Federal court upholds large parts of New York gun control law

posted at 1:01 pm on January 4, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

Some more bad news on the Second Amendment front came out of New York (where else?) this week… at least for now. The Federal District Court in Buffalo heard arguments from plaintiffs asking that most of the provisions of the Empire State’s odious SAFE Act – one of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation – be struck down on constitutional grounds. Unfortunately for those concerned with gun owners’ rights, the judge in this case upheld most of the law.

The ruling offered a victory to gun control advocates at the end of a year in which efforts to pass new legislation on the federal level suffered a high-profile defeat in Congress, although some new restrictions were approved in state capitals.

The judge, William M. Skretny of Federal District Court in Buffalo, said expanded bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines were legally sound because they served to “further the state’s important interest in public safety.”

The new laws in New York, enacted in January 2013, are among the most restrictive in the country. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, pushed for the state to be the first to take action after the mass school shooting in Newtown, Conn.; gun rights groups accused him of ramming through new gun restrictions they called ill-conceived, poorly understood and unconstitutional.

If there was any good news in this ruling, it was a very small crumb on a vastly larger plate. The ruling did strike down the ludicrous and frequently lampooned mandate saying that you couldn’t load more than seven rounds into your weapon even if it was designed to hold more.

In a 54-page ruling, Judge Skretny struck down a well-known but troubled portion of the law, which prohibited gun owners from loading more than seven rounds into a magazine. He called the limit “an arbitrary restriction” that violated the Second Amendment.

This case is obviously being kicked upstairs and the plaintiffs will next head to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. From there, the next stop is the Supreme Court, assuming it needs to go that far and the Justices agree to hear it. But there are indications that they will, given the fact that they didn’t shy away from taking on both the Heller and McDonald v Chicago cases. But how successful will they be? I’m tempted to think that Skretny’s decision will run into problems, particularly given some of the bizarre arguments he makes. Here’s just one example which caught my attention.

But, saying that “whether regulating firearms is wise or warranted is not a judicial question; it is a political one,” he found that Mr. Cuomo and lawmakers had acted within their bounds when they drafted the gun laws, and specifically cited the Bushmaster rifle and 30-round magazine used in the Newtown shooting.

“Of course, this is only one incident,” Judge Skretny wrote. “But it is nonetheless illustrative. Studies and data support New York’s view that assault weapons are often used to devastating effect in mass shootings.”

I find it rather shocking that a seated federal judge would declare the question of whether or not the government can infringe the right to keep and bear arms to be “a political question” and not a judicial one. That statement alone would, in my non-lawerly opinion, call the entire judgement into question right there. Still, assuming this challenge reaches the SCOTUS, the ruling in Heller is no assurance of a positive outcome, as an actual lawyer, Doug Mataconis, points out.

As I noted above, to a large degree much of this is new law because no Court, least of all the Supreme Court, has ruled on the issue of what Heller, McDonald, and the Second Amendment mean when it comes to weapons other than handguns yet. In that regard, though, I think its important to note this section of the Heller majority opinion that was written by no less than Justice Scalia:

Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. See, e.g., Sheldon, in 5 Blume 346; Rawle 123; Pomeroy 152-153; Abbott333. For example, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues. See, e.g., State v. Chandler, 5 La. Ann., at 489-490; Nunn v. State, 1 Ga., at 251; see generally 2 Kent *340, n. 2; The American Students’ Blackstone 84, n. 11 (G. Chase ed. 1884). Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment , nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.

Doug goes on to point out that, as much as we may take the Second Amendment for granted as a line in the sand for personal rights, much of this is really uncharted territory in terms of how the highest court will rule. And we may be waiting a long time for any complete sort of answer.

In the wake of Heller and McDonald, I noted that the Supreme Court had opened up an entirely new area of the law that would take decades to flesh out. Partly, this is because, for the most part, there had been an incredibly limited amount of Supreme Court precedent on the Second Amendment prior to Heller, my own rough count found one case in the late 19th Century and a handful of cases in the 20th Century dealing with things such as the mid-1930s laws that regulated the circumstances under which someone could legally obtain a fully automatic weapon, a law that remains largely intact and is unlikely to be seriously challenged at any time in the future. Once the Court ruled as it did in Heller, though, it guaranteed that we would see years of litigation on what exactly the right that its decision outlined via the historical evidence available from the time the Amendment was ratified actually entailed. As noted, we’ve already seen the beginnings of that in the lower courts, and this case is now added to that list.

