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Following the introduction of the SAFE Act in New York state, the Innovation Trail reporting team in conjunction with WNYC/New York Public Radio, has prepared a series of programs backgrounding the economic context for gun manufacture and retail in New York. A series of radio and web features will roll out starting Monday 4th February. Amongst the issues addressed:Matt Richmond examines the role of tax credits and other financial incentives used to to support arms manufacturing in the state.Kate O'Connell looks at research and development in the industry and finds that tradition carries more weight than innovation for both makers and customers.Ryan Delaney follows up on the future for the Remington Arms factory that anchors the Mohawk Valley town of Ilion. Do the new laws in the state really endanger jobs there?http://youtu.be/TgMM52tgwCwSarah Harris spends time with some north country gun store owners who are trying to navigate the new regulatory framework for background checks and licensing, and they're wondering whether it's worth staying in business.Joanna Richards talks with military and ex-military personnel to get their views on gun safety and ownership of miltary-style firepower by civilians, and spends time at a local gun club.Robert Lewis discovers that it's a good time to be recruiting for the NRA as he visits a long-running annual gun fair in the state's capital that attracted record crowds.http://youtu.be/UdprooUVFYk

Deadline for assault weapon registration nears, resistance remains strong

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Mike Saechang
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via Flickr

There’s an April 15 deadline for owners of assault-style firearms to register them with the State police, but there’s concern the provision of the SAFE Act gun control laws will be ignored.

After New York passed strict gun control laws in January 2013, sales of assault-style weapons became illegal. But for those who already owned guns with features like a pistol grip and removable magazine, they must register them by Tuesday.

Many Second Amendment advocates see the requirement as a step toward the government seizing their guns. And some are choosing to ignore the registration requirement in protest.

"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," Chief Deputy John Balloni with the Onondaga County sheriff’s office.

Many county sheriff departments came out last year with concerns over many aspects of the SAFE Act.

Balloni says regardless of feelings on the law, law enforcement agencies have to enforce it. He says they won’t be going out and looking for unregistered guns.

"We certainly understand their concern, but we, at the same time, are a law enforcement agency and can’t advocate that anyone not abide by the law," he said. "And, in fact, we’re charged, if we find a violation in the course of something else, with enforcing the law."

With assault weapons – and their sale – outlawed, Balloni says a black market in unregistered guns could arise.

The assault weapons ownership list will be exempt from Freedom of Information requests. Under the SAFE Act, the state police also do not have to disclose any information about how many guns have been registered. The agency has declined to comment on the program.

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