State Senator Eric Adams of Brooklyn and the New York Daily News went on a secret stunt mission together in Albany, where they bought explosive gun magazines that can hold up to 30 bullets, even though the high-capacity clips were banned in 1994. Under the law, the big gun magazines, “used by the likes of Jared Loughner, who shot Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed six in January,” can still be sold if they were made before the law was passed. Except there’s no way to tell when a magazine was made.
Sen. Adams and the Daily News, complete with hidden cameras, went to two stores by the state capital to test the law. At the first, buying the ammunition was a breeze:
At Guns Inc. in Rensselaer, a Daily News hidden camera looked on as Adams bought two 30-round magazines for an AK-47 assault rifle.
The senator used his credit card to buy the clips – at $42.19 each – and walked out less than five minutes later without even having to show identification.
At the second store, they were sold out:
“We expect them any time now,” a store worker told Adams. “We have a bunch ordered.”
No law requires gunmakers to put a serial number or any kind of identifying mark on a clip unless it was made during the now-expired federal assault weapons ban, which ran from 1994 to 2004.
The New York ban did not expire, and gun control advocates warn gun owners and stores could potentially buy new magazines in another state and pass them off here as a pre-1994 version.
Adams’ stunt, which mirrors one Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his men pulled in Arizona, was meant to garner attention for a bill he’s proposing. “This bill is going to close the loophole so the clips are banned, period,” Adams said. “The more rounds you’re able to discharge prior to having to reload, the more dangerous you are.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 2, 2011