Doug has a very lengthy analysis at the link which is well worth your time to read, as it includes much of the case history which will come to bear on this case and other similar ones in the pipeline. There are a number of disturbing elements hiding under the covers, too. Even the most conservative justices have shown that, while they support the concept of the Second Amendment as an individual right held by all citizens, they simultaneously recognize the government’s ability to impose limits on that right. This leads to the usual “gray lines” where future battles will be fought. But perhaps even more troubling is the fundamental reason for having the right to keep and bear arms cited by Scalia, as Doug explains.

While this is dicta that was not essential to the ruling in Heller, it was a clear signal from the Court to the Circuit and District Court’s that it’s decision was not intended to be, and should not be interpreted as, a blanket declaration that restrictions on gun ownership of all kinds were per se unconstitutional. In fact, Scalia was careful to say in his opinion that the basis for the Court’s ruling in Heller was based primarily on what it saw as a fundamental right of self defense in the home. To some degree, that part of Heller has been expanded to include the right to self-defense in public, but the rulings involved still only involved handguns, not more advanced weaponry. Thus, it’s difficult to say how even the Heller majority would deal with the issue of so-called “Assault Weapons.”

If you set in stone that the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is tied to the right to self defense, you may as well codify that it’s tied to hunting or fighting in a war. That opens the door to all manner of future limitations, rather than the general language of the Second Amendment saying that the Right shall not be infringed. Period.

So as Mataconis points out, we shouldn’t expect any sort of sweeping, permanent clarity to come from this case any more than it did from Heller (which really only dealt with handguns). McDonald gained a lot more ground, essentially stating that all the states have to recognize the right, but the door remained open for broad ranging restrictions which could be used to find back door routes to gun confiscation such as we’ve already seen in New York. Still, this one should add to the body of precedent once it’s closed out, and hopefully more of this horrible law will eventually be struck down.


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“Guns belong in the hands of the Police and the criminals..”
- nonpart….

Electrongod on January 4, 2014 at 1:03 PM

and specifically cited the Bushmaster rifle and 30-round magazine used in the Newtown shooting.
 
“Of course, this is only one incident,” Judge Skretny wrote. “But it is nonetheless illustrative. Studies and data support New York’s view that assault weapons are often used to devastating effect in mass shootings.”

 
As verbaluce pointed out, (D)s should be pushing for mandatory 100 round drum ownership instead.

rogerb on January 4, 2014 at 1:05 PM

…were legally sound because they served to “further the state’s important interest in public safety.”

Once again, penumbras and emanations overrule explicit and unambiguous language.

Fenris on January 4, 2014 at 1:08 PM

As GOVERNMENT expands, Liberty contracts.

With this ruling, guess which got smaller?

PappyD61 on January 4, 2014 at 1:17 PM

…were legally sound because they served to “further the state’s important interest in public safety.”

Whereas legally, the state has no interest in individual safety from a potentially oppressive government.

However individual citizens do have an interest. The whole reason for the 2nd amendment and a “a well regulated militia” is to defend from the state’s misguided interests. But that would require analysis of original intent of the language, which the state does not want to address in any form.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 4, 2014 at 1:19 PM

356 deaths last year were caused by long guns in the entire country. That includes ‘assault’ rifles. That includes accidents, suicides, and lawful homicides. Why does not the judge no that his premise is simply wrong?

pat on January 4, 2014 at 1:21 PM

I’m sorry, but can someone point me to where it says in the laws of the universe forever that “self defense in the home” can only be accomplished with a handgun ?

That is an arbitrarily assigned distinction between hand guns and “assault weapon”, a definition that has been rightly mocked, itself, for being arbitrary. The fact is, there is no ACTUAL difference between the two other than size and the ability to conceal or carry the weapon discretely. Considering that we’re talking about inside one’s own property, neither of those is pertinent.

Where is it written that the government should be the one to decide what is acceptable for home defense and what isn’t, especially in absence of any data or factual argument as to why it matters. Because it doesn’t matter. So-called “assault weapons” are, contrary to the judge’s assertion quoted above, NOT used much at all in any crime. Seems to me, by that argument, people should all have assault weapons and concealable handguns should be banned.

