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Tough NY law hurts, gun shop owner says

By Jeremiah Horrigan
Times Herald-Record

January 25, 2014 - 2:00 AM

HANKINS - He's a small-business owner, just about the only one left in this tiny hamlet that time appears to have forgotten.

Unlike other such businesses, John Kielbasa doesn't blame big-box stores for his threatened demise. He blames state government and the passage roughly a year ago of legislation others believe will save lives.

Kielbasa is the proprietor of Fernwood Firearms. He's a retired New York City municipal worker. Like many other retirees, he's long dreamed of making a living at a business he feels passionately about. Fernwood Firearms is the fulfillment of those dreams.

The massacre of 20 children in Newtown, Conn., Dec. 14, 2012, caught those dreams amid controversy. Newtown spurred New York's SAFE Act. The legislation has been hailed by gun control advocates as the toughest in the nation, while being denounced by gun and sportsman's organizations as unconstitutional.

While Kielbasa agrees with that assessment, the impact he has felt since the passage of New York's Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act has been financial: He can no longer sell his most popular item, the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, to state residents. He says that as a result, he's lost 90 percent of his business.

If that had happened to any other local business, he says, imagine the outcry.

Kielbasa says he's tried to make up the difference by offering Army surplus items and buying gold or silver, but he's skeptical that will be enough to keep the shop open.

Kielbasa says he's considered moving to Pennsylvania to keep his business alive.

"I'm giving it three years," he said.

Leaving New York state may not be such a bad idea, according to Leah Barrett, executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.

Barrett says she grew up in Kansas in a household where her brothers were all sportsmen. She and the organization she heads is not anti-gun, but anti-gun violence.

No statistics are available in the state that can demonstrate quantitatively how many or even if any lives have been saved because of the SAFE Act, she said.

As for the banning of the AR-15, she says, what Kielbasa calls a sportsman's rifle is in fact "a civilian version of the military's M16."

"Gen. Stanley McChrystal has said, 'I have no idea why a civilian needs an assault weapon,'" Barrett said. Responding to Kielbasa's complaints, Barrett noted that a federal judge in Buffalo has ruled the SAFE Act is constitutional. That same ruling, however, found the law could not limit the size of a gun's magazine to seven bullets.

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"Gen. Stanley McChrystal has said, 'I have no idea why a civilian needs an assault weapon,'" Barrett said. Responding to Kielbasa's complaints
Because assault weapon is a term made up by gun grabbers for rifles they find extra scary because they look similar to military firearms. By that logic we should have assault microwaves and assault GPS navigation.
 

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I've been there a few times. Before the ban his main stock was ARs and they were reasonably priced. Last November I stopped in and no ARs to be seen put claimed his basement was full of them which I don't believe. The week before the ban I called him and he said he was cleaned out. He also stocked a lot of non NY compliant ARs because PA is about 2 miles away across the Delaware river.
 

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I dunno, maybe I'm misreading something but doesn't it sound a bit weird that this guys gun shop sales were 90% AR-15s?
 

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Because assault weapon is a term made up by gun grabbers for rifles they find extra scary because they look similar to military firearms. By that logic we should have assault microwaves and assault GPS navigation.
Nobody needs a Hummer.
 
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Little. Yellow. Different. Better.
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You don't need more than missionary to conceive. It's for the children!
Took me a second, but I see what you did there. Lol.
PS FUAC
 
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