A SWAT team raided co-owner Joe Palumbo's Albion Gun Shop without a warrant. They were acting on orders from the Narcotics Enforcement Unit, who asked the shop to hand over a customer list so they could determine how many people had purchased New York SAFE Act compliant rifles. The gun owner was forced to present approximately 170 sales records. Under the state's anti-gun law, this intrusion was completely legal.
Palumbo thought he was following the law by offering "bullet button" AR-15s, guns that are modified to comply with the SAFE Act's new rules. He was more or less assured by state police:
According to Palumbo (gun store owner), he said he had spoken with state police last year in regards to the legality of selling AR-15's with the bullet button attachment. He said police advised him that it should be "ok" but wouldn't guarantee him an answer until someone goes to court for it.
Yet, that hasn't seemed to stop the state from repeatedly checking in on him.
Critics claim that exchanges such as these prove that the SAFE Act is arbitrary and confusing:
“The New York S.A.F.E. Act is being enforced arbitrarily on a case by case basis,” Tresmond said. “That amounts to unconstitutional vagueness under the Supreme Court’s Morales standard, and the law should be enjoined for that reason alone.”
In addition to the legislation's head scratching details, the SAFE Act has succeeded in turning otherwise law-abiding gun owners into criminals by turning misdemeanors like firearm possession into more serious charges. Last year, after the law's implementation, over 1,200 felonies were recorded in the state. No wonder I saw so many "Repeal the SAFE Act" when driving through upstate New York last month.
As a result of the continuous interruptions to his business, Palumbo intends to file a lawsuit against the state.
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