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State police won’t enforce SAFE Act's seven-bullet rule

Saturday, March 29, 2014
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— New York State Police will not be enforcing the seven-bullet magazine limit as part of the state’s gun-control law passed last year.

The state police updated its guide to the New York SAFE Act for officers not to enforce the seven-bullet limit after a federal district court judge found that the provision was unconstitutional under the Second Amendment.

“As a result of the court decision in the western district, we are currently not enforcing the seven-round provision of the SAFE Act,” said state police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico during a joint budget hearing on public protection last month. “We have statewide jurisdiction, we need statewide policy as an agency so there is pending litigation, which could change it, but as of today we are not enforcing it.”

The SAFE Act guide book for police officers was changed to read:

“While the federal district court upheld most of its provisions, the court held that this section, ‘Unlawful Possession of Certain Ammunition Feeding Devices,’ was unconstitutional. As a result of the court’s decision, members are instructed not to enforce PL 265.37 at this time.”

The state Rifle & Pistol Association released a statement of support in response to the state police’s decision not to enforce the seven-round magazine limit. But the group is looking to have the SAFE Act completely overturned.

“To date, NYSRPA has spent over $500,000 in litigation and we are prepared to fight the NY SAFE Act all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where we are confident that many provisions of the law will ultimately be overturned,” said NYSRPA President Thomas King.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the state’s Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act into law in January 2013. The measure bans possession of high-capacity magazines, requires ammunition dealers to do background checks and creates a registry of assault weapons.

The deadline for New Yorkers to register their assault weapons with the state is April 15.

The SAFE Act was amended after it was passed to allow state residents to purchase magazines that can contain up to 10 rounds. But the law still states that magazines can only contain up to seven rounds, unless being fired at a range or for competition.

Gun-rights advocates are holding a gun rally on Tuesday at the Capitol in Albany to speak out against the SAFE Act. Celebrity billionaire Donald Trump, Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, a Republican challenging Cuomo for governor, are expected to attend.

 
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