NEW YORK STATE MUST NOW PROVE IN COURT THAT THE HASTILY WRITTEN AND PASSED SAFE ACT IS CONSTITUTIONAL. THIS IS BIG NEWS.
Late yesterday, Wednesday 27Feb, a NYS Supreme Court Justice, the Honorable Deborah Chimes of Erie County, signed an order against the State of New York and Governor Andrew Cuomo requiring the respondents to appear before the court on April 29th and provide good cause and reasons why the State should not be enjoined from enforcing any provision of the assault weapons ban contained in the recently pass SAFE Act.
For those not following this case, the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 (NY SAFE ACT) was passed in late January in the wake of the mass killing in Newtown. The Act was rammed through in the literal dark of the night giving legislators only a small amount of time to look at the bill, never mind actually study it. Governor Cuomo was quick to sign the bill, to be effective immediately, arguing that it would stem to run on the sale of "assault weapons".
The rush to passage led to many omission in the Act, most famously an obvious lack of an exemption from the Act for law enforcement agencies in New York. The contents of the Act and how it was rammed through have been subject to heavy criticism by a wide range of critics.
In the immediate wake of the Act's passage, Governor Cuomo’s popularity rating in a Quinnipiac Poll saw a 15% drop in his approval state-wide. As far as I know, a more recent Q-Poll has not been conducted which might reflect the most recent revelations about SAFE, etc.
Yesterday's granting of an injunction indicates that the judge believes that the plantiffs' claim has merit. If the judge felt that the complaint had insufficient merit, and thus, the law was likely constitutional, an injunction would not be appropriate and would be denied.
Thus, after today's order, the burden is squarely on the State to demonstrate that the law is Constitutional. The State, through the Attorney General’s office, has no option but to answer the charges directly to the Judge. The burden now is on the State to show why the injunction should not take effect on April 29th.
Make no mistake, this is a decisive victory for gun-rights generally and specifically owners/sellers of rifles inaccurately described as “assault weapons". It's truly monumental because, should the injunction be granted, it will most likely to remain permanent and could lead to a rejection of the entirety of the SAFE Act.
ATTENTION HARTFORD LEGISLATORS - HERE ARE SOME QUESTIONS FOR YOU:
Do you think whatever you are crafting in an omnibus bill will fair any better in front of a level-headed justice?
Is the CAGV/March-for-Change/Malloy legislation wish-list any different from what was in the SAFE Act?
Does the Malloy "assault weapon" language come directly from the NY SAFE Act and will be equally exposed to constitutional scrutiny?
Are you confident that whatever you are crafting can pass Scalia's "in common use at the time" interpretation in Heller? There are more than 4MILLION 10+ round magazines and over 500,000 firearms (including black rifles) that can use them in Connecticut today - is that not "common use"?
Does an omnibus bill make sense if a constitutional challenge can toss out an entire law and not just its pieces?
I am no lawyer but Common Sense begs answers to these questions.
For a Common Sense review of the CAGV/March-for-Change legislative proposal, much of which was adopted in the Malloy proposal, please see this post:
As of this writing, I can not find as yet any documents on the case. The above is based on this news report as well as comments made by one of the attorneys involved on another forum.
For background on this case you can see these earlier news reports:
For a list of most of my posts, please see this Compendium.