Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny in Buffalo has found the SAFE Act, New York’s gun control law to be constitutional, but has struck down the limit imposed on magazines. The court held that the SAFE Act restriction on limiting magazines to only seven bullets was invalid though the law, on the whole, did not infringe on Second Amendment rights.
The State Rifle & Pistol Association and other activist groups had challenged the SAFE Act in court in March, soon after Governor Andrew Cuomo passed the law in response to the massacre of children in Newtown. The law added new restrictions on the sales of guns and added registration requirements for possessing guns.
The lawsuit by gun-rights activists alleged that the SAFE Act infringed the “fundamental constitutional rights to lawfully possess, keep, bear and use firearms for self-defense and other lawful purposes.”
One of the most controversial measures was that of allowing only seven rounds in a magazine. After learning that gun manufacturers make only 10-round magazines as the minimum viable product, the law was modified to allow 10-round magazines, on the condition that they be loaded only with seven bullets.
Skretny observed, “This court finds that the challenged provisions of the SAFE Act – including the Act’s definition and regulation of assault weapons and its ban on large-capacity magazines – further the state’s important interest in public safety, and do not impermissibly infringe on Plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights.”
However, when considering the 7-bullet limitation, Skretny said, “The seven-round limit fails the relevant test because the purported link between the ban and the state’s interest is tenuous, strained, and unsupported in the record.”The SAFE Act is expected to face more challenges in other court battles.
Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny has found the SAFE Act, New York’s gun control law to be constitutional and strikes down limit imposed on magazines. The SAFE Act restriction on limiting magazines to only seven bullets was invalid though on the whole, did not infringe on Second Amendment rights. However, the lawsuit by gun-rights activists alleged that the SAFE Act infringed the fundamental constitutional rights.