Registration Deadline for "Assault Weapons"

April 14, 2014 Updated Apr 14, 2014 at 6:12 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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April 14, 2014 Updated Apr 14, 2014 at 6:12 PM EDT

BUFFALO (WKBW) Tuesday is deadline day to register what are being dubbed "assault weapons" under the New York SAFE Act.

Certain guns will continue to be legal, but must be registered with the State Police, and can no longer be bought, sold, or transferred. The registration effects owners of semi-automatic rifles or shotguns with a detachable magazine and an added cosmetic feature including a pistol grip, folding stock, threaded barrel, or bayonet mount.

"The functioning of the rifle really isn't significantly different from many rifles that don't have those cosmetic features. It's mainly just to demonize these things that look like scary rifles," Stephen Aldstadt of S.C.O.P.E. said.

The Shooters Committee on Political Education says these types of rifles are common in New York, and believes a good number of gun owners will refuse to register them.

"Why does the government need to know? If I've got a bolt action rifle or a lever action rifle or a semi-automatic rifle, either way, if I'm going to disobey the law I can cause havoc with that," Aldstadt added.

Under the SAFE Act, anyone found with an unregistered assault rifle could face felony charges.

"Innocent people are now criminals as of tomorrow," gun owner Jack Herbst said.

Herbst has owned the Valley Gun Shop in West Falls for 35 years and says the SAFE Act has hurt him as a businessman and a gun owner.

"It's horrendous what they've done here. My business has dropped off over 50% not to mention the fact that I have guns that were legal before the SAFE Act that no longer can be sold in the state," he said.

Opponents of the SAFE Act have planned a protest for Tuesday afternoon at Niagara Square in downtown Buffalo. They will be shredding their gun registration forms to protest the law and the new registration requirement.

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