Could firearm makers force legislators and police to drop punitive gun laws by refusing to supply arms to law enforcement agencies?
The gun industry appears to be doing just that in the US state of New York, after NY rushed to introduce strict new gun laws that include bans on so-called ‘assault weapons’ under what it called the SAFE Act – the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act.
In response, more than 140 companies, including such major suppliers as Armalite and Barrett, are refusing to sell armaments to the New York Police Department and other law enforcement agencies.
And instead of smaller companies jumping in to fill the gap for the police, they’re joining the bigger players in refusing to sell.
Among them is Serbu Firearms, the only manufacturer other than Barrett to make a semi-automatic rifle in .50BMG. The NYPD approached Serbu, asking to be provided with an evaluation rifle after Barrett’s boycott.
Company boss Mark Serbu refused.
“Unfortunately, we have a policy of selling to state law enforcement agencies only what is allowed to be sold to private citizens in that state,” he wrote to the NYPD officer who made the request.
“Since the passage of the NY SAFE Act, the BFG-50A is considered an assault weapon and as such is no longer available to private citizens in the state of New York.
“Therefore we have to respectfully decline to supply your department with BFG-50A rifles.”
In a Facebook post, Serbu admitted, “I feel bad because I’d love to get my rifle into as many police departments as possible.”
The SAFE Act also bans magazines larger than seven rounds, a seemingly arbitrary number that has backfired, not only because it would make criminals of the majority of gun owners.
“There is no such thing as a seven-bullet magazine,” NY Governor Andrew Cuomo also acknowledged. “That doesn’t exist, so you really have no practical option.”
Now officials are reportedly trying to find the appropriate legal wording so that they can modify Act to permit 10-rounds magazines but make it illegal to load them with more than seven rounds.
Meanwhile, the gun lobby is continuing its legal attacks on the New York’s new laws.