(NaturalNews) In the days before President Obama rolled out 23 executive actions aimed at curbing Second Amendment rights - some of which have transformed doctors and healthcare providers into gun snitches - New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo beat him to the punch by signing into law the most restrictive gun control legislation in the country.
Citing the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting as his impetus, Cuomo made good on a promise spelled out during an emotional State of the State address earlier, in which he vowed to pass new restrictions on military look-alike rifles, semi-auto magazines and persons who are suspected of being mentally ill.
"You can overpower the extremists with intelligence and common sense," Cuomo bragged upon signing the new legislation Jan. 15, oblivious, of course, to his own extremism.
The problem; however, is that the legislation immediately transforms law-abiding New Yorkers into criminals because provisions of the law are retroactive; in other words, what Cuomo has signed is an ex post facto law, a measure that criminalizes someone for something that was legal when they did it. (For the record, ex post facto laws are prohibited by the U.S. Constitution, under Article 1, Sect. 9 and Article 1, Sect.10, the latter section of which applies specifically to states.)
So why pass such legislation at all? The answer is arrogance. Politicians like Cuomo, a Democrat in a state dominated by his party for decades, aren't bothered by what is legal and proper because they believe they are above reproach. Further, they know that the political and legal mechanisms put in place to hold people like him accountable won't be utilized because they are staffed by like-minded individuals.
Push it through - Read it later
Nevertheless, not allNew York lawmakers took part in this massive usurpation of power.
"I simply cannot support a bill that turns law abiding citizens into criminals by creating an entire new category of illegal firearms out of currently legal rifles and shotguns," state Sen. Greg Ball, a Republican, said in a statement the evening the Assembly passed the restrictive new bill.
"We needed solid provisions to keep the violently, mentally ill from harming our communities, our kids and our families. That didn't happen tonight," he said. "While much in this bill, as far as stiffer penalties for real criminals and help on the mental health front is good, the last minute push, in the middle of the night without critical public input from sportsmen and taxpayers was outrageous and forced members to vote on a bill they had not read."
"...Bill they had not read." Does that sound familiar?
"We haven't saved any lives tonight, except one: the political life of a governor who wants to be president," Ball later said on the Senate floor. He went on to say that most members of the chamber were willing to turn law-abiding residents into criminals "hoping on the front pages that we will be seen as preventing tragedies."
"Good night, I voted no and I only wish I could have done it twice," he concluded.
'It strains credibility'
Sen. John Bonacic, another Republican, echoed Ball's sentiments, saying that despite the tough new restrictions on guns and ammunition, insane criminal acts involving firearms would not end.
"I sincerely hope this law does stop another massacre, but I honestly believe it is nothing more than window dressing designed to make people feel secure until the next tragedy strikes - all while criminalizing the actions of otherwise law abiding citizens," he said in a statement.
Bonacic was especially perplexed by a provision in the law forbidding gun owners from possessing more than seven rounds in a 10-round magazine, "something irrelevant to a criminal."
"Under the legislation, magazines people now own, which are capable of holding ten rounds (bullets) continue to be legal, but a person may only load seven rounds in them," he said. "It strains credibility to believe a criminal bent on a massacre is going to load only seven bullets in a ten round magazine. Law abiding citizens, on the other hand, who erroneously load too many bullets in a magazine, would be criminals under the legislation."
Other parts of the law requires mental health professionals and therapists to report to state authorities perceived threats of gun violence by "mental health" patients, who could then have their guns confiscated - similar to provisions being pushed by Obama on a federal level.