NY tries to clear up confusion over new gun laws - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

NY tries to clear up confusion over new gun laws

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It's been a busy two weeks at the Clinton County Clerk's office.

"It's an overwhelming job for us to do this," Clinton County Clerk John Zurlo said.

Since county clerks are responsible for issuing gun permits, hundreds of gun owners have been calling asking how the new SAFE Act will impact them.

"Much confusion, my people are up to date with a lot of these things and they can't answer a lot of the questions," Zurlo said.

All the confusion now has New York officials traveling the state to meet with local leaders, law enforcement and gun owners, like Mike Savage, to explain the new law.

"I guess I can have a 10-round clip but only load seven rounds into it," Savage said.

Here are some of the key points of the bill:

  • It is no longer legal to sell assault weapons in New York
  • Background checks will be required for all ammunition sales as of Jan. 15 of next year
  • Also by that date-- magazines must not contain more than seven rounds
  • A permit will be required to own any gun and that must be re-certified every five years
  • People who already own assault weapons must register them by April 15 of next year

"The first failure to register is assumed to be inadvertent. They are given a warning and given a specified time to do that," said Kevin Bruen, assistant counsel for the New York State Police.

But getting into the nitty-gritty parts of the bill, like what is defined as an assault weapon, how can it be modified to fit the law, or how to get rid of it legally and what weapons were grandfathered in, are expected to create confusion for the foreseeable future.

"There's so much that is new I don't even know what is going on," Savage said.

The state has created a hotline and a website to answer questions about the N.Y. SAFE Act -- www.nysafeact.com -- 1-855-LAWGUNS (1-855-529-4867)

All three members of the North Country's delegation in Albany voted against the bill, saying it was "rammed" through the Legislature.

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