Thousands Of New York Gun Owners Could Become Felons Overnight

Come Tuesday, owners of assault weapons in New York will be faced with a choice: Register those firearms with the state or potentially face a felony charge.

Some gun owners have long threatened to ignore a requirement to register assault weapons under the SAFE Act, a set of strict gun laws approved by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers last year.

With the registration deadline set for Tuesday, they’ll soon have their chance.

“We are not asking our members what they are going to do, nor are we advising them what to do,” said Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association. “When someone asks me, I say it’s a personal choice and I don’t want to know.”

The consequences of ignoring the deadline are severe.

If a gun owner is found to have knowingly violated the registration requirement, they could face either a misdemeanor for failing to register or a felony for illegal possession of an assault weapon.

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