As Second Amendment lawyers in New York you would imagine that we are familiar with idiotic “gun control” laws. Which is why an article in this month’s Ballistic Magazine about the twelve most idiotic gun laws caught my eye. To be sure New York, along with neighboring New Jersey are well represented on this list. So lets go through them
- New Jersey’s ban on hollow points. Yes, believe it or not New Jersey wants everyone running around with full metal jackets. Hollow points are illegal every place except at the place of purchase, your home, the range or hunting. Although the law is so poorly written that expanding bullets like Federal Guard Dog and bullets with the tip filled with polymer like Critical Defense/Duty are legal.
- Back to New Jersey, New Jersey also treats BB guns and Antique Black Powder weapons as modern firearms. You need the New Jersey State Firearms ID Card just to buy them.
- New Jersey bans .22 caliber rimfire, tube fed rifles such as th Marlin Model 60 or the Remington 552 as assault rifles because the tube fed magazines can contain more than 15 .22lrs.
- Washington DC prohibits the possession of ammunition and ammunition components including spent shell casings and bullets unless you have a license for a firearm of that specific caliber. New York City has a similar ban on handgun ammunition unless you have a license to possess that specific caliber gun. Although, new York City’s law is so poorly written we have had every one of those charges dismissed where we represent the accused.
- Staying with New York City for a minute, New York City bans any rifle with a “military” feature such as a bayonet or bayonet lug regardless of action. Even, bolt action rifles can be illegal if they have a “military ” feature. In addition New York City bans any magazine, including non-detachable magazines with a magazine capacity over 5 rounds.
- Here is one I never heard. Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota and South Carolina prohibit handguns that melt above a certain temperature, typically between 800 and 1100 degrees. One of the many idiotic factors is that polymer handguns such as Glocks and many others are exempt.
- In order to import handguns the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) has a point system to determine whether a firearm is suitable for “sporting purposes”. The point system which has been around since 1968 gives points for features like grooves in the trigger or a thumb rest grip. However for some reason 22 LR handguns get fewer points than 9mm handguns.
- The sporting purposes requirement also bans importation of long guns with “non-sporting” features. However, if the identical features are replaced with US made parts the same firearm will become legal. Using more than 10 foreign made parts out of a total of 20, can result in possession of that firearm bing a felony.
- Under the National Firearms Act (NFA), which I have written about in the past (click here), if you install a vertical foregrip on an AR pistol you are facing 10 years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine. Install a bipod or an angled foregrip and you are fine.
- Making a handgun from a rifle is a violation of the NFA. Affixing a shoulder stock to an AR-15 pistol is also a violation. There a quite a few serious pitfalls when building an AR-15 that one can fall into. In addition, how the lower was classified when it was originally transferred matters so buying a used AR can be dangerous.
- Zoning laws are also used to prevent gun stores and gun ranges from opening. In Ransom Township Pennsylvania for example, a zoning law that requires shooting ranges to have a 1/2 mile setback and a 6 foot non-climbable fence was clearly designed to make it as difficult as possible to open a range. Believe me, Ransom PA is not alone.
- New York State Agricultural and Markets law sec 210 prohibits food packed in a container in the shape of a firearm and for consumption from its package. However, for some reason alcoholic beverages are excluded. So you can drink whiskey out of a gun shaped flask in New York.
Overall, I think New York State with its “SAFE” Act and licensing/registration regiment was very under represented on this list. But then again I guess New York has a lot of competition.
If you are charged with any gun related crime. Please call us to discuss your case at 877-377-8666 or visit our website for more information.