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Assault Rifle Deadline Looms
CHEMUNG COUNTY (WENY) -- It's been the same battle since the SAFE Act was enacted last year, but now the argument from many law-abiding citizens from Upstate New York is coming to the forefront. Many gun owners say they won't be registering their assault weapons by the April 15th deadline.
"I don't think a lot of them are [registering their assault weapons] because they think it's unconstitutional and a lot of us believe in the constitution and our second amendment," said Vincent Magaw, 1st Vice President of the Chemung County Rod and Gun Club.
People can register their assault weapons at State Police Barracks or online at: https://firearms.troopers.ny.gov/safeact/welcome.faces
"At the Sheriff's Office we try to educate people on what the SAFE act is all about," said Chemung County Sheriff Christopher Moss. "Obviously I can't tell people not to abide by it, but I can tell you the Sheriff's Office's priorities lie elsewhere as opposed to enforcing sections of the SAFE Act."
According to the Governor's website dedicated to the SAFE Act, people could face a misdemeanor charge and risk giving up their weapon if they don't register their assault weapon by the deadline. Anyone who unintentionally misses the deadline could be eligible for a 30 day grace period.
"It's a shame they're doing it to us law-abiding citizens, to threaten to take our rifles our shotguns away from us," said Magaw. "They say 'Oh, we're not going to take your shot guns,' but that's what happened in England, that's what happened in Australia, and they're looking to do it here."
WENY News spoke with local State Troopers to find out how many people have registered their assault weapons, but they said those numbers aren't available locally.