New York’s controversial Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, known as the SAFE Act, that was rammed through the legislature at the urging of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, had one unintended consequence: It almost doubled membership in the state’s chapter of the National Rifle Association.
Since the bill was signed into law on Jan. 15, 2013, membership exploded from 21,000 to 41,000 members, to become the NRA’s largest state chapter, surpassing even Texas, according to Buffalo News.
“It has grown exponentially faster than it ever has before, and it can only be attributed to the SAFE Act,’’ Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, said. “I think it sends a message to all the anti-gun politicians, all the politicians sitting on the fence, that yes, if they thought that we were quiet and this was going to go away without anyone paying any more attention to it, they were just flat-out wrong,’’ King said Monday.
In May, the New York State Sheriffs Association joined the NRA’s New York affiliate in a federal lawsuit to repeal the SAFE Act, alleging that it “is unconstitutional in that it violates the Second Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause, and is unconstitutionally vague,” according to the Oneida Daily Dispatch.
To help in its effort, $200,000 in donations have flooded in to the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association’s coffers, from members and non-members alike.
“The Second Amendment is alive and well in New York State.’’ King said. “I think it’s their way of saying, ‘We’re here, we’re growing, and we’re not going to give up on this fight. And if I were some of these New York State Republican senators who voted for this and haven’t done anything about it since, I’d be worried because there’s a lot of angst out there, and it’s all pointed at them,’’ King added.
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