Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Government News Politics

New York Passes Landmark Gun Law 1591

New submitter mallyn points out that the state of New York has become the first state to pass a new gun control law since the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary last month. "Called the New York Safe Act, the law includes a tougher assault weapons ban that broadens the definition of what constitutes an assault weapon, and limits the capacity of magazines to seven bullets, down from 10. The law also requires background checks of ammunition and gun buyers, even in private sales, imposes tougher penalties for illegal gun use, a one-state check on all firearms purchases, and programs to cut gun violence in high-crime neighborhoods. ... New York's law also aims to keep guns out of the hands of those will mental illness. The law gives judges the power to require those who pose a threat to themselves or others get outpatient care. The law also requires that when a mental health professional determines a gun owner is likely to do harm, the risk must be reported and the gun removed by law enforcement." Meanwhile, the Obama Administration is expected to propose a new federal assault weapons ban later today.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

New York Passes Landmark Gun Law

Comments Filter:
  • Guess what? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @09:16AM (#42602025)

    It won't matter a bit...

    Until the underlying problem gets solved this is just political theater. (And hidden political theater since this was passed so quickly behind, for all intents and purposes, closed doors with no public discussion by the NY legislature.)

    And why is this on /. he asks?

  • a month later ... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @09:17AM (#42602033)

    Given the speed of beauracracy, I'm absolutely sure this is a well thought out piece of legislation, which balances freedom with security. Fortunately, mental health professionals are the appropriate people in our judicial system to deny personal liberties, and that stigmatizing gun owners will help bring together a society that is being split on ideological lines.

  • Chicken or Egg? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by emmjayell ( 780191 ) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @09:21AM (#42602055)

    Since this is slashdot - let's talk about the new tech systems:

    So will mental health professionals be required to do a check against gun owner databases? Will a mental illness database need to be created so that potential gun buyers can be screened at purchase time? How about house-holding - if someone in the same residence is a registered gun owner, will they be forced to surrender their weapons?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @09:22AM (#42602059)

    So, let me start this out by saying that I'm a damn sight from being a Republican, much less a gun nut. And yes, there are gun nuts - we all know the type.

    Having said that, I love how NY (and for that matter, everywhere else) doesn't give a hoot in hell whether or not any actual evidence backs them up when laws like this get passed, much less track the results of what they have passed. It's a platitude, but true: criminals and other assholes could give a toss less whether or not they are breaking gun laws when they shoot someone. Regular folks are the ones who care about the law and mostly try to follow it, out of fear if nothing else.

    And yes, the second amendment doesn't mean a turkey in every pot and a Bofors anti-aircraft gun in every garage, but god damn - every time the government tries to take away something that anyone used to have I need to ask myself, "Do I trust the government?", the answer to which is almost always NO. I'd rather have a hillbilly with a M-16 and the stars and bars hanging in a window living next to me than have The Man start confiscating guns "for our own good", that's for sure.

  • by heypete ( 60671 ) <> on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @09:22AM (#42602063) Homepage

    The law does contain a lot of really beneficial improvements that may well improve things, but the "one-feature" test for so-called "assault weapons" will apply to a rather large number of common sporting and competition guns, requires that they be registered within the year, and once registered these now-banned guns cannot be sold or transferred to another New Yorker -- they can only be transferred to a licensed gun dealer or to an out of state buyer -- even if the registered owner dies.

    Not even legally-transferrable machine guns, what few there are, are so strictly regulated.

    De-grandfathering pre-ban magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds is asinine (are people supposed to turn them in?), as is banning any newly-produced magazines with a capacity greater than 7 rounds. (You can keep your current 10-round magazines but you can't load more than 7 rounds into them.)

    They could have kept such absurd provisions out of the law and people probably would think that it's a reasonable, if somewhat restrictive, law that may do some good stuff...but those extra provisions go way too far.

  • Ban Walmart (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dissy ( 172727 ) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @09:26AM (#42602099)

    This shows that everyone against the Walmart can easily have the store chain banned.
    They sell everything needed for mass destruction, and guns aren't even needed!

    Gasoline, Vaseline jelly, and Tupperware = napalm

    Plastic jar, nails and screws, fertilizer, newspaper, and matches = shrapnel bomb

    Bleach and ammonia = mustard gas

    Any one of these (let alone all of them together) would bring as much destruction, pain, and misery as a gun.
    With this, our government has shown it cares not about the actual cause of the destruction, only the device that caused it and the people/places that sell it.

    Time to pressure them to ban the Walmart and arrest anyone who shops there!

  • by Xenious ( 24845 ) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @09:28AM (#42602133)

    So when it is determined that a gun owner needs to be relieved of their firearm by law enforcement (because they are no longer defined as able to own it) is the state going to re-imburse the owner the value of the gun? Would the funds come from some fund from gun sales tax? Are they temporarily taking it with the intention of returning it when able? Where will they be safely stored?

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @09:35AM (#42602213) Homepage

    How about the background check requirements? Do you think those accomplish anything, or not? The reason I ask is that in recent polling, a majority of gun owners support increased use of background checks to allow law-abiding and sane citizens to obtain guns more easily than criminals or insane people. It's obviously far from perfect, but there's a chance it would help reduce the body count.

    Also, how about the smaller magazine requirements? Do those do anything to reduce the number of murders (the idea being reduce the number of shots fired before a shooter has to reload or switch weapons)?

  • by johnlcallaway ( 165670 ) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @09:47AM (#42602331)
    Another comment from ignorant anti-gun cultists. Many semi-automatic guns have magazines that support more than 7 rounds. I have a Ruger rifle that FROM THE FACTORY comes with 10 round magazines. I have NEVER seen a 7 round magazine for it. It's a hunting rifle for me, it's great for taking squirrels and rabbits that move around a lot. If I lived in NY, this gun would become useless. Yet someone could still easily buy and use 4 or more holsters and walk into a school with revolvers and shoot 10, 20, or more people if they wanted to. The law accomplished nothing except make a bunch of legal gun owners potential criminals. I also own a few 30 round magazines so when I go target shooting I don't have to reload as often. I can load them at home where it's easier and more comfortable. People who claim large magazines serve no purpose except killing people are just ignorant and don't know what they are talking about. People who claim a semi-automatic rifle can fire 6 shots a second are also ignorant. Three, maybe four tops. But then I can clear all 6 rounds out of my revolver in under 3 seconds, and reload in 3 more. so what difference does it make???

    Last time I checked, the taking of property without due process is illegal. I doubt this will stand in it's present form. It takes a judge's order today to get a restraining order, it will be found that the police will have to get one to remove a gun from someone mentally ill, they can't just do it because some therapist says so. The government can't order me to sell something today that was legal yesterday. That's why pre-embargo Cuban cigars are still legal, along with many other grandfathered items in various laws.

    Requiring back ground checks for private sales simply won't work. First, the FBI isn't setup to take them from private citizens. Second, why would I bother getting permission to sell a non-registered gun to a friend. Criminals already get guns from other criminals, I doubt if they will change their ways. Instead, thousands of people that now go to gun shows to sell guns they don't want anymore will simply stop doing it, reducing the supply and driving up the costs. If they want to make a difference, require anyone that sells more than 20 guns a year get a license. If there is a problem with private sales, it's not Bob next door selling to his buddies, it's the guy who is buying and selling to make a profit.

    I doubt if much of this will survive any Supreme Court challenges. Cuomo and the NY legislature have just proven they are a bunch of ignorant people willing to pass ineffective laws just to look like they did something (and Obama is about to fall into that category). NY is going to lose some air travel business as people with guns avoid even passing through their airspace. I already do because of many cases where people just passing through had to spend a night and got booked on gun charges simply because the laws in NY are moronic and do nothing to prevent gun violence already.

    I live in Mesa Arizona in a state that allows concealed carry without a license, Mesa remains below the national average in all violent crimes for cities of more than 500,000 people. Maybe if Cuomo and Bloomberg would work on figuring out why people in his state want to kill each other and focus on criminals, they might actually accomplish something of value.
  • by hsmith ( 818216 ) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @10:07AM (#42602655)
    Believe me, I do find it a tragedy. (And I am not sure if that includes suicides, it was a figure from a story I read on the matter)

    But it is a cultural problem. America is circling the sewer. Look at Switzerland's gun ownership - they have no mass murders of people with the machine guns they keep in there houses.

    Roughly 75% of Americans firearm murders are due to criminal violence, which is the real problem - how do we deal with the criminals...
  • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @10:14AM (#42602747) Homepage

    Not only that, but building a bomb isn't a completely simple affair. If you do it wrong one way, you blow yourself up. Do it wrong another way and your rampage will consist of tossing a bunch of duds. Do it wrong yet another way and the FBI catches wind of your plot and arrests you before you do anyone any harm. Compared to that, grabbing an assault weapon with a 100 round magazine and shooting folks up is easy and hard to detect before the shooting occurs.

  • by RPI Geek ( 640282 ) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @10:34AM (#42602981) Journal

    Oh no. You might have to use a less powerful toy. Your poor liberty and freedom!

    Did you even read my post? If anything, I'll switch to use a MORE powerful toy because of this law.

  • by Gunnut1124 ( 961311 ) <> on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @10:43AM (#42603095)
    Ok, um, so I'm in the know here (see user name/uid). Also, I'm a Texan, so that possibly qualifies me by birth...

    The weapons you are describing are military derivative firearms and by all rights, SHOULD be banned IMO. We, as a nation, have proven ourselves incapable of properly storing our firearms, incompetent at assessing who should have a firearm, and generally promoting the glorification of firearms use via the media, games, and certain aspects of our culture.

    At the same time, we have tried to claim that the right to own firearms does not come with any responsibility. If your kid leaves his toys out, after several warnings, you, as a parent, would be taking a reasonable stance to put the toys away for him. The child (in this badly crafted analogy) has not demonstrated the responsibility that comes along with the right to those toys. Same for those of us in the gun culture. We have failed at our responsibility to safely possess firearms. We do not deserve them now.

    You said something that I'd like to point out to be overdramatic in the least, and possibly flat-out manipulative; "now the vast majority of us - who will never use them irresponsibly - need to suffer". Can you please tell me how much you will suffer? If we combine the total suffering from all the people in the state who will lose their guns, do you believe that it is greater than the suffering felt by any combination of the parents of the Sandy Hook victims? If you want to bring suffering into this discussion, let's keep that perspective in mind.
  • by swillden ( 191260 ) <> on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @10:55AM (#42603221) Homepage Journal

    The intent of the new law is to make it more difficult for someone who intends to commit mass murder to be successful. The "two-feature" test never accomplished this. I'm not saying that the "one-feature" test is better, but let's stop pretending that the old law was effective.

    The two-feature test accomplished nothing for precisely the same reasons the one-feature test will accomplish nothing.

    Regardless, I expect this ban to be challenged and struck down in court. US v Miller established the core parameters of constitutional limitations on firearms, and that is that arms in common military use may not be restricted. In fact, I won't be surprised if the lawsuits pursued to fight down this ban (and a possible federal ban) don't end up establishing precedents which cause large portions of the NFA to be struck down as well.

  • by Nonesuch ( 90847 ) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @10:57AM (#42603251) Homepage Journal

    I dunno, the background check for ammunition purchasing would be enough to have me move out of New York. This means every time someone goes to the range to do some target shooting, they have to get a background check if they buy a box of ammo to shoot?

    This will increase the number of calls into the check system by orders of magnitude. Today the usual NICS background check turnaround times vary by time of day and what else is going on (gun show weekend == one to four hour turnaround). And there's no mandate that the state return results in a timely manner, so access can be artificially manipulated by downstaffing the background check office or otherwise ensuring that the checks take an excessive amount of time. And there are stores which sell ammo but not firearms, so these will need to have access to the system.

    Adding an extra hassle to each ammunition purchase pretty much guarantees that people are going to buy the maximum amount of ammunition allowable with each purchase, and also pool together purchases for groups of friends. Or just drive across state lines and buy their ammo in a "free state".

  • by kcbnac ( 854015 ) <<kcbnac> <at> <>> on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @11:09AM (#42603423)

    No, we're not spraying water. The media is spraying gasoline, they know it, and love it, and WILLINGLY do it.

    Don't give people their 15 minutes to 2 weeks+ of fame, and (at least from knowledge learned in other situations) a large motivation for doing 'ghastly' things stops. They do it because it gets peoples attention and focuses it on them, even if for a terrible reason.

  • by niko9 ( 315647 ) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @11:16AM (#42603531)

    While it's very true that mental health is a much more important issue to tackle, it's also exponentially more difficult. It takes far more time and money, neither of which we have much to spare. In the meantime, while it may not be the most efficient, why not put some common-sense restrictions in place with regards to weapons? Banning assault weapons might not be 100% effective, but at the same time, shouldn't we at least try to make it a little harder for mentally unstable people to get their hands on weapons designed specifically to create large numbers of people as quickly as possible?

    Sure, there will be ways around it. There are always ways around it, and there are always alternatives. But the mere existence of these doesn't mean we shouldn't try. After all, if you look back at all these gun massacres, you'll find that in almost every case, the firearms were obtained completely legitimately, not from the black market. There is a point, of course, at which we have to say "Okay, we've done all we can reasonably do." Banning cars or propane tanks or whatnot would be ridiculous. Yes, they *could* be used for mass harm, but they generally aren't. Assault weapons are. It's only logical to put at least some restrictions on these things, since they have a history (not to mention purposeful design) of harming large numbers of people.

    A little harder? Might not be %100 effective? Shouldn't try? Assault weapons?

    I guess all the things you're talking about are just "common sense", eh? Let me explain to you why you are %100 wrong and people like you are dangerous to a Republic.

    First, we have a petty tyrant here where I live in New York City who calls himself the Mayor. He says he believes in the Second Amendment but that we need "common sense restrictions". This is the same mayor who has instituted a policy of illegally searching black people for no reason whatsoever. You know, the Stop and Frisk program. Google it. They are stopping and searching black people on the streets, in every borough and in front of and inside all the public projects. Out of the hundreds of thousands of Stop and Frisks less than %10 percent of the citizens they have searched have had a weapon, gun or drugs. But hey, it's not %100 effective but we should try a little harder, right?

    In NYC, you have to pay $340 every three years just for the privilege of having a handgun in your own home. In New York State it's $10. Most other states don't charge a dime for you to keep a gun at home. You think a lower middle class family can afford that? At one point, I could not afford that on a paramedic salary. You know what the response was from the NYPD? $340 or turn your guns in; if not we'll arrest you. See, they took an enshrined right and regulated it out of existence; turned it into a privilege.

    And on Evil Black Rifles, aka "Assualt Weapons", there is NO SUCH FUCKING THING! You don't like them because they are evil looking and BLACK. See the above first paragraph and think about that for a while. Black "Assault Weapons" are hated because of how they look, i.e., *black*, military style with a conspicuous *protruding* pistol grip. Does that remind you of how some white southerners felt about muscular black slaves? The racists who thought that these "Assault Slaves" were ready to rape their wives and pre-teen daughters and thus had to be "controlled" and "restricted" from just about doing anything but work the fields?

    Look at the Ruger Mini 14 here: [] Look at the differences between the wholesome looking Ranch version and the Evil Black Tactical. One would be legal in New York State and the other would not even though they fire the same ammunition and have the EXACT same receiver, action and trigger group. One is Mighty Whitey with its walnut stock and hunting aesthetics. The other, well... That *black* pistol grip sure looks phallic and *black*! That's nothing but a killing

  • Re:Ban Walmart (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tacokill ( 531275 ) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @11:53AM (#42604119)
    Here's my counterargument: Why don't they then?

    In your analysis, did you consider that there just aren't that many crazies living amongst us? Mass killings are very rare, when you look at the statistics. You have a far greater chance of being struck by lightning.
  • Re:Ban Walmart (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @12:09PM (#42604411)

    I used to live in New Orleans. My house was not looted during Katrina because my neighbor was an ex-marine with night vision goggles and an assault rifle. He even traded his extra guns and ammo to the police for gasoline. In the three months that the city was abandoned, only one TV was stolen from the neighborhood.

    Lesson learned: Everyone bashes the nut next door until you need him.

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire