No kidding. Via NBC4 New York:

Now some critics say one part of the law – the assault rifle ban – is not effective because new models being made to comply with the law are almost entirely the same as those that were banned. …

Under the law, bayonet mounts, flash suppressors and telescoping stocks are banned, and rifles cannot have a pistol grip. …

NYU law professor James Jacobs, who has written extensively on gun control issues, praises portions of the SAFE Act, including expanded background checks.

But he says the the assault rifle ban has resulted in a remodeled gun that is no less dangerous – just less scary looking.

New York hurriedly enacted the SAFE Act in January 2013, a month after the Sandy Hook massacre, and its many provisions — several of which range from pointlessly restrictive to administratively unworkable — have been going into effect over the past fifteen months. The purely cosmetic designation of what is or is not an “assault weapon” might be the most unproductive measure out of all of them, but the gun-control activists are still stickin’ to their guns, so to speak:

“The legal gun looks a lot like the illegal gun,” said Leah Gunn Barrett, the executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence. “Does that make this law essentially cosmetic? No. These features all have specific functions.” …

“The gun is still lethal,” Gunn Barrett said. “Yes, it can still kill people. But it is not as easy to manipulate and fire accurately than it would be if you had a forward-leaning pistol grip.”

Weak. As Charles C.W. Cooke points out at NRO, the only thing that making AR-15s slightly less easy to manipulate accomplishes is making it slightly harder for less robust individuals to use them (like, say, women?) while having absolutely zero effect on their lethality — all of which is practically a moot point anyway, since the vast, vast majority of gun crimes and murders in this country are committed with handguns. This is purely a “feel good” feature of the law, plain and simple.

Anyhow. In somewhat better news, the attorneys general of 22 states just filed an amicus brief in the lawsuit looking to overturn the New York Safe Act, claiming that the law is unconstitutional. Via the WFB:

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange filed the brief in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals as part of the lawsuit Nojay v. Cuomo, which was filed by individual gun owners and organizations challenging New York’s gun ban. …

Alabama’s attorney general, the lead author of the bipartisan brief, was joined by attorneys general from Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming. …

“Because New York’s law amounts to a categorical ban of firearms commonly used for lawful purposes by law-abiding citizens, this court should subject the law to strict scrutiny under its tiers of scrutiny framework,” the brief states.