Friday, September 27, 2013

SAF Sues New York Over Magazine Capacity Limit

As the Second Amendment Foundation begins its annual Gun Rights Policy Conference today, one new topic of discussion may well be the suit they filed today on behalf of themselves, Shooters Committee for Political Education (SCOPE), Long Island Firearms, and two individual plaintiffs. The suit challenges that part of the New York SAFE Act which limits the number of rounds that are allowed to be in a lawful magazine to seven rounds unless a person is at a shooting range. With the exception of single stack magazines for the 1911 and a few pocket pistols, most magazines for semi-auto pistols hold more than the seven round limit.

Caron et al v. Cuomo et al was filed in US District Court for the Northern District of New York.

The complaint notes that magazines containing ten rounds and more are in common usage for lawful purposes and that firearms containing ten round magazines are "therefore not dangerous and unusual weapons" per the Heller decision. The complaint goes on to note that individual self defense is "‘the central component’ of the Second Amendment right” as noted in the McDonald decision which was quoting Heller. The suit seeks a declaratory judgment that the seven round limitation violates the Second Amendment and preliminary and permanent injunctions against enforcement of that part of the NY SAFE Act that limits the number of rounds to seven.

The lead attorney in the lawsuit is David Jensen who has brought a number of lawsuits on behalf of the Second Amendment Foundation.

The complaint can be found here.

The Second Amendment Foundation released this on the case this evening:
BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation filed suit today in federal court seeking to enjoin the State of New York from enforcing provisions of the so-called “SAFE Act” that limit the use of gun magazines containing more than seven cartridges.

SAF is joined in the lawsuit by the Shooters Committee for Political Education (SCOPE) and Long Island Firearms LLC. They are represented by New York attorneys David Jensen and Robert P. Firriolo.

Named as defendants in the lawsuit are New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Joseph D’Amico, superintendent of the Division of State Police.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, asserts that the seven-round loading restriction violates the Second Amendment because it “substantially interferes with the right of law abiding citizens to defend themselves and is not sufficiently related to any compelling or otherwise adequate government interest.”

“The cartridge limit is arbitrary and serves no useful purpose other than to frustrate, and perhaps entrap, law abiding citizens who own firearms with standard capacity magazines that were designed to hold more than seven rounds,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “Several top law enforcement officials have already publicly stated they will not enforce provisions of this law, yet Gov. Cuomo and Supt. D’Amico are pushing ahead.

“The law is contradictory, in that it is legal in New York to possess magazines that hold up to ten cartridges,” he added. “But the SAFE Act limits people to seven rounds, with some narrow exceptions. This amounts to virtual entrapment for anyone who loads more than seven rounds in a magazine for self-defense purposes.

“Magazines that hold ten or more rounds are in common use all over the country,” Gottlieb concluded. “This arbitrary limit essentially penalizes law abiding citizens for exercising their right of self-defense, and that cannot be allowed to stand.”

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