NY sheriffs fault new gun law, seek to join suit - New York News

NY sheriffs fault new gun law, seek to join suit

Posted: Updated:

By MICHAEL VIRTANEN 

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — County sheriffs have asked to join the federal lawsuit challenging New York's tough new gun restrictions, calling some provisions vague and impossible to enforce fairly.

The New York State Sheriffs' Association and five individual sheriffs are asking U.S. District Judge William Skretny to add their position to the record. They support gun rights advocates seeking to block enforcement of new bullet limits for magazines and the tighter definition of assault weapons.

The sheriffs agree with the New York affiliate of the National Rifle Association that the law, passed after the Newtown, Conn., school shooting, is unconstitutional because it will prevent citizens from keeping commonly used firearms for home defense.

"The Supreme Court has confirmed that the Second Amendment protects arms typically possessed by law-abiding citizens, and identified that the right of self-defense is 'core' protected conduct that is at its zenith in the home," the sheriffs' brief said. "At a minimum, laws that criminalize the most common rifle in America today — a rifle that is often selected precisely for its self-defense capabilities — impinge upon that core right. The same is true of laws banning standard-capacity magazines."

The law bans magazines with a capacity of more than 10 bullets and generally prohibits loading them with more than seven. It defines assault weapons as semi-automatics with detachable magazines and a single military-style feature such as a pistol grip. The old definition required two such features.

The law also requires New York owners of an estimated 1 million guns, including popular versions of AR-15 rifles now reclassified as assault weapons, to register them by April 15. Since Jan. 15, it has been illegal to sell or buy those guns in the state.

The sheriffs argued that several provisions are also "fatally vague," measures that "law enforcement officers are inherently unable to fairly and uniformly enforce." They urged the court to clarify "laws that will inevitably require enforcement, via confiscation, incarceration, or both, against otherwise law-abiding individuals attempting to exercise fundamental rights."

Without a reliable means of distinguishing each listed assault weapon or now-illegal magazines that "can be readily restored or converted" to carry additional rounds, they said enforcement will be a problem. "The lack of guidelines in these provisions will inevitably lead to 'erratic arrests and convictions' that the due process clause was meant to prevent," they wrote.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed through the law, calling its provisions commonsense responses to limit gun violence. That happened one month after the Newtown shooting, which left 20 schoolchildren and six educators dead. Police said the 20-year-old gunman used a semi-automatic rifle and 30-round magazines.

Defending the state, Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Ahlstrom wrote in court papers last month that the constitutional claims have no merit. He noted the request for an injunction was filed three months after the law passed, undercutting any argument of "perceived imminent harm."

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

  • New York State NewsNew York State NewsMore>>

  • Hurricane Cristobal to move toward north Atlantic

    Hurricane Cristobal to move toward north Atlantic

    Thursday, August 28 2014 7:11 AM EDT2014-08-28 11:11:47 GMT
    Hurricane Cristobal is expected to move rapidly toward the north Atlantic, staying away from Bermuda and passing south of Nova Scotia. The hurricane's maximum sustained winds early Thursday are near 75 mph (120 kph) with no significant change in strength forecast over the next two days. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Cristobal is centered about 285 miles (460 kilometers) northwest of Bermuda and is moving northeast near 29 mph (46 kph).
    Hurricane Cristobal is expected to move rapidly toward the north Atlantic, staying away from Bermuda and passing south of Nova Scotia. The hurricane's maximum sustained winds early Thursday are near 75 mph (120 kph) with no significant change in strength forecast over the next two days. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Cristobal is centered about 285 miles (460 kilometers) northwest of Bermuda and is moving northeast near 29 mph (46 kph).
  • Metro-North safety practices faulted

    Metro-North safety practices faulted

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 6:07 PM EDT2014-08-27 22:07:45 GMT
    The Metro-North Railroad has sacrificed safety for on-time performance, according to a report released Wednesday by a Metropolitan Transportation Authority panel. The report echoes an assessment conducted this year by the Federal Railroad Administration, which investigated after a string of Metro-North accidents including a December 2013 derailment that killed four riders in the Bronx.
    The Metro-North Railroad has sacrificed safety for on-time performance, according to a report released Wednesday by a Metropolitan Transportation Authority panel. The report echoes an assessment conducted this year by the Federal Railroad Administration, which investigated after a string of Metro-North accidents including a December 2013 derailment that killed four riders in the Bronx.
  • Soldier who killed herself at Va. Army base was from Yonkers

    Soldier who killed herself at Va. Army base was from Yonkers

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 1:28 PM EDT2014-08-27 17:28:56 GMT

    The Army has identified the soldier who barricaded herself in a building at a Virginia base and then fatally shot herself in the head.  Fort Lee officials on Wednesday say it was 33-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Paula M. Walker of Yonkers

    The Army has identified the soldier who barricaded herself in a building at a Virginia base and then fatally shot herself in the head.  Fort Lee officials on Wednesday say it was 33-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Paula M. Walker of Yonkers

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Sister of Boston bomb suspect arrested

    Sister of Boston bomb suspect arrested

    Thursday, August 28 2014 9:15 AM EDT2014-08-28 13:15:04 GMT
    The NYPD arrested Ailina Tsarnaeva, the sister of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, for allegedly threatening to bomb a New York City woman, a police official confirmed. Tsarnaeva, of North Bergen, N.J., is accused of calling a woman Monday and warning her to stay away from her and her boyfriend.
    The NYPD arrested Ailina Tsarnaeva, the sister of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, for allegedly threatening to bomb a New York City woman, a police official confirmed. Tsarnaeva, of North Bergen, N.J., is accused of calling a woman Monday and warning her to stay away from her and her boyfriend.
  • Poll shows most New Yorkers support broken windows policy

    Poll shows most New Yorkers support broken windows policy

    Thursday, August 28 2014 8:07 AM EDT2014-08-28 12:07:14 GMT

    A new poll conducted by Quinnipiac University found overwhelming opposition to the way the arrest of Eric Garner was handled while the majority support the broken windows policy, which cracks down on low-level crimes to prevent bigger ones from occurring. Garner's death has brought the policy into the spotlight. The Staten Island man had been selling untaxed cigarettes when he was arrested. A police officer placed him in a chokehold and Garner died.

    A new poll conducted by Quinnipiac University found overwhelming opposition to the way the arrest of Eric Garner was handled while the majority support the broken windows policy, which cracks down on low-level crimes to prevent bigger ones from occurring. Garner's death has brought the policy into the spotlight. The Staten Island man had been selling untaxed cigarettes when he was arrested. A police officer placed him in a chokehold and Garner died.

  • Times Square named as target

    Al Qaeda magazine hints of looming attack on US

    Al Qaeda magazine hints of looming attack on US

    Thursday, August 28 2014 7:42 AM EDT2014-08-28 11:42:37 GMT
    A new English-language Al Qaeda magazine features a how-to article on making car bombs and suggests terror targets in the United States, including casinos in Las Vegas, oil tankers and Times Square.
    A new English-language Al Qaeda magazine features a how-to article on making car bombs and suggests terror targets in the United States, including casinos in Las Vegas, oil tankers and Times Square.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices