The newly signed SAFE Act is causing a surge in the amount of people applying for gun permits. Our Eva McKend has more from the Sullivan County clerk who has seen hundreds of new applications.
MONTICELLO, N.Y. - Hankins resident Paul Smith describes New York's gun laws as a violation of his second amendment rights.
He joins hundreds of people from across Sullivan County applying for pistol permits. The New York SAFE Act recently signed into law by the Governor is the first to be enacted since the Sandy Hook shooting massacre and is the toughest in the country.
It bans all magazine style guns that hold more than seven rounds and requires universal background checks for all gun sales. Sullivan County clerk Dan Briggs says people across the county are knocking on the doors of his office in droves.
"The numbers are going up exponentially, both in terms of requests for pistol permit applications as well as the amendments to the already existing applications. For example, we had a gentleman in the other day who asked for five pistol permit applications for every member of his family," said Briggs.
The clerk says the influx of people is due to their fears that they might lose their gun rights all together. A fear the Governor says is unwarranted. The clerk says that panic might also be unnecessary, given that the there could still be amendments to the law.
"I think we are, right now, in a panic mode. People are rushing in. I believe the law was ill thought out. They really hadn't thought it through. They basically made illegal a lot of the weapons that are currently held by law enforcement, a lot of amendments have to be put in place now to correct some of those," added Briggs.
Some parts of the New York SAFE Act are not as controversial, but no matter how anybody feels about the law, law enforcement across the state will have to work to enforce it.
"Some of the things they have put in there are good things. I think a first responder responding to an emergency if they are shot or killed, that should be a higher crime and they've done that," said Sullivan County Sheriff Michael Schiff.
Schiff says he's also concerned about the law, specifically the banning of ten round magazines, guns that would have to be turned over to the authorities or sold out of state within a year. He calls that portion, different from those in the past with a grandfather clause, essentially a seizure of property.
For more information about the NY SAFE ACT, you can refer to the following:
NY SAFE Act FAQ: http://www.governor.ny.gov