One of the centerpieces of Governor Andrew Cuomo's hastily written state gun control bill will be "suspended indefinitely," the Senate majority leader said.
The ban on magazines containing more than 7-bullets had to be withdrawn because of one, teensy, tiny problem with it:
Nobody told Cuomo and the gun grabbers that manufacturers do not make 7-bullet magazines. *
The ban on magazines holding more than seven bullets was set to start April 15. Cuomo has said the law needs to be rolled back because manufacturers don't make seven-round holders. The measure was a center piece to a gun law the 55-year-old Democratic governor pushed through the legislature in January, making New York the first state to respond with tougher gun regulations to the Newtown, Connecticut school massacre.
The budget "bill will have an indefinite postponement of the issue," Skelos, the Long Island Republican who co-leads the Senate with a group of five breakaway Democrats, told reporters in Albany yesterday.
Josh Vlasto, a Cuomo spokesman, didn't respond to an e-mail requesting comment.
The senate is scheduled to meet through March 27 to pass Cuomo's budget. The Assembly will return to Albany March 28 to begin voting. The budget goes into effect April 1.
The suspension means magazines holding up to 10 rounds will continue to be sold. Other pieces of Cuomo's gun law, including measures that close loopholes in a 2000 assault weapons ban that Cuomo said had more holes than Swiss cheese and tougher background checks for sales, won't be touched by the changes. The governor began pressing for tighter firearm controls after 20 children and six adults were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School Dec. 14.
Cuomo has been criticized by pro-gun groups, including the National Rifle Association, for waiving a requirement that bills sit for three days before they're passed. His gun law was passed within 24 hours of being introduced, a move Cuomo has said was necessary to prevent a sales rush on assault weapons.
And how's this for living in a cloud cuckoo land? Citizens of New York get to keep their 10-round magazines - but can only keep 7 bullets in the clip at a time:
Cuomo said the state needs to allow the sale of handguns and rifles with 10-shot magazines, but New Yorkers will still be required to keep no more than seven bullets in them, except at shooting ranges and competitions. Violating the seven-bullet limit is a misdemeanor, but a violation if the magazine was in the owner's home.
Good news for New York policemen: the governor says they can keep their 10 round clips and not be in violation of the law even though the bill was written so hastily that they forgot to exempt law enforcement from its provisions. But retired cops who possess banned weapons must turn them in:
"I got my hands on the bill at 11:30 at night," Graf said, adding that he only had an hour to go through it before a meeting of the Codes Committee.
"Nobody was really able to look the bill," before it was passed, according to Graf.
According to Graf, amendments to fix the bill were already in the works by the time it was voted on, but have not yet reached the floor.
"It doesn't exclude retired police officers, so all of them have to turn in guns and magazines and stuff like that," he said. "What they did is disarm the good guys and make sure the bad guys outgun them."
"There are so many problems with this bill it's unreal," Graf said.
Unreal? Not hardly. After all, this is New York, land of the trendsetters, where reality never gets in the way of moral posturing. Cuomo has his draconian gun law; and much of the rest of the country is laughing at him.
* Reader Paul West informs me that there are indeed a few manufacturers who make 7-shot magazines. It would be more accurate to say that most firearms manufacturers do not make 7-shot magazines.