Taxes Aren’t the Only Looming April 15 Deadline for These Gun Owners

Tuesday is the final day New Yorkers who own semi-automatic weapons have to register those guns after the state passed a new law classifying them as “assault weapons.”

A sign during a gun control rally outside the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s annual Congressional Fly-In fundraising dinner April 2, 2014, in Washington, D.C. (Getty Images/Rod Lamkey)

But as this deadline, coinciding with tax day, approaches, the New York State Police are not releasing the number of people who have registered their weapons, while New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo – who pushed the law – said he doesn’t know, the Associated Press reported.

The New York assault weapons ban, passed in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., elementary school massacre, prohibits the sale of semi-automatic weapons and requires those who already own such firearms to register them.

“People are pretty much convinced once they get on this registration, the next time they’ll say they’ve got to turn them in,” Stephen Aldstadt, president of the Shooters Committee on Political Education, told the AP. The organization organized a protest at the state Capitol.

Even some law enforcement members are voicing some concerns.

“We’re actually creating a category of criminal from of a group of people, a great majority of whom, never would of broken the law,” John Balloni, chief deputy at the Onondaga County Sheriff’s office, told WXXI News.

There are an estimated 1 million guns in the state now requiring registration, according to the AP.

“I refuse to comply,” said Jeff Tutuska, a graphic artist from West Seneca, told the AP. He held a sign at the Capitol protest last week that said, “I’d rather have it & not need it than need it & not have it.”

Failure to register the gun by tomorrow is punishable as a misdemeanor “and forfeiture of the weapon,” according to the State Politice. If missing the deadline is “deemed to be unintentional,” a 30-day amnesty period will be extended to register it.


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