The very definition of arbitrary and capricious.

deadrody on January 4, 2014 at 1:21 PM

The judge, William M. Skretny of Federal District Court in Buffalo, said expanded bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines were legally sound because they served to “further the state’s important interest in public safety.”

And when the law has zero impact on public safety then what? An admission they were wrong or, more likely, a push for more restrictions. That is how the Left works.

Charlemagne on January 4, 2014 at 1:24 PM

They should prepare for Remington to depart for more gun friendly climes ala Magpul. I recommend Montana, we need the jobs.

Kissmygrits on January 4, 2014 at 1:30 PM

The judge, William M. Skretny

Appointed by Pappy Bush.

Del Dolemonte on January 4, 2014 at 1:32 PM

The very definition of arbitrary and capricious.

deadrody on January 4, 2014 at 1:21 PM

Indeed. I can find no parenthetical in the Second Amendment where it states “(but only for home defense)”.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 4, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Where is it written that the government should be the one to decide what is acceptable for home defense and what isn’t, especially in absence of any data or factual argument as to why it matters…
 
The very definition of arbitrary and capricious.
 
deadrody on January 4, 2014 at 1:21 PM

 
They made men insure themselves against pregnancy, so this one is easy.

rogerb on January 4, 2014 at 1:42 PM

I find it rather shocking that a seated federal judge would declare the question of whether or not the government can infringe the right to keep and bear arms to be “a political question” and not a judicial one. That statement alone would, in my non-lawerly opinion, call the entire judgement into question right there.

Well, then you probably should have read the very next sentence in the opinion:

In resolving the pending motions, this Court notes that whether regulating firearms is wise or warranted is not a judicial question; it is a political one. This Court’s function is thus limited to resolving whether New York’s elected representatives acted within the confines of the United States Constitution in passing the SAFE Act.

righty45 on January 4, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Appointed by Pappy Bush.

Del Dolemonte on January 4, 2014 at 1:32 PM

All you have to know is that it’s in Buffalo.

rightside on January 4, 2014 at 1:52 PM

The federal courts will never endorse an unlimited right to bear arms. They will always find that some restrictions apply, just as they have done with the First Amendment (which nevertheless contains the stark prohibition that “Congress shall make no law . . . .”). The courts are willing to hear arguments that “public safety” requires X or Y regulation/prohibition and never hold that people have the individual right to carry firearms free of any restriction.

Once that point is conceded, we’re simply left with determining which restrictions and prohibitions are acceptable infringements on the right to bear arms. Heller came out the way it did because D.C.’s restrictions were so draconian that the right had lost all meaning whatsoever. But there is a lot a middle ground between being totally unable to exercise a right at all, and being restricted from carrying certain types of weapons.

Revenant on January 4, 2014 at 1:54 PM

Unicorns and Rainbows baby, the northeast bastion of Liberals. They must love being treated like children in this area, they keep electing their mothers and fathers; so that all will be fair in life. This is their choice and if they like it I’m just tickled pink. But, please do not move south and bring your ideology with you.

DDay on January 4, 2014 at 1:54 PM

A semi-automatic bushmaster is NOT an assault weapon, though it was physically designed to resemble one.

Judge (or his clerk staff) should know better

bobnox on January 4, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Studies and data support New York’s view that assault weapons are often used to devastating effect in mass shootings

Maybe on another planet, but in the real world they support just the opposite view.

The purpose of the present study is to determine the effects of state-level assault weapons bans and concealed weapons laws on state-level murder rates. Using data for the period 1980 to 2009 and controlling for state and year fixed effects, the results of the present study suggest that states with restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons had higher gun-related murder rates than other states. It was also found that assault weapons bans did not significantly affect murder rates at the state level. These results suggest that restrictive concealed weapons laws may cause an increase in gun-related murders at the state level. The results of this study are consistent with some prior research in this area, most notably Lott and Mustard (1997).

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13504851.2013.854294#.UshZZ9jTnwr

jaydee_007 on January 4, 2014 at 2:00 PM

I find it rather shocking that a seated federal judge would declare the question of whether or not the government can infringe the right to keep and bear arms to be “a political question” and not a judicial one.

