ["Conn. gun law signed," News, April 5]. But most gun purchasers are not felons at the time of the transaction. Some become criminals later.
Perhaps we could help police trace firearms used in crimes more easily if there were a gun registry. Perhaps an angry citizen would think twice about shooting a trespasser if he knew his guns could be easily traced.
We may not be able to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, but we can help our law-abiding citizens realize what a serious responsibility they bear when they hold a gun in their hands.
Alice Bulger, East Meadow
New York's Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act was passed as quickly as humanly possible, not for safety reasons, but for the political image of our governor, Andrew M. Cuomo.
Politics aside, I suppose that most people who are not involved in sport shooting don't understand what the law really does. I'd like to give an example that most can relate to.
Imagine if the goal were to eliminate lung cancer, so the governor outlawed packs holding more than 10 cigarettes. If you had an old pack of 20, you would have one year to get rid of it. Then it would become a felony to have it in your possession. Have a few old packs in the car, dropped one behind the couch? Still a felony.
New packs of cigarettes can hold 10, but now you may place just seven cigarettes in them. If you are at a "smoking event," you may have 10 cigarettes in a pack, but not at home, on your personal property.
Under the SAFE Act, I can shoot 10 bullets at a paper target, but only seven at a burglar breaking down my front door. Such is the strange logic forced upon us by the governor.
None of this will cure lung cancer, nor will the governor's approach prevent crimes. But the SAFE Act made felons out of regular, peaceable New Yorkers.
Daniel Templeton, Oceanside
Editor's note: The writer is a certified rifle instructor.
Should the Constitution be changed for the sake of gun control, the First Amendment guarantee of free speech may also be at risk.
Roy Willis, Massapequa