Gun group to challenge new state restrictions
CAPITOL A gun owners’ group filed notice today that it intends to sue New York state to strike down the state’s restrictive gun law passed two weeks ago.
The New York Rifle & Pistol Association said the new law violates the constitutional right to bear arms and privacy rights. The group says the law unconstitutionally criminalizes guns and magazines that were previously legal and restricts a citizen’s ability to do business.
Association President Tom King said others will join the suit, including individual gun owners and businesses. Plaintiffs named in the notice also included the Westchester County Firearms Owners Association, the Sportsmen’s Association for Firearms Education Inc. and AR15.COM LLC.
“The outright criminalization and ban of these firearms, ammunition and large capacity feeding devices amounts to a deprivation and taking of them by the State of New York under color of law and without due process or just compensation,” the claim said.
The plaintiffs have 90 days to file the lawsuit. They have not yet decided where, although they probably will file in state court, King said. He estimated that New York’s 19 million residents include about 4.75 million gun owners.
The law bans certain semi-automatic guns and large magazines, requires owners to register within a year any once-legal guns banned under the law’s tighter definition of “assault weapons” and outlaws bringing them into New York from elsewhere.
The law also institutes mandatory background checks for ammunition purchases, tries to keep guns out of the hands of mentally ill people who may be a threat to themselves or others and increases prison penalties for gun crimes.
The measure, spearheaded by Gov. Andrew Cuomo after the Newtown, Conn., school massacre and the ambush of firefighters in suburban Rochester, passed the New York state Senate, which is run by a Republican-dominated coalition, 43-18. The Democrat-controlled Assembly approved it, as well, 104-43.
“The new law will limit gun violence through common sense, reasonable reforms that include addressing the risks posed by mentally ill people who have access to guns and banning high capacity magazines and lethal assault weapons,” Cuomo says.