Never, ever underestimate the cancer of civic ignorance and anti-civic arrogance loose in America today, from ivory towers to courthouses to corridors of high power.

rrpjr on January 4, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Even the most conservative justices have shown that, while they support the concept of the Second Amendment as an individual right held by all citizens, they simultaneously recognize the government’s ability to impose limits on that right.

There it is again; that concept that “the government” is somehow a different entity than “the people” and, therefore, can impose on the people whatever decisions it deems falls under its purview.

When a conservative says “government” he is describing the political arm as an extension of the people-in-general designed, primarily, to protect and defend their interests and rights within a specific moral context, particularly where the individual does not have the power to protect himself. When Liberals (read Communists) say “government”, they mean a separate and political arm of society designed to mandate behavior and limits on the people within a specific world vision. The rights of the people, if considered relevant at all, are subsumed to a larger and sometimes arbitrary and flexible reading of the Constitution.

Cleombrotus on January 4, 2014 at 2:05 PM

and scotus (was it heller ??) says police are not responsible for public safety only catching the offenders.
so you can’t have this because only the people that can’t defend you can have it.
ouch.

dmacleo on January 4, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Cleombrotus on January 4, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Well said.

rrpjr on January 4, 2014 at 2:19 PM

The judge, William M. Skretny of Federal District Court in Buffalo, said expanded bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines were legally sound because they served to “further the state’s important interest in public safety.”

Strawman argument and coming from a Judge it is shameful and smacks of legislating from the Bench.

If that is his line of reasoning then every single motor vehicle in the entire Country should be immediately equipped with alcohol inhibitors to stop the estimated 100,000 drunk driver crashes and about 20,000 accident deaths from drunk drivers per year.

It is after all in the states important interest in public safety. If is saves only one child……

Johnnyreb on January 4, 2014 at 2:22 PM

“whether regulating firearms is wise or warranted is not a judicial question; it is a political one,”

So now my Natural Rights are a political question, not a Constitutionally guaranteed God Given Right??

Nice work Judge…where do they train these dufuses?

glcinpdx on January 4, 2014 at 2:33 PM

If they can the libs will limit us to double barrel shotguns and outlaw hunting.

claudius on January 4, 2014 at 2:33 PM

We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those “in common use at the time.” 307 U. S., at 179. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of “dangerous and unusual weapons.”

What Scalia wrote here in the Heller decision is important. The AR-15 is the most popular rifle in America. It is definitely “in common use”.

Mark1971 on January 4, 2014 at 2:40 PM

the left never gives up, and any time they see the smallest opportunity they will seize it. An issue is never dead until it is decided in the favor of the left

meanwhile the GOP is under assault in many places

Democratic strategy promotes Tea Party rivals

http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2013/08/24/democrats-meddle-gop-primaries-helping-extreme-candidates-who-are-easier-beat/0luntngpRfBd7xjBTAQAML/story.html

they are looking for their next Akin.

karl and his pals think 2014 will be pretty good with his buds getting maybe up 50 in the senate…but my sense in that they may well be out flanked, out outmaneuvered

r keller on January 4, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Some more bad news on the Second Amendment front came out of New York (where else?)

Jazz Shaw on January 4, 2014 at 1:01 PM

.
Where else . . . . . . . . let’s see, there’s Connecticut, Massachusetts, Colorado, New Mexico, California, (Oregon?).

listens2glenn on January 4, 2014 at 3:06 PM

listens2glenn on January 4, 2014 at 3:06 PM

.
Holy balls! . . . . . how could I forget New Jersey?

listens2glenn on January 4, 2014 at 3:07 PM

The federal judges are scary enough, but what really puts a chill down my spine is that the people would elect someone like de Blasio after 12 years of Bloomberg and 5 years of Obama. Even for New York this is a new low. This and the behavior of people in the greater Boston area after the bombing is a complete repudiation of everything that makes America unique. Statist leaders, onerous gun restrictions, militarized police; we are living at the dawn of the American Fascist Republic. For the news we have propaganda. For the law we have the Fuhrer Principle.

claudius on January 4, 2014 at 3:17 PM

and specifically cited the Bushmaster rifle and 30-round magazine used in the Newtown shooting.

