Does New York’s Gun Control Law Go Too Far? NRA Goes To Court
The NRA announced Thursday that it has joined a lawsuit challenging New York’s gun control law signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in January. New York’s new law, known as the SAFE Act, strengthens New York’s ban on assault weapons and limits the number of rounds a magazine can hold.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday in the US District Court for the Western District of New York, asserts that the law violates peoples’ rights granted by the second and 14th amendments. The plaintiffs claim that the language used in the law is unconstitutionally vague.
“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, which prohibits infringement of the right of law-abiding citizens to keep commonly-possessed firearms in the home for defense of self and family and for other lawful purposes,” the complaint reads.
The announcement comes on the same day that Vice President Joe Biden and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg challenged Congress to push for stronger gun control measures.
“There is not one single thing being proposed — not one, not one, not one — that infringes upon anyone’s second amendment constitutional right,” Biden said.
The Vice President argued that the vast majority of Americans agree with the proposals that President Barack Obama and Bloomberg have pushed for.
“Because the vast majority of the American people, the vast majority of gun owners, even close to a majority of NRA members, who only represent four million of the gun owners in America, think what the mayor has been pushing and what the president has proposed is just simple common sense,” Biden said.
New York’s Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act was written in response to the shooting that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut The law bans high-capacity magazines; requires dealers, including private dealers, to perform background checks; requires a registry of assault weapons; strengthens New York’s pre-existing assault weapons ban; and implements various other provisions. The law passed the New York State Legislature on January 15 and was signed into law by Cuomo less than an hour later.
Plaintiffs in the case include the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, the Westchester County Firearms Owners Association, the Sportsmen’s Association for Firearms Education, the New York State Amateur Trapshooting Association, and the Beikirch Ammunition Corp.
The New York State Rifle and Pistol Association was established in 1871 and is associated with the National Rifle Association. The organization is both New York’s oldest and largest firearms advocacy organization.
The NRA has argued that placing any limits on gun ownership is a fundamental threat to peoples’ second amendment rights, and New York’s gun control law is arguably the toughest of its kind in the country.