Controversial Provisions of New York's Gun Law are Now in Effect

April 15, 2013 Updated Apr 15, 2013 at 8:49 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

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April 15, 2013 Updated Apr 15, 2013 at 8:49 PM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) Two controversial parts of the the NY SAFE Act have now gone into effect.

Owners of assault weapons will have to start registering them with the New York State Police.

Those who fail to register an assault weapon by April 15, 2014 will be subject to prosecution which is punishable as a Class-A Misdemeanor and the forfeiture of the weapon.

A registration form is now posted online at the following website: www.governor.ny.gov/nysafeact/gun-reform.

Owners of assault weapons can avoid registration if they modify the guns, but the modifications have to be permanent - such as removing the bayonet lug, cutting or grinding of threads on the barrel, removing the foregrip so that it cannot be re-attached.

There is no fee for the assault weapon registration.

Another provision of the SAFE Act that is now in effect concerns gun magazines.

Staring on April 15th, gun magazines can be loaded with no more that 7 rounds.

It is still legal for gun owners to buy and possess gun magazines that hold 10 rounds, but they can only be used with 10 rounds at a recognized range.

Magazines that hold more than 10 rounds have to be modified, responsibly disposed of, or sold to an out-of-state dealer by January 15, 2014.

Both provisions have gun owners furious who fear the new law is paving the way for the State to begin confiscating guns.

"They can't confiscate something unless they know where it is," added Budd Schroeder from the Shooters Committee on Political Education.

Many local gun owners are worried about enforcement especially after an Amherst man had his permit mistakenly suspended when authorities confused his identity with another man who had mental health issues.

New York State Police say misinformation over both the law and its intent is causing much of the controversy and anxiety among gun owners.

"It is a new process and there is going to be some bumps along the way," added New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico

"There is a lot misunderstanding on what exactly the law means. We have this misidentification that happens in Erie county, and next thing you know, there are secret units of the state police, and people are trolling through your medical records, and police are going to come and confiscate your weapons . . . None of that is true," added Superintendent D'Amico.