Placebo Effect: New gun law has a lot of holes

Published on January 16, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-01-16 at 10.16.49 AMMass killers still have access to plenty of firepower under New York’s new assault-weapon ban.

These two Benelli MR1 rifles have equal killing power — yet the one at the top is illegal to buy because of its “military” grip while the other is perfectly fine under the gun law signed by Gov. Cuomo last night.

The law also bans magazines holding more than seven rounds, yet has no provision limiting the number of clips someone can buy.

So a Newtown- or Aurora-style mass-killer can simply bring dozens of legal-capacity clips, which could be swapped out in just a second or two during a shooting spree.

“A 30-round magazine is no more dangerous than two 15-round magazines, or more dangerous than three 10-round magazines, or more dangerous than six 5-round magazines,” said Jerold E. Levine, a Manhattan lawyer and gun-rights advocate.

“It takes only two seconds to change the magazine in a semiautomatic gun,” he said.

Benelli says its 37-inch-long MR1 Comfort-Tech Synthetic — with a suggested retail price of $1,469 — is “the best home defense available.”

With or without the now-illegal pistol grip, the MR1 uses Remington .223 bullets, which are about the size of AA batteries and are interchangeable with similar-sized NATO military cartridges.

“A real joy to shoot,” said a reviewer for Guns and Weapons for Law Enforcement magazine.

“Reliable, accurate . . . something undeniably different,” said a review in Guns and Ammo.

As he signed the bill, Cuomo scoffed at the idea that restricting magazine sizes won’t make the public any safer. He said curbing magazine size from the old limit of 10 bullets to the new limit of seven reduces “the capacity to kill lots of human beings in a short period of time.”

The new law includes several other restrictions on weapon design that gun-rights advocates were still digesting yesterday.
The law bars folding or telescoping rifle shoulder stocks. It also bars rifles with bayonet mounts and flash suppressors — which some gun enthusiasts consider no more than decoration anyhow.

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