Local sheriff discusses "SAFE Act" impact
ALBANY--In the aftermath of the Newtown shooting, New York lawmakers passed some of the toughest gun laws in the country with the SAFE Act in 2013, aiming to make it harder for criminals and the mentally ill to get a hold of firearms.
The SAFE Act, bans the sale of certain assault weapons such as the AR-15 rifle and requires gun owners to register the assault weapons they buy and the ones they already owned before the law went into affect.
So far, the State Division of Criminal Justice says a little more than 6,000 people have been arrested on crimes created under the SAFE Act.
About a sixth of those arrests were made upstate.
We asked Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple whether he believes the law has been effective.
"I don't think its improved at allwhat the safe act did was take a lot of law abiding citizens and turned them into basically criminals. Many people didn't register some people did, I think a very small amount of people registered their weapons," said Apple.
Apple says it's estimated there are far more assault weapons in New York than the number of those registered, because he says some gun owners refused to register their weapons in protest of the law.