Which state has the largest National Rifle Association chapter in the nation? No, it’s not Texas. As a matter of fact, it’s not located anywhere near the Wild West or the south.
The answer is New York.
In just one year, the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association saw its membership almost double – from 22,000 to 41,000. The National Rifle Association credits the increase to the “Safe Act” (Safe Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act), one of the strictest gun control laws in the country, hurriedly pushed through by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature in 2013 following the Newtown, Conn., school shootings.
The NRA says the law is “a largely cosmetic legislative offering” that “instantly turned hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers into potential felons.”
Interestingly, very similar to other legislation that was rammed through with little time for lawmakers or the public to analyze (such as Obamacare), the state is providing no numbers on how many people are complying with the law (probably because the numbers are very low), and courts and other government officials have either overturned, suspended or refused to enforce various elements of the law. All to say that evidence to suggest the law is working or making New York safer is hard to find.
Unfortunately, there are indicators the law has affected New York in a negative way. Last week, 105 workers were laid off at Remington Arms, one of the largest employers in upstate New York.
In February, when Remington announced it would be opening a new plant in Alabama one of Cuomo’s “spokesguys” (that is how he describes himself on his Twitter page) said that “no Remington jobs are leaving NY.”
This was Rich Azzopardi’s full tweet from February 15: “Some are misinformed, others gleefully spreading misinformation, but to be clear, no Remington jobs are leaving NY.”
Sounds like the only folks who turned out to be “misinformed” and “spreading misinformation” are the folks in Cuomo’s office.
While Cuomo continues to claim the layoffs are simply “a function of Remington consolidating operations all across the country,” those who lost their jobs see it differently.
“You can’t blame them [Remington] when a state’s welcoming you with open arms and your home [state], they’re kicking you out the door,” said laid off worker Corey Etwell.
Indeed. More regulations almost always end up meaning fewer jobs. But hey, all the numbers aren’t bad. Cuomo can advertise the fact he killed jobs but increased memberships for the National Rifle Association.