The New York City Police Department is taking aim at owners of certain shotguns and rifles, telling them all long guns with more than a five-round capacity must be tåçurned in, altered or taken out of town.
The first option for the letter’s recipient is to, “Immediately surrender your Rifle and/or Shotgun to your local police precinct, and notify this office of the invoice number. The firearm may be sold or permanently removed from the City of New York thereafter.”
An estimated 500 recipients of the notices, which were mailed on Nov. 18, were given the options to surrender their gun, permanently move the gun out of city jurisdiction or employ a licensed gunsmith to modify the weapon to get into compliance with the law. Rifles and shotguns with a capacity of five or more rounds are affected.
An NYPD spokeswoman told FoxNews.com the initiative has been in practice since 2010.
But this year is the first time critics say the notices were so widely dispersed. The notice was first reported on the website TheTruthAboutGuns.com.
“These letters appear to be another example of the Nanny State. Hypothetically, it can start with a letter, and then that can lead to someone knocking on your door saying, ‘I want to see your gun.'”
– New York State Assemblyman James Tedisco
New York State has the strictest gun laws in the country. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, co-founder of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, has made it a priority of his to pull illegal handguns off the streets and directly links these guns to violent crimes. But critics say the real problem is illegal handguns in the hands of criminals, not long guns owned by law-abiding citizens.
“We think it’s an abuse of power by the NYPD,” said Tom King, the president of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association. His organization has fought with the state on various gun bills and spent $400,000 on a lawsuit challenging the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, or SAFE Act, which was signed in January by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.