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Is Monroe County ready for the new SAFE Act provisions?

Posted at: 03/17/2013 7:11 PM
Updated at: 03/17/2013 11:20 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion

It's a controversial law that has outraged thousands throughout New York State and now that some provisions of the SAFE Act have gone into effect, it's not just gun owners that will feel the change, but gun shop owners as well.

It's been more than two months since Governor Cuomo signed the New York SAFE Act and while some parts of the law  went into affect immediately back in January, others went into effect on Saturday.

County officials and gun shop owners are expected to change some of their procedures. News10NBC wanted to know if they were ready.

Along with these new provisions come a lot of extra work, but that doesn't seem like it's the biggest problem.

When News10NBC spoke to Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks and a local gun shop owner about the restrictions, they had one thing in common.

Both said they feel like they were left in the dark about how to exactly handle these new procedures.

Back in January there was a lot of support for the SAFE Act inside City Hall when Governor Cuomo signed it into law. Even though polls have shown a majority of New Yorkers are for it, thousands have rallied to say it infringes on their second amendment rights.

Starting on Saturday the law now requires federal background checks for private firearms sales, requires mental health professionals to report the names of patients they consider likely to seriously hurt themselves or others, private sales now require checks by a licensed gun dealer, a judge will now determine whether to suspend or revoke a state pistol permit when they issue an order of protection or consider any violation of such an order, it is now considered a felony to buy or dispose of a rifle, pistol or shotgun on behalf of someone who cannot have one because of a conviction or disability, and the law also requires that your guns be stored away if you live with someone who is not allowed to own a gun.

A local gun shop owner who has already been encouraging background checks says he needs more direction from the state.

County Executive Maggie Brooks says this is all happening too fast and the provisions may have unintended consequences.

"We really don't know much about the website. We really don't know much about our role in the process, other than we're supposed to take the paperwork and then get it to the state. It's going to add burden to our process internally and its going to take our work force away from our other responsibilities, so I look into this as an unfunded mandate,” said Brooks.

“A lot of this stuff is unclear, still to date. ATF or the New York State Governor's Office, nobody has indicated to us as a dealer what we can or can not do still to date. If we don't have knowledge of this stuff we can't inform the public of this,” said Jackson Guns and Ammo owner Kordell Jackson.

There are more provisions to the SAFE Act, but they each have different effective dates.

A big date to remember is April 15, 2014. That's when gun owners will have to register an estimated one-million previously legal guns.