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Complying vs. Circumventing NY SAFE ACT
by Sean Carroll
Canandaigua, N.Y. --- Some would say a local gun manufacturer is circumventing the NY SAFE ACT. But Anthony Testa of Just Right Carbines insists his company is taking every step possible to comply with the state's new gun law.
"The term circumvent makes it sound like we're doing some sort of backroom deal which is very aggravating to me, we're complying with the law," explained Testa. "The term circumvention implies something negative and we're not trying to do anything behind anybody's back we're trying to comply with the law (and) essentially when they passed the SAFE ACT (they) left some of the portions as vague as they did."
The specific issue comes down to the grip on a firearm that Just Right Carbines has manufactured for years. When the NY SAFE ACT was passed in January 2013 the gun's "protruding pistol grip" classified it as an assault rifle and thus illegal unless registered with New York State Police by April 15, 2014.
For months that impacted business until Just Right Carbines figured out that a slight modification to the firearm's grip and stock would allow it to come into compliance and no longer be classified as an assault rifle.
"It was not an assault weapon to begin with it got lumped in because of its physical characteristics because of a cosmetic issue it got lumped into the assault weapons category," said Testa. "So we've had to jump through a bunch of hoops to try to make it compliant."
Compliance still remains a bit of a question for Just Right Carbines. The company sought out members of the New York State Police, local sheriffs, judges, and lawyers in an effort to determine its compliance. Testa said every one the company spoke to indicated the modification should, as the law is written, make it compliant with the NY SAFE ACT.
But nobody was willing to put that in writing.
"There is still some hesitancy because we don't have the signed in place letter from Uncle Andy (Governor Andrew Cuomo) saying you know, SAFE ACT Approved, it would be a hell of a marketing campaign if we could get somebody to put that in writing for us," joked Testa while conceding he wasn't going to hold his breath waiting for that letter. "No, I expect Santa Claus to walk through (my door) arm and arm with the Easter Bunny before we get something from Albany stating this is going to be legal."
Testa and Just Right Carbines was also mentioned in this report published by "The Guardian" this week.