“Of course, this is only one incident,” Judge Skretny wrote. “But it is nonetheless illustrative. Studies and data support New York’s view that assault weapons are often used to devastating effect in mass shootings.”

A semi-automatic bushmaster is NOT an assault weapon, though it was physically designed to resemble one.

Judge (or his clerk staff) should know better

bobnox on January 4, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Besides the fact that a semi-auto AR-15 is NOT really an “assault weapon” (the AR in AR-15 is an abbreviation of Armalite Rifle – NOT Assault Rifle), ARs are NOT used often in mass shootings.
Columbine did NOT involve an AR.
DC Navy Yard did NOT involve an AR.
Fort Hood did NOT involve an AR.
Tucson Giffords shooting did NOT involve an AR.

The simple fact is that AR-15s, and AK-47s, are very seldom used in crimes of any kind.

dentarthurdent on January 4, 2014 at 3:33 PM

The federal judges are scary enough, but what really puts a chill down my spine is that the people would elect someone like de Blasio after 12 years of Bloomberg and 5 years of Obama. Even for New York this is a new low.

claudius on January 4, 2014 at 3:17 PM

It’s no real surprise. De Blasio ran on a hard left populist vision that promised equality of results over equality of opportunity. He was well funded because he toadied up to the Unions and basically promised them full support to stock up their bank accounts with taxpayer funds – where they can easily make $10 for every $1 they invested in his campaign. He promised to end poverty in NYC and make the ‘rich’ pay for it all even though he doesn’t have a prayer in getting the State to approve the vindictive taxation he needs to actually fulfill his promises. He has basically run on the promises of Detroit, doing the same things that Detroit did over decades faster and more aggressively, and promised different results. The poor and LIV in NYC lapped it up.

Get used to this. This is how the progressive-fascists will be running in 2014 for local, state, and federal elections – promising the world and blaming the GOP, Tea Party, and religious nuts for their inability to remotely deliver on their excessive promises.

It’s what worked in Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Ireland, and dozens of localities in the US – and will work again because there are too many who want something for nothing…who don’t want to be accountable or responsible…and who think that taxpayer money is the money that comes from someone else without penalty, repercussions, or real impact.

Athos on January 4, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Athos on January 4, 2014 at 3:34 PM

As I’ve often said before – the Idiocracy is already here.

dentarthurdent on January 4, 2014 at 3:49 PM

The US Supreme Court has ruled that ANY weapon that is a “militia” weapon is protected by the Second Amendment. The judge is wrong, wrong, wrong. The New York law is (un)Constitutional, period.

US vs Miller 1939 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Miller

growl on January 4, 2014 at 3:49 PM

Cleombrotus on January 4, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Well said.

rrpjr on January 4, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Agreed.

There Goes the Neighborhood on January 4, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Athos on January 4, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Agreed. And it will continue to work……….until the whole rotten edifice collapses.

tngmv on January 4, 2014 at 4:28 PM

they served to “further the state’s important interest in public safety.”

Gawd forbid the citizenry of the country were well armed and able to defend itself…. yep that wouldn’t be in the interest of the state.

Nut’n but a robed goon rule’n in favor of his thug pals

roflmmfao

donabernathy on January 4, 2014 at 4:41 PM

We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those “in common use at the time.” 307 U. S., at 179. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of “dangerous and unusual weapons.”

What Scalia wrote here in the Heller decision is important. The AR-15 is the most popular rifle in America. It is definitely “in common use”.

Mark1971 on January 4, 2014 at 2:40 PM

I think what Miller is saying here is muskets…which, also means, Freedom of the Press is limited to type press.

ladyingray on January 4, 2014 at 4:43 PM

The idea that the government can protect us is patently absurd. All the government can do is to destroy our liberties while promoting the illusion of safety.

As William Pitt the Younger observed, “necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”

roflmmfao

donabernathy on January 4, 2014 at 4:43 PM

Appointed by Pappy Bush.

Del Dolemonte on January 4, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Which just goes to prove the maxim that, even when we get a non-Rat President, there is only a 50-50 shot of not getting a Lawgiver-In-Black out of him.

