With an April 15 deadline to register their weapons looming, New York’s Second Amendment advocates aren’t going down without a fight.
And they’re already looking ahead to elections in November.
Hundreds of gun owners and their supporters turned out Sunday in the upstate New York town of Wilton for a protest aimed undermining the Democrat-championed Secure Ammunitions and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act to the point it “collapses under its own weight.”
Taking a page from the Vietnam War protesters who burned their draft cards four decades ago, the demonstrators burned New York state’s gun-registration forms.
“We are opposed to registration because the evidence is clear that registration leads to confiscation,” event organizer Jake Palmateer, co-founder of the NY2A Grassroots Coalition, told the Post-Star.
The law bans private ownership and sale of firearms classified as “assault weapons.” Previously owned weapons are allowed as long as they are registered with the state by April 15.
Estimates of how many such weapons there are in the state vary from hundreds of thousands to about 1 million. However, the state refuses to make public how many weapons have been registered because the SAFE Act forbids any information about the registrations from being made public, according to the Albany Times Union.
Palmateer said NY2A is using events like Sunday’s – where almost 1,000 registration forms were burned – to get Second Amendment supporters organized to go to the polls in the fall for candidates who back gun freedom.
“Make sure we are putting people in who are pro-civil rights,” he said. “Ultimately, this is a civil rights issue.”
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