Connecticut House of Representatives members Rosa DeLauro, wants residents to turn their “assault weapons” over to the government in exchange for a tax credit. DeLauro plans to re-introduce the Support Assault Firearm Elimination and Education for our Streets Act (SAFER) in an effort to curtail ownership of semi-automatic rifles.
“These weapons were used in Newtown, Aurora and countless other mass shootings across America,” Rosa DeLauro also said. “And they have been disproportionately used to kill law enforcement officers in the line of duty. They have no place on the streets or in our homes.”
“Assault weapons are not about hunting, or even self-defense. There is no reason on earth, other than to kill as many people as possible in as short a time as possible, that anyone needs a gun designed for a battlefield.”
Semi-automatic weapons have been a prime target of gun control advocates for a long time, but efforts to ban the guns ramped up after the tragic Sandy Hook school shooting. A lawyer for a New York gun shop which reportedly got an unofficial approval from a state police lawyer confirmed that AR-15 rifles would remain legal under the SAFE Act if the characteristics banned by the gun control law were no longer present. The semi-automatic rifle redesign has reportedly angered gun control advocates because the AR-15 still looks like a “scary assault weapon” even with the changes.
Six states currently have stiff regulations pertaining to AR-15 rifles. States where ownership of firearms deemed assault weapons is heavily restricted include Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, California, Maryland, and Connecticut.
The SAFE Act permits magazines with 7 rounds, firearms holding more than 10 rounds violate the gun control law. The New York State Assembly website noted that “very few” guns are currently sold with 7-round magazines. Gun rights advocates are not necessarily whole-heartedly on board with changing the AR-15 to keep it legal in states with some type of magazine capacity or semi-automatic weapons ban. According to The Blaze, Second Amendment supporters have argued that making cosmetic changes to guns reinforces the concept that banning a firearm based on looks is an ineffective way to combat gun control initiatives.
Since the semi-automatic rifle, which many gun control advocates often refer to as an “assault weapon,” does not possess more firing power than a hunting rifle, specific cosmetic features can be removed without reducing the functions of the firearm. Features such as an adjustable stock, flash suppressors, and the pistol grip essentially transform the so-called assault rifle into an albeit odd-looking yet legal weapon under the New York SAFE Act.
Rosa DeLauro has stated multiple times publicly that she wants stricter gun laws and a complete ban of what she had deemed assault weapons and “high-capacity” ammunition. Rose DeLauro one of many Democratic lawmakers who routinely refers to semi-automatic rifles, such as the popular AR-15, as assault weapons.
The popular AR-15 recently underwent a few cosmetic changes which will allow New Yorkers to still possess the gun, despite SAFE Act laws. An article in the Times Union said, “Gun dealers, with the help of machine shops and gunsmiths, are on the cusp of offering what they call NY SAFE-compliant AR-15s and other military style rifles.”
Excerpt from a The Times Union redesigned AR-15 report:
“Thanks to modifications by a Texas-based machine shop, the stripped down rifle has an adapter that connects the spot where the grip would go to the stock, or portion of the rifle that the shooter braces against the shoulder.”
The new AR-15 SAFE Act compliant design pistol grips gives the semi-automatic rifle what some are calling an “odd paintball gun look.” Deaths attributed to rifles have decreased in recent years, according to the National Review. In 2011 a total of 323 people were killed with rifles, 356 with shotguns, 728 deaths occurred when hands and feet were used as “assault weapons” and 496 murders occurred due to the use of hammers and clubs.
The SAFER legislation proposed by the Connecticut Representative would offer up to $2,000 in taxpayer-funded tax credits for gun owners who turn their semi-automatic rifles into the government, via their local police station. Rosa DeLauro originally introduced the Support Assault Firearm Elimination and Education for our Streets Act after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
The semi-automatic rifles exchange plan did not garner passage in the Republican-controlled House. Although both the Senate and the House are now under Republican control, DeLauro still plans to introduce the assault weapons tax credit exchange program again in the coming weeks.
Rose DeLauro said that SAFER will help “get more assault weapons off the streets.” All of the co-sponsors of the semi-automatic are Democrats and include Betty McCollum of Minnesota, Raúl Grijalva from Arizona, Elijah Cummings of Maryland, Keith Ellison, also from Minnesota, Eric Swalwell of California, and David Cicilline from Rhode Island. Where the money for the taxpayer-funded gun turn-in tax credit would come from, remains unclear.
Thanks to the SAFE Act and similar gun control and semi-automatic rifle ban efforts, hundreds of residents in New York and Connecticut found themselves out of a job. When successful and long-standing gun companies fled the two states due to pending gun grab laws and the general anti-gun climate, they took millions of dollars in tax revenue with them.
Less than a year after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the SAFE Act into law, the great firearms exodus began. American Tactical Imports (ATI) was among the first to leave the state. ATI decided to invest nearly $3 million in a new facility in South Carolina, creating 117 jobs in the Southern state.
Magpul Industries, one of the largest gun companies in America, was one of the firearms manufacturers to pack up and relocate from its previously gun friendly state of Colorado. The gun company announced that it would be resuming operations in Texas and Wyoming. Magpul cited the passage of new gun control laws that would drastically decrease the sale of firearm accessories as their reason for moving.
Said Richard Fitzpatrick, chief executive officer of Magpul:
"Moving operations to states that support our culture of individual liberties and personal responsibility is important. This relocation will also improve business operations and logistics as we utilize the strengths of Texas and Wyoming in our expansion."
The company’s new headquarters will be in Texas and the distribution, manufacturing and shipping operations center will be in Cheyenne, Wyoming. FormerTexas Governor Rick Perry has not demure when he began luring the gun companies, and other manufacturers looking for a business friendly climate, to his state. Perry said to have played an integral role in the Magpul Industries relocation decision.
Magpul was founded in 1999 and currently employs approximately 200 people. It contributed nearly $85 million to the economy in Colorado.
Stringent gun control legislation in Colorado prompted two successful recall elections. Democratic State Senators Angela Giron and John Morse lost their offices due to grassroots Second Amendment efforts in 2013. State Senator Evie Hudak, also a Democrat, resigned her post in an effort to avoid a recall election embarrassment. One of the most recent Colorado gun control law make magazines that hold more than 15 rounds illegal and requires background checks on gun transfers.
In New York, Kahr Firearms Group decided to leave the state and explore greener pastures in nearby Pennsylvania. The firearms company cited “uncertainty” over new gun control laws as their reason for the change in zip code.
“One of our big concerns was the SAFE Act that was passed in the middle of the night,” said Kahr vice president of sales and marketing Frank Harris. “You wake up the next morning and boom, that was it. It’s not just the SAFE Act, but the uncertainty.”
What do you think of the continued efforts to pass more gun control laws at both the state and federal level?