The manufacturers of the popular AR-15 rifle have made some slight cosmetic changes that have made the gun legal in New York state. The actual firing power of the gun has not changed, but the gun no longer includes a pistol grip and now resembles "an odd paintball gun." The modified gun also lacks a bayonet lug.
From Guns 'n' Freedom:
At least one gun shop has received a letter from state police saying that the new AR-15 style rifles should be legal in the state as long as they don’t have some of the features that the law prohibits.
The new gun law bans all kinds of semi-automatic rifles that have been labeled with the “assault” term even though these are very common rifles and are no more powerful than the average hunting rifle.
Features like adjustable stocks, pistols grips, and flash suppressors has been deemed to be unlawful on these rifles, mainly because it makes them LOOK mean.
Long Island Democratic Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel said that following the 1994 federal assault weapons ban — which expired a decade later — gunmakers developed "AB" or "After-Ban" models of military-style weapons.
Schimel disagreed with McLaughlin on the significance of the modifications. She said the banned features, including pistol grips, are designed to increase a weapon's effectiveness, or killing power.
"A pistol grip helps you keep firing on a target," she said. "Each characteristic has a specific battle component."
Attempts to find record of a crime committed with a bayonet in New York State within the past century did not return any results.