New York lawmakers passed the country’s most stringent gun control law when the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) act passed on January 15. It was a bold move by Governor Andrew Cuomo, who waived a mandatory aging period for the bill so it could go directly to the state assembly for a vote. However, gun rights groups won’t let the law stand without a fight.
According to USA Today, the New York Rifle and Pistol Association filed a notice of claim this Tuesday against the state, saying that the SAFE act violates fundamental constitutional rights. Among the plaintiffs are the Westchester County Firearm Owner’s Association and AR15.com, a well known gun owners’ forum based out of Farmington.
New York law enforcement officials have also spoken out against the law for feasibility reasons. Some police officials say they are not keen on harassing law-abiding citizens who just happen to own firearms. When notified of the claim, Governor Cuomo stated that he expected legal responses to the SAFE act and that he is confident it will stand on its own. Cuomo thanked lawmakers for their decision in a letter sent Monday that read, “your vote for passage of the NY SAFE was politically courageous and governmentally responsible.” New York is the first state to pass new gun-control legislation after the shooting in Newtown that claimed 26 lives.
Attorney James Tresmond will be representing the plaintiffs in the state Supreme Court in Erie County.
Some of the provisions in the SAFE act include:
- A redefinition of an “assault weapon” as having one “military” feature, such as a folding stock, pistol grip or bayonet mount. Current owners of weapons that fall under this category will have to register them with the authorities. Unsafe storage of these weapons is now criminal.
- A ban on internet sales of “assault weapons.”
- Magazine capacity is limited to seven bullets. Existing magazines can be modified or sold out of state.
- Therapists are required to report patients who express a desire to use guns illegally.
- Laws protecting the privacy of gun permit holders under the Freedom of Information Act.
- Registration of ammunition purchases.