The Second Amendment Foundation today filed a lawsuit in the federal district court for the Northern District of New York seeking to enjoin the Empire State from enforcing provisions of the so-called S.A.F.E. Act limiting the use of gun magazines to seven rounds or less, even if the magazine is designed to hold more ammunition.
The lawsuit, naming New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Joseph D’Amico, superintendent of the Division of State Police as defendants, 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.”
SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, meeting with the SAF board in Houston as part of the annual Gun Rights Policy Conference, made the announcement Friday afternoon following confirmation from attorney David Jensen, one of two attorneys working on the case. The other counsel is Robert P. Firriolo.
Joining SAF in the lawsuit are Shooters Committee for Political Education (SCOPE) and Long Island Firearms LLC, and two private citizens, Matthew Gudger, a resident of Suffolk County, and Matthew Caron, who resides in Saratoga County. The case is known as Caron v. Cuomo.
In a press statement, Gottlieb said the seven-round 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.”
Various law enforcement officials in New York State have publicly stated they will not enforce the new law while others will, passed in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy in neighboring Connecticut last December.
“The law is contradictory, in that it is legal in New York to possess magazines that hold up to ten cartridges,” Gottlieb said. “But the SAFE Act limits people to seven rounds, with some narrow exceptions.”
Noting that magazines which hold eight, ten or even more cartridges are in common ue all over the country, Gottlieb said the arbitrary ammunition limit “essentially penalizes law abiding citizens for exercising their right of self-defense, and that cannot be allowed to stand.”
Under New York law passed in January, magazines holding more than ten rounds are prohibited, the lawsuit notes.
“While law abiding gun owners are free to possess ammunition magazines that can hold up to ten rounds, it is (with one exception) illegal to load more than 7 rounds in an otherwise lawful 8, 9, or 10-round magazine,” the lawsuit states.
The exception allows law abiding gun owners to load a full 10 rounds while shooting at gun ranges.
The lawsuit asserts that a person “has a greater ability to protect his or her life (or the lives of his or her family members) with an ammunition magazine that holds a greater number of rounds of ammunition.”
The document mentions such cases as being attacked by a criminal gang or a drug-crazed criminal who continues attacking even after being shot. It also asserts that this cartridge limit places disabled people, who may not be able to easily reload their defensive firearms, at a disadvantage in a criminal attack.
Second Amendment Foundation
Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms