A federal judge ruled today that the hastily-written-and-passed gun control laws pushed through in New York as a response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings are, for the most part, legal. Happy New Year, Second Amendment supporters in the Empire State! From the Associated Press:
A federal judge on Tuesday upheld most of New York's new gun control law, rejecting arguments that its bans on large-capacity magazines and the sale of some semi-automatic rifles violate Second Amendment rights.
Judge William Skretny in Buffalo concluded those provisions are constitutional because they're related to achieving an "important governmental interest" in public safety. Those two features make guns more lethal, he wrote, citing testimony submitted in the case.
The law "applies only to a subset of firearms with characteristics New York state has determined to be particularly dangerous and unnecessary for self-defense," Skretny wrote. "It does not totally disarm New York's citizens, and it does not meaningfully jeopardize their right to self-defense."
Skretny upheld the ban on magazines that hold more than 10 bullets, but he struck down a restriction on gun owners loading more than seven bullets in legal 10-round magazines. He said that appears to be "an arbitrary number."
Those who have followed the passage of this law, like Reason’s Jacob Sullum, know that that this “arbitrary number” exists because Gov. Mario Cuomo tried to establish a maximum magazine limit of seven bullets, without realizing that seven-bullet magazines are nearly non-existent. So instead he created this silly rule that gun-owners can only put seven bullets in their 10-round magazines.
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