New York Republican Representative Chris Collins this week proposed a bill intended to void state gun controls that go beyond those enacted by the federal government. The new legislation, known as the Second Amendment Guarantee Act (SAGA), would limit “the authority of states to regulate, conduct, or impose penalties or taxes in relation to rifles or shotguns” and prevent them from passing similar gun control laws in the future.
Mr. Collins, whose district includes western Ontario County, claims the bill would return Second Amendment rights to law-abiding US citizens and make it illegal for any state to encroach upon those rights through further legislation. The proposal is specifically aimed at identifying and nullifying laws that push beyond federal statutes.
The bill is supported by Congressman Tom Reed, who represents eastern Ontario County, Yates and Seneca counties. It is largely intended to prevent legislation such as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s controversial Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act (SAFE), which was enshrined into the law in January 2013.
The contentious SAFE Act prohibits magazines holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition and restricts gun owners from loading more than seven bullets at a time. Opponents claim the ban violates the Constitution’s Second Amendment right for the American people to keep and bear arms.
Following almost zero public debate, the SAFE legislation — which was controversially rushed through and passed in the middle of the night — inadvertently criminalized New York law enforcement officers for carrying firearms that exceeded the 10-round magazine restriction.
Representative Collins claims that repeal of the SAFE Act is a priority, since it both patently encroaches upon Second Amendment rights and jeopardizes the safety of New York citizens.
A large number of groups still actively push for policies that infringe upon the American people’s Constitutional right to own firearms for sport, hunting, and the protection of loved ones and private property.
“This legislation would protect the Second Amendment rights of New Yorkers that were unjustly taken away by Andrew Cuomo.
I am a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment and have fought against all efforts to condemn these rights. I stand with the law-abiding citizens of this state that have been outraged by the SAFE Act and voice my commitment to roll back these regulations.”
In spite of this, applications for concealed handgun permits increased to 16.3 million in 2017, with 1.83 million issued over the last year alone. However, reciprocity laws for out-of-state permits still vary widely across the country, creating needless bureaucratic obstacles for many law-abiding Americans.
Governor Cuomo and congressional Democrats will no doubt seek to block SAGA at every hurdle. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently pledged $25 million to fight pro-Second Amendment and concealed carry candidates in next year’s election campaign cycle.
Tucker is a foreign correspondent and media analyst for Not Liberal.