The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association (NYSRPA), the Westchester County Firearm Owners Association (WCFOA), the Sportsmen’s Association for Firearm Education (SAFE) and AR-15.com.LLC have taken the first step in legal challenges to the recently-enacted NY gun law.
The groups filed a “Notice of Claim” with the Attorney General of the State of New York, a requirement under NY law before commencing tort suits against the State. (It’s not clear to me why they needed to file a NoC, but I assume it was out of an abundance of caution.)
WCFOA, on its website, issued the following statement, in part:
By filing this lawsuit, the New York State organizations involved have made clear their intent, and the intent of their members, to fight this law on every level, and to take it, if necessary, to the United States Supreme Court. It is not an exaggeration to state that the future of gun ownership in New York State hinges on the outcome of this lawsuit. In fact the future of gun ownership in the United States will be affected directly by the outcome of this New York lawsuit.
The Notice of Claim lists nine legal claims, including:
Plaintiffs claim that passage and enforcement of the aforementioned legislation:
A. violates their fundamental constitutional rights to lawfully possess, keep, bear and
use firearms for self-defense and other lawful purposes;
B. violates their constitutional rights to privacy;
C. impermissibly interferes with and infringes upon their fundamental constitutional
rights to travel both intra-state and inter-state with lawfully possessed firearms;
A spokesman for NYSRPA declined to comment on why suit was not filed in federal court and as to future legal plans and strategy: “I cannot comment on legal matters. You’re going to have to wait until the actual suit is filed.”
As mentioned here previously, Alan Gura, the attorney who successfully argued the Heller v. D.C. and McDonald v. Chicago 2nd Amendment cases in the Supreme Court, argues that the NY 7-round limit “is clearly unconstitutional.”
GunPoliticsNY.com is a a central location for news regarding the legal challenges.
Update: WCFOA sent me the following statement:
The Notice of Claim clearly defines the issues that will be addressed by the lawsuit. Since the law was passed at light-speed, without any public input or participation, and since Governor Cuomo invoked “necessity” in order to bypass the usual time-line protocols, the result is a law that is a hastily cobbled together nightmare.
There are numerous, clear errors and contradictions which have not yet been addressed by the State Senate nor the State Assembly. Had the governor gone through the usual steps, most of these faults would have been changed
or removed. In the mean time, law-abiding citizens may become legally entangled by these errors and blunders.
WCFOA is a local, county organization and as such would not be instrumental in filing a federal case. One of the federal firearm rights organizations such as the NRA, GOA, SAF or others would be the entities who would file suit. Local state and county organizations may wish to participate, either financially or through an Amicus brief.
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