The NRA joined several New York firearms groups in a lawsuit against New York Governor Cuomo’s NY SAFE Act Thursday, March 21. The complaint–filed against the defendants in Buffalo–argues that “This is an action to vindicate the right of the people of the State of New York to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.”
In a press release by the Nation Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), Executive Director Chris W. Cox stated that, “The National Rifle Association is committed to defending the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding New Yorkers.” He went on to state that “Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature usurped the legislative and democratic process in passing these extreme anti-gun measures with no committee hearings and no public input. This obvious disrespect for New Yorkers and their Second Amendment rights will not be tolerated.”
The suit contains five separate counts, detailing what the NY SAFE Act allegedly violates:
- Count One: “Prohibition on Commonly-Possessed Magazines Violative of the Second Amendment.”
- Count Two: “Prohibition on Commonly-Possessed Firearms Violative of the Second Amendment.”
- Count Three: “Limit of 7 rounds in magazine for home protection and allowance for 10 rounds in magazine at range or in competitions denies equal protection of the laws.”
- Count Four: “Granting monopoly of ammunition sales to New York businesses violates the Dormant Commerce Clause and the Due Process Clause.”
- Count Five: “Portions of the Act are vague, fail to give notice, and violate due process.”
The suit’s defendants are listed specifically to include New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Superintendent of New York State Police Joseph D’Amico, District Attorney Frank Sedita III, and Lancaster Chief of Police Gerald Gill. In the NRA-ILA news release, Cox calls out Cuomo in particular of those defendants, saying “Despite the wishes of Governor Cuomo, law-abiding citizens have a fundamental right to keep commonly possessed firearms for defense of themselves and their families and for other lawful purposes including the enjoyment of New York’s rich hunting and sporting heritage.”
The NY SAFE act contains legislation which sets stricter definitions on so-called “assault weapons.” Semi-automatic weapons would be submitted to “The “one-feature” test [that] would ban semi-automatic guns with detachable magazines that possess one feature commonly associated with military weapons.” This would mean, for example, that a semi-automatic pistol with a detachable magazine and a folding or telescopic stock–one of the listed “military features”–would be classified as an assault weapon, and thus banned.
Adding to the restrictions, the act would require all private party sales of firearms (excluding immediate family) to be conducted through a federal firearms licensee with the capability to run background checks.
The NY SAFE act also contains stronger magazine regulations, which put the maximum magazine capacity at seven rounds, reducing it from the previous limit of ten. High capacity magazines made prior to 1994 would be banned and required to be sold out of state, while existing post-1994 magazines would be required to be ‘permanently modified’ to only hold seven rounds.
Also instituted was real time tracking of all ammunition purchases. This would be possible because all ammunition dealers must register with the state police and report any ammunition sales. Dealers must also run a state background check for every ammunition purchase.
A copy of the NY SAFE act can be found here. If you are looking for clarification or have questions, a website was established by Cuomo to explain the act, including a commonly asked questions section. An official copy of the suit can be found here.
To find out if your personal firearms are banned or not, you can check these documents:
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The NRA’s suit against the NY SAFE act comes days after the assault weapons ban was dropped from the initial national gun control bill.