New York Governor Chris Cuomo’s SAFE Act has been an absolute fiasco, which isn’t surprising. Any attempt to try and create such a sweeping anti-gun bill is doomed to failures of compliance from the start. Gun owners just don’t appreciate a busybody government deciding one day that suddenly all this stuff that was legal isn’t any longer.
The current problem is people balking over the attempt to create a handgun database. It doesn’t help that Cuomo’s stated reason for it is stupid.
This week marked the official deadline for more than 370,000 handgun owners in the state of New York to register those guns with state police. New York is trying to use that information to build a comprehensive record of gun owners — something only one other state has done. The database that California started in 2007 has gotten mixed reviews.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has said he wants to make sure that people who can’t legally own guns – those with criminal convictions, serious mental health issues, or active restraining orders — aren’t somehow falling through the cracks and holding onto their firearms.
Seriously, anyone stupid enough to think this will work is too stupid to generate sufficient brainpower for human speech.
Criminals aren’t legally buying guns, as a general thing. They’re damn sure not going to register them. That’s not how criminals operate. Even those who haven’t been caught yet tend to buy guns illegally. They can usually get them cheaper and not have to worry about any kind of a paper trail showing them to have a gun.
So guess what they’re not going to do? If you said, “Register their handguns with the state of New York,” you win! Give yourself a cookie.
Cuomo and company, though, think this will work.
“We’ll have for the first time a statewide handgun database that will allow the state, allow local officials to check periodically,” Cuomo said. The plan lawmakers approved calls for detailed information on hundreds of thousands of legally licensed handgun owners and their weapons – down to make, model and serial numbers. Some of that information was already available on gun permit applications filed at county clerk’s offices across the state, but it was often outdated or incomplete.
State police will build a database they can check against criminal records, alerts filed by mental health professionals, and restraining orders. Only law enforcement can see the information, not the public.
Cuomo described it as a system based on commonsense. “You don’t want criminals and people who are mentally ill to have guns,” he said. Once the law passed, state police began collecting information from every person who applied for a new handgun permit.
No, you don’t want criminals and the mentally ill to have guns, but they will. All this seems to be predicated on the idea that criminals follow all gun laws until one day, they don’t. That’s nonsense.
The reality is that the database is nothing more than a roadblock for law-abiding citizens to have to follow in order to be permitted to exercise their Second Amendment rights. Further, it’s a roadblock that will make it easier for authorities to further impede those rights in the future. After all, they already know who owns handguns, right?
From there, it doesn’t take much for them to know where to look for what should the laws change.
Gun registration will lead to confiscation, and that’s the reason New Yorkers are balking at the law. They know where this leads. The actions of the Honolulu Police Department recently proved how such databases would be used.
So yeah, they’re balking.
I can’t say that I blame them.