SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A federal appeals court has upheld key provisions of the SAFE Act that ban possession of semi-automatic assault weapons and large capacity magazines.
Craig Serafini from Upstate Guns and Ammo said it’s neither the power nor the semi-automatic reloading feature that falls under the SAFE Act’s definition of an assault weapon. He said it’s the aesthetics.
“The difference between the AR-15 that I’m holding in my hand and what’s considered an assault weapon in New York is simply this grip,” he said.
Consequently, the federal court ruling didn’t ban semi-automatic weapons. It made the most common safety features illegal. Therefore, Serafini questions how effective the SAFE Act really is.
“They didn’t focus on the true issues,” he said. “They went after law abiding gun owners who, by the very definition, are not the criminals.”
On Monday, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law’s provision that bans assault weapons and high capacity magazines. But Serafini said the weapon used in the Sandy Hook School shooting – the tragedy that led to the creation of the SAFE Act – is still on the shelves just without a pistol grip and muzzle break.
“If we took the resources that were directed towards the SAFE Act and directed those to our police officers so they had resources necessary, I think we’d see a market decrease in crime across the board,” Serafini said.
Pat Tuz with New Yorkers Against Gun Violence supports the SAFE Act. She said the organization wants lawmakers to pass Nicholas’ Law, which is named after Nicholas Naumkin of Wilton.
Naumkin was killed at 12-years old in an accidental shooting. Tuz said his law would require gun owners to lock their firearms in a safe at all times to keep it out of the wrong hands.
“Nicholas got shot in the head, and it devastated, I know it devastated, the family; it devastated them,” she said. “We feel if the guns are locked up, it will prevent these accidents.”
There is another lawsuit filed against the SAFE Act at the state level. The plaintiffs are questioning the legality of how the law was enacted.
The court has not, yet, made a decision in that case.