Chief US District Judge William M. Skretny
In a stunning loss for Second Amendment advocates, a US District Judge upheld most of the S.A.F.E. Act including prohibitions against semi-automatic pistols, but rejected the law limiting the loading of more than seven-rounds in 10-round magazines.
US District Judge William Skretny, upheld two key elements of the law, the state’s ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines but rejected a third component, the seven-round limit for magazines.
The judge called the seven-round limit ‘tenuous, strained and unsupported.’
The limit on rifles, which he likes to call ‘assault weapons,’ is also ‘tenuous, strained, and unsupported.’
‘The majority of the challenged provisions withstand constitutional scrutiny,’ Skretny said in his decision.
Brian T. Stapleton, a lawyer for the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, will appeal, possibly on the ‘common use’ principle.
‘He seems to find that these weapons are in common use but nevertheless finds the act does not violate the Second Amendment,’ Stapleton said.
The judge said only 2% of the weapons owned by Americans are ‘assault weapons’ and that it ‘does not totally disarm New York’s citizens.’ ‘It does not meaningfully jeopardize their right to self-defense,’ he said.
The SAFE Act includes, for the first time, semi-automatic weapons with superficial characteristics of assault weapons and it prohibits magazines with more than 10 rounds. The judge rejected a prohibition on loading more than seven rounds in 10-round magazines.
Judge Skretny found regulations of pistols that are automatic to be unconstitutional.
Both sides are expected to appeal.
This is an important case. The last case to come before the Supreme Court of the United States, District of Columbia v. Heller, only passed by one vote. Our Second Amendment is only one vote away from extinction.
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