Billed as one of the toughest gun control laws in the United States when it was passed in early 2013, New York’s assault weapons ban is being sidestepped in a way that appears to be surprisingly easy.
Signed into law by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Safe Act banned high-capacity magazines and semi-automatic weapons – similar to the one used by Adam Lanza in the Sandy Hook school shooting. Additionally, the law established rules requiring tougher background checks related to gun sales.
On top of these requirements, the law also mandated that all assault weapons needed to be registered with the state by April 15, 2014, but a new report by the Guardian details how some gun shops and manufacturers are bypassing the rules and selling guns that avoid the need to be registered altogether.
Since the Safe Act established a detailed definition of what constitutes an assault weapon – a semi-automatic rifle that also features one of 10 various components, like a “bayonet mount” or a “protruding pistol grip” – gun makers are making seemingly cosmetic changes in order to avert the law’s watchful eye.
Specifically, the “protruding pistol grip” has become an easy target for gun shops, and many have taken to replacing it with a different kind in order to create a weapon that’s suddenly compliant with the law – and does not need to be registered. As noted by the Guardian, “the modified gun still fires at the same rate and with the same power; the shooter just holds it slightly differently.”
According to the news outlet, even one of New York’s gun manufacturers has gotten in on the act. The Rochester-based Just Right Carbines is designing and manufacturing semi-automatic weapons expressly tailored to observe the Safe Act’s guidelines and avoid registration. The company claims that it has received verbal confirmation from the state that its guns are legal under the law.
As RT reported in February, despite complaints by gun-rights advocates asserting the law violates their Second Amendment rights, these customized guns may have even gotten more popular since the law went into effect.
“Believe it or not, if I had a hundred things to sell, they’d already be gone. I’m hoping to have them in my shop in the next two-weeks,” saidNew York gun shop owner Justin Reickhart.
“We’ve already showed it to about a dozen people, just a picture of what it’s going to be, and the younger generation – they already love it. They’re like, it’s the same gun, just with a sci-fi-looking stock. The suggested retail price is going to be $1,050. Prior to the ban, you would have been able to buy the gun for $949.”