Steve Eggleston on January 4, 2014 at 4:58 PM

I think what Miller is saying here is muskets… which, also means, Freedom of the Press is limited to type press.

ladyingray on January 4, 2014 at 4:43 PM

Excellent.

slickwillie2001 on January 4, 2014 at 5:15 PM

One could expect no less from the Peoples Republic of New York. It will only get worse as communism moves northward from New York City.

rplat on January 4, 2014 at 5:18 PM

HA does need to get someone with experience in firearms, the Second Amendment and arms in general.

NY went Stupid long ago, and the government thinks that it is the part of the body of society that thinks. That is always dangerous.

To society.

ajacksonian on January 4, 2014 at 5:29 PM

The judge, William M. Skretny

Appointed by Pappy Bush.

Del Dolemonte on January 4, 2014 at 1:32 PM

…I liked the two Bush boys as individuals…and family men…but the “go along…to get along” politics…just frosts my ba11s!…and that… I still despise!

KOOLAID2 on January 4, 2014 at 5:29 PM

Excellent.

slickwillie2001 on January 4, 2014 at 5:15 PM

*curtsies*

ladyingray on January 4, 2014 at 5:36 PM

There’s been further movement on this story. See http://www.nysrpa.org/

paul1149 on January 4, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Another liberal failure wanting it both ways.

You can’t say a plastic box with a spring in it is a public safety hazard, then begin the process to make drugs legal.

Hypocrisy at it’s worst.

TX-96 on January 4, 2014 at 6:27 PM

they are looking for their next Akin.

karl and his pals think 2014 will be pretty good with his buds getting maybe up 50 in the senate…but my sense in that they may well be out flanked, out outmaneuvered

r keller on January 4, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Okay, can we please at least, as conservatives, agree NOT to do what liberals do, and that is Re-Write History!

Todd Akin was NOT ( NOT NOT NOT NOT ) the tea party candidate! Never was, never will have been. Who ever tries to portray Akin as Tea Party is a LIAR!

Sarah Steelman was the Tea Party Candidate.

Todd Aikin was the Democrat (McKaskil running unopposed) cross over vote candidate!

jaydee_007 on January 4, 2014 at 8:28 PM

I think what Miller is saying here is muskets…which, also means, Freedom of the Press is limited to type press.

ladyingray on January 4, 2014 at 4:43 PM

they had more than muskets back then.

https://scontent-b-iad.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/q71/s720x720/1512773_789636174396374_1074726724_n.jpg

Lifeisdeath on January 5, 2014 at 12:46 AM

The Second Amendment is about militia weapons, weapons intended for war, not hunting. As such, the so called “assault weapons” are exactly the weapons the Second Amendment protects for civilian ownership. I would posit further, that the Constitution gives the federal government NO authority over firearms, but that it explicitly forbids the federal government from infringing on the right to keep and bear arms.

kjatexas on January 5, 2014 at 9:02 AM

New York will become a second Detroit, all courtesy of liberals.

ultracon on January 5, 2014 at 10:55 AM

The crumb on the much larger plate calls the rest of the ruling into question. It would be nice if judges had some respect for the law and actually upheld it.

Quartermaster on January 5, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Within the next few years, man-portable coil and rail guns will be possible. The battery technology is already there, as is the technology to activate and deactivate a series of coils to accelerate the shot. What may be lacking is the energy density of capacitors – maybe for now.

What I find interesting is there will be no requirement for a cartridge, which would open the door to higher capacity magazines. Let’s say you want an AR-15 style weapon that fires 4.7mm elongated slugs? A current 20 round magazine could, in theory, hold 65+ rounds. A thirty round clip could hold upwards of a hundred rounds.

Throw in the capacity to 3-d print a weapon with coil/rail capability and you have something that is durable enough than as a cartridge based weapon.

It’s enough to give our gun-control freaks a fit. There is no way government agencies can control it. It will become ever so much easier to download or create a program to print one. I can foresee where the government would enact Prohibition-type laws to try to curtail the technology.

We all know how that worked out.

Turtle317 on January 6, 2014 at 8:44 AM

I hope New York makes the safe act a political problem. I’m in western New York and there is a “repeal the safe act” every where you turn. People hate Cuomo for his overnight gun control crap.

magicbeans on January 6, 2014 at 11:17 AM