Letters: New NY law on gun ownership
The article "NY State gun law: What it means to you" [News, Jan. 20] contained several inaccuracies.
First, the article claims that the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 bans semiautomatic rifles that have "more than one" so-called military feature. This is incorrect. The law specifically bans semiautomatic rifles that can accept a detachable magazine and contain at least one so-called military feature. This makes a big difference, because the law as written essentially bans the vast majority of semiautomatic rifles.
The article states that handguns and semiautomatic guns must be re-registered every five years, at no charge. This is also incorrect. In Nassau County alone, the fee to re-register or renew a pistol permit runs an extremely onerous $200. I don't see anything written into the new law that eliminates this renewal charge. Other counties charge a smaller fee, and some charge no fee.
Gregory Prete, Merrick
Let me preface my letter by saying I am a veteran, I do own guns, and I do believe in the Second Amendment. Having said that, let me explain why I am no longer a member of the National Rifle Association.
Several years ago, I bought a rifle at a local sports chain and was given a free one-year membership to the NRA. This entitled me to its monthly magazine. After one year, I renewed my membership and followed the editorials going into the congressional elections of 2010.
What became apparent to me is that the NRA endorses a candidate on one criteria only: Does that candidate support all aspects of gun ownership? Education, the economy the environment are all secondary. The NRA will throw its weight behind a mediocre candidate as long as that candidate is gun-friendly.
The United States needs an NRA, but it needs a more realistic one. Not everyone in the country deserves a gun.
Gene Rosa, Holbrook
Regarding "A rush to buy assault rifles" [News, Jan. 16], where is the mention of handguns? Throughout the entire article, only assault rifles are mentioned, and how Long Island gun shop owners reported long lines and an uptick in sales, as customers rushed to purchase assault rifles and ammunition before new state gun controls were signed into law.
Handguns are the main weapon used for the murders during everyday life. Though assault rifles are used for the mass murders, handguns are used daily, for protection and murders. Where are the reforms against them?
Peter Kuzniewski, North Bellmore
I would like to respond to Lane Filler's column "Law-abiding gun owners aren't the problem" [Opinion, Jan. 11]. Filler and others like him are spending way too much time protecting "law-abiding gun owners," when the focus should be on the protection of law-abiding innocent citizens who are victims of gun violence.
The gun lobby and its supporters have had too many victories in the name of the Second Amendment. It is time that the balance of support gained through intelligent legislation falls on the side of those whose most important goal is doing the very best we can do to protect human lives from violence.
Filler asserts that, "Experts say that in New York, as many as 80 percent of guns used in crimes are illegal weapons, often purchased out of state and certainly never registered." That is why strong federal laws should be in place to stem the flow of illegal guns into New York.
Also, let us not forget that the recent mass killings in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn., were carried out with weapons belonging to "law-abiding gun owners."
Unless our government can push away the altered reality that the gun lobby has plied it with for way too long, we will continue to read about these tragedies.
Innis O'Rourke, Oyster Bay