Greg Ball and the state of gun-confiscation laws in New York

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In a big interview with the Washington Post about gun control, Mayor Michael Bloomberg portrayed his opponents as extremists who rile their base with false stories about government plans to seize people's guns.

"There are clearly some people who really believe that the government is out to get them, and they are going to fight to the death on guns,” Bloomberg told Jason Horowitz in an interview this weekend. “And then there is the general public that thinks this is meshugana.” 

Another piece in the Washington Post about the N.R.A.'s evolution from sportsmen's club to gun-rights lobby says "The NRA learned that controversy isn’t a problem but rather, in many cases, a solution, a motivator, a recruitment tool, an inspiration."

On New Year's Day, New York State Senator Greg Ball, a conservative Republican, went on New York Post state editor Fred Dicker's Talk1300 show and warned listeners about one such bill.

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Ball said, "There are literally bills in the State Assembly that direct the state police to go the homes of law-abiding gun owners now, to take, to make illegal the firearms that they have now, to turn those law-abiding gun owners into criminals. To take those weapons by the power of the state police, out of their homes. It's as extreme as you can get."

I asked Ball's spokesman for more information about those bills. He provided information about only one of them.

It's from 2007 and would make .50 caliber firearms illegal. Whoever owns them would have to sell them back to the state.

The bill memo sites a demonstration put on by the Marine Corps Sniper School for congressional Democrats, where "the Marine instructors discussed the destructive power of several fifty-caliber rounds."

When it was voted on in the Assembly, it passed by a 2:1 margin. It died in the Republican-controlled State Senate.

That same bill was introduced again in the Assembly in March of 2011. It was referred to the Senate's Codes Committee in January 2012. It hasn't moved since.