Gun Laws & Legislation

Cuomo’s new gun law does not exempt New York cops, could prevent police from responding to school shootings

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Will Rahn
Senior Editor

A New York lawmaker says that the state’s recently passed gun control law stunningly fails to include any exemptions for law enforcement officers, and technically prohibits police from ever bringing guns on school grounds or possessing extended ammo magazines.

The NY SAFE Act, which was championed and signed into law by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, bans all magazines that hold more than seven bullets and pre-1994 high capacity magazines, and prohibits the carrying of guns on school grounds.

But because no loophole for law enforcement was included in the law, every police officer in the state is technically in violation of the statute even though the prohibition is unlikely to be enforced, according to New York Assemblyman Al Graf.

Graf — a former New York City police officer and the ranking Republican member of the assembly’s powerful Codes Committee — says that the ban could even impede the efforts of officers to respond to a school shooting.

“The language is unclear, and to go further, a cop cannot go on school property with a gun,” Graf told The Daily Caller. “They weren’t exempted from that, either.”

“There was actually a story that was relayed to me the other day about a New York City police officer who went to a school the other day to pick up his kid, and the security guard told him that if he came to the school with his off-duty gun he would be arrested,” Graf continued.

The prohibition on carrying a gun into a school could even extend to on-duty police officers responding to an emergency such as a shooting.

“I guess they would have to sit there and take their gun belts off before they came in” to the school, Graf said.

Graf says that the exemption was not included in the bill because Cuomo, a rising Democratic star and possible 2016 presidential candidate, rushed it through the legislature via a shortcut known as a “message of necessity.” This allowed for little public scrutiny of the bill, which was easily passed by the legislature and signed into law on Tuesday.

“I got my hands on the bill at 11:30 at night,” Graf said, adding that he only had an hour to go through it before a meeting of the Codes Committee.

“Nobody was really able to look the bill,” before it was passed, according to Graf.

According to Graf, amendments to fix the bill were already in the works by the time it was voted on, but have not yet reached the floor.

“It doesn’t exclude retired police officers, so all of them have to turn in guns and magazines and stuff like that,” he said. “What they did is disarm the good guys and make sure the bad guys outgun them.”

“There are so many problems with this bill it’s unreal,” Graf said.

Gov. Cuomo’s office did not respond to TheDC’s request for comment, but now reportedly says an exemption will soon be included in the law.

UPDATE: Cuomo spokesman Matthew Wing tells The Daily Caller that “No police officer possessing [an] ammunition clip with more than 7 bullets is in violation of the law or guilty of any crime, period.”

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