New York Lawmakers May Amend New Gun Law


by Sharon Rondeau

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a gun law on January 15, 2013 in response to the shootings in Newtown, CT which caused law enforcement officers throughout the state to be in violation. Cuomo pledged that police would not be prosecuted for carrying their customary magazine clips, which exceed the new law’s limit of seven rounds

(Mar. 20, 2013) — Two months after its passage, New York State’s new gun law limiting ammunition clips to no more than seven rounds, requiring universal background checks and registration of all firearms, is under review for possible amendments.

The law has been challenged in the state Supreme Court, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo must show that the law is constitutional by the end of April to avoid an injunction against it.  Opponents view the law as ” the most brazen infringement on the right to keep and bear arms anywhere in the nation” and have vowed to defy its registration provisions.

Cuomo believes that New York now has “the most comprehensive gun laws in the nation,” although law enforcement officers, who normally carry guns with more than the new limit of seven rounds, are technically in violation of the new SAFE Act.  Cuomo and lawmakers are considering raising the restriction on ammunition clips.

New York’s constitution requires a three-day review period following bicameral passage of a new bill unless the governor can show that exigent circumstances exist.  Cuomo’s waiver claimed that because assault weapons pose a significant danger to society, the bill had to be enacted without the three-day waiting period.

Second Amendment advocates have accused Cuomo of treason for signing the bill.  As of March 12, most New York counties had acted by passing bills or resolutions to disregard the law.  The website on Wednesday reported that all counties in New York State outside of New York City had either passed anti-SAFE Act resolutions or had resolutions pending.

An upstate New York attorney filed a lawsuit after the law was passed claiming violations of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Bill of Rights.  Atty. James Tresmond’s two plaintiffs own weapons which would have to be surrendered under the new law.

An Iraq war veteran is reportedly the first person charged under the new law with felonies for attempting to sell newly-banned weapons to an undercover law enforcer.

Cuomo had a favorable approval rating prior to the signing of the bill with members of both parties, although a majority of Republicans now object to his policies.



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