Tough Gun Limits in NY, CT Won’t Face Review

     (CN) — Gun enthusiasts opposed to bans on assault weapons in Connecticut and New York failed on Monday to have the U.S. Supreme Court take up their case — just one week after a mass killing of 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando.
     New York and Connecticut adopted the laws in question after a lone gunman in Newtown, Conn., brutally shot and killed 20 first graders and six adults on Dec. 14, 2012.
     A number of gun-owner associations and Second Amendment advocates sought review by the Supreme Court after the Second Circuit last year upheld the laws, which include a ban on of semiautomatic assault guns and large-capacity magazines.
     After the justices denied a writ certiorari without comment, Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen applauded the court for “affirm[ing] that the reforms enacted in Connecticut following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School were reasonable, sensible and lawful.”
     Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said common sense prevailed.
     “It should be a demonstration to states across the nation that commonsense gun laws not only work, they are Constitutional,” Malloy said in a statement. “We must stand up against mass shootings. We cannot sit idly by and watch tragedy after tragedy, horror after horror. We have the ability to act — the question is whether or not elected officials have the will.”
     Prior to the shooting in Newtown, both Connecticut and New York boasted regulation that closely tracked the federal assault-weapons ban, which included a two-prong test for prohibiting semiautomatic weapons.
     New York adopted a one-prong test with the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act in 2013. Nicknamed the SAFE Act, the new statute considers a gun as an assault weapon if it includes one of a list of military-style features, such as a telescoping stock or pistol grip. Later that year, Connecticut passed a similar law that bans 100 types of firearms and magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
     The Connecticut Citizens Defense League, which helped fund the challenge to Connecticut’s law, alleged violation with District of Columbia v. Heller, the landmark 2008 decision that the U.S. Supreme Court issued against Washington, D.C.’s handgun ban,
     Scott Wilson, president of the CCDL, said the banned firearms are very rarely used by criminals, and the only things that distinguish them from non-banned firearms are external features such as thumbhole stocks and pistol grips that promote safe and accurate use.
     Wilson said “the firearms the state has chosen to ban are very frequently used by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes such as home-defense, hunting, and target shooting. In fact, one of the banned firearms, the AR-15, is the best-selling rifle in the United States.”
     For those reasons, Wilson said the firearms should be able to be sold in Connecticut.
     According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, since 2008, there have been over 1,000 Second Amendment cases challenging gun laws nationwide, with an overwhelming majority — 94 percent — of the lower-court decisions upholding those laws.
     The U.S. Senate is expected later today to raise a bill that will prevent individuals on federal watch lists from buying guns.
     New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman emphasized the timing in his statement.
     “It is critical that Congress finally heed the call of the American public and ban the sale of assault weapons,” Schneiderman said. “In the absence of congressional action, now is the time for states across the country — and every state in the Iron Pipeline — to finally enact sensible gun laws that keep assault weapons off the streets, and make all Americans safer from the threat of gun violence.”

%d bloggers like this: