The Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act passed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting was to be one of his signature progressive legislative accomplishments. However, new data shows that the law is being all but ignored by many law-abiding gun owners.
In the two years since the governor signed the SAFE Act into law, just 23,847 people have applied to register 44,485 “assault” weapons, according to statistics provided by the New York State Police.
That number is far lower than expectations, the New York Daily News reported Tuesday.
Many New Yorkers are just ignoring the law. Experts predict that there could be nearly a million “assault” weapons in the state.
“What these numbers expose is that, if there are people who are willfully ignoring the law, that means tens of thousands of gun owners are not complying with a law that is supported by New Yorkers,” Leah Gunn Barrett, executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, told the Daily News.
Local police departments and county sheriffs, mostly in upstate New York, have been accused of not enforcing the law.
Resentment for the law is so strong that nearly every county north of Westchester has passed resolutions opposing the SAFE Act.
In early June, the Republican-controlled state Senate voted to repeal parts of the law.