The Safe Act: New York's Ban on Assault Weapons and Large Capacity Magazines
Criminal Law Bulletin, Vol. 53 No. 1, 2017
31 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2017
Date Written: June 17, 2016
NYS's 2012 SAFE Act includes tougher assault weapon and large capacity magazine bans than those enacted just 12 years earlier as part of NYS's omnibus 2000 gun control law. The SAFE Act outlaws semi-automatics that accept detachable magazines and have one or more military-like features. Current owners may keep their assault weapons if they register them with the State Police, but they may not transfer or bequeath them to a fellow New Yorker. Manufacturers and retailers quickly adjusted by modifying prohibited weapons so that they do not qualify as assault weapons although they are functionally identical. The SAFE Act's large capacity magazine ban initially limited magazine capacity to seven rounds, but had to be amended to ten because seven round magazines did not exist. The amendment's stipulation that a ten round magazine could not be loaded with more than seven cartridges was struck down by a federal court. This assesses what the two bans have so far achieved.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation