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The Safe Act one year later
ALBANY -- It was controversial then and it continues to be today.
On the one year anniversary of Governor Andrew Cuomo signing the NY SAFE Act into law many still question if New Yorkers are safer one year later. There are also still several provisions of the law that have yet to take effect.
The New York State Department of Criminal Justices Services reported in December of 2013, their latest report, 1,291 people were arrested under the law with 1,155 charged with possessing an illegal firearm.
Of the arrests, 1,041 came from the New York City area, a stat Governor Cuomo said "no one was talking about".
"(The law) made the penalties for illegal guns much, much higher which is something the gun owners were arguing for, for a long time." Cuomo said earlier this month when asked about the law`s anniversary.
With the stroke of his pen, on January 15th, 2013, Cuomo signed one of the most controversial laws the state has seen since same sex marriage was granted. There were critics then and there are critics now.
Many state legislators who opposed the law were republican. In the senate a majority of downstate GOP senators voted for the law while each of the 18 NO votes against the law came from upstate republican members.
"They (New Yorkers) are definitely not safer because of the law." said GOP Senator Kathy Marchione of Halfmoon. "Absolutely, positively not."
In the state assembly each and every GOP member voted against the bill including Steve McLaughlin of Melrose. McLaughlin was one of the loudest voices who opposed the law.
"It was the worst piece of legislation I`ve ever seen." McLaughlin said, Monday, on the first day of the new legislative session.
Once the law was passed one key provision immediately took effect-- gun owners were unable to sell or give away their guns that were once legal.
Since the passage several key provision went into effect throughout 2013. One of them was limiting the magazine size to hold just 7 bullets.
On the one year anniversary two other provisions will go into effect-- gun owners must dispose of their old magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and ammunition can only be bought from a registered dealer. One provision that has been delayed is registering the ammunition in a state database. The database has not yet properly been set up to track sales.
There is still one very big deadline for a provisions of the law which is April 15th, 2014 the day everyone must have their grandfathered in assault weapons registered.ry.