de·fi·ancediˈfīəns/nounnoun: defiance1.open resistance; bold disobedience.“the demonstration was held in defiance of official warnings”
The country has been watching an act of defiance in Nevada for the last week. That confrontation between citizens and members of the federal government has subsided…for now. There was another act of defiance occurring in New York. That one received little attention from the media.
The state of New York requires gun owners to register certain firearms. Compliance to that law, known as the SAFE Act, has been low. Protesters to that law met outside the office of State Senator Mark Grisanti to protest the act.
On Tuesday in upstate New York, outside the office of State Senator Mark Grisanti, gun owners gathered in protest. Together they shredded their SAFE Act registration cards to signify their non-compliance with the controversial new law. Grisanti is a Republican who helped to pass the SAFE Act, including by offering up changes to the bill to make it bipartisan.
Human Events wrote last week about a recent SAFE Act protest that had a huge turnout, and involved many of the same people and groups as the rally on Tuesday, where gun owners intend to shred their registration forms as a form of protest. One of the organizers, Rus Thompson of TEA New York, was recently interviewed about this event, and discussed in depth the reasoning behind the shredding.
Gun owners across the state have been speaking out and protesting the SAFE Act from the beginning. As Bearing Arms reported yesterday, as many as one million are refusing to register their weapons.
Non-compliance of the ban is expected to be between 90%-99%, but a provision in the NY SAFE Act prevents registration data from being shared with the public.
Non-compliance in the neighboring state of Connecticut is thought to be in excess of 85%, with an estimated 80,000-100,000 gun owners refusing to register their firearms. Connecticut State Police have made no move to enforce their law four months after their registration deadline, fearing possible armed resistance.
Conservative estimates are that at least 300,000 and as many as one million New Yorkers will likewise practice civil disobedience and refuse to comply with the registration requirement.
The defiance in New York isn’t limited to gun owners. Some officials—county Sheriffs, have declared they won’t enforce the law, either.
Registration deadline for law was Tuesday
on April 15, 2014 – 8:30 PM, updated April 16, 2014 at 2:04 AM
Harry Scull Jr. /Buffalo News
Owners of assault-style weapons were supposed to have registered their guns by Tuesday.
But there is no way of knowing exactly how many of these weapons there are in the state and how many were registered under the NY SAFE Act.
The state refuses to say how many were registered, claiming it is confidential information protected by the law.
Gun-rights advocates estimate compliance will be less than 10 percent.
And in Erie County, the sheriff says he will not force his deputies to enforce registration.
“Theoretically, any law enforcement officer who encounters anyone with this type of gun at a minimum is supposed to record the serial number and the individual’s identity and report it to Albany,” Sheriff Timothy B. Howard said.
But will his deputies do that?
“I don’t know. I am not encouraging them to do it. At the same time, their own consciences should be their guide. I am not forcing my conscience on them. That is a decision they should make,” Howard said.
The sheriff’s opposition sits well with roughly 70 opponents of the law who gathered outside the Walter J. Mahoney State Office Building in downtown Buffalo late Tuesday afternoon to shred State Police registration forms for assault weapons.
It was seen as a form of civil disobedience to a law that opponents say was hastily drafted some 16 months ago in response to the December 2012 massacre in Newtown, Conn., where 20 elementary school children and six adults were slain by a heavily armed gunman.
But rather than make the public safer, opponents contend the law’s main accomplishment has been to create a new classification of criminals – individuals who out of conscience refuse to register their assault weapons because they believe the law overstepped their Second Amendment right to bear arms.
The column continues at the website. The Erie County Sheriff echoes the sentiments of many law enforcement officials across the country. “Will…shall I comply with a law that is clearly unenforceable and does nothing more than make criminals out of formerly law-abiding citizens?”
The New York Sheriffs Organization has examined the SAFE Act and has found a number of flaws and inconsistencies. They noted these flaws on their website and point out that a number of the Act’s provisions are unenforceable and produce undue burden of their offices and other agencies and institutions.
Three acts of defiance with days of one another: the Bundy Ranch vs. the BLM, gun owners of New York vs. the SAFE Act, and the NY Erie County Sheriff versus that same SAFE Act. When you add the defiance of many states against Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, the refusal of those same states to create state exchanges, a person could reasonably expect more acts of defiance to occur at any time, any where.