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Friends Indeed: 22 State Attorneys General Join Pro-Second Amendment Brief in SAFE Act Appeal

Friday, August 8, 2014

Amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs have been filed in Nojay v. Cuomo, the appeal from the decision of Judge William Skretny last year that largely upheld New York’s Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (“SAFE”) Act.  The plaintiffs challenged bans on large-capacity magazines and “assault weapons” (as redefined), the requirement that magazines contain no more than seven rounds, and new rules on ammunition sales, as unconstitutional.  After Judge Skretnty denied most of these claims, the case (decided as New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, Inc. v. Cuomo) was appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Attorneys General for 22 states – Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming – have filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs.

In contrast, the chief legal officers for only nine states (plus D.C.) – Maryland, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, and Oregon – have opted to support the SAFE Act through their own amicus filing.  Predictably, many of these jurisdictions have gun laws that similarly restrict or ban "assault weapons" and “large capacity” magazines.  The ends-driven argument in support of the SAFE Act is that the “absolutist reading of the Second Amendment advanced by the plaintiffs” threatens to “tie the hands of states in responding” to threats to public safety.  Yet the plaintiffs simply assert that the outright ban of firearms commonly used for lawful purposes by law-abiding citizens burdens the fundamental right to keep and bear arms and should be subject to the highest level of court review in accordance with constitutional law.

Amicus briefs supporting the plaintiffs’ arguments have also been filed by the National Rifle Association, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc., the New York State Sheriffs’ Association, the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, the Law Enforcement Action Network, and the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association, among others.

The NRA brief argues that laws like the SAFE Act, that prohibit the possession of firearms in the homes of law-abiding citizens where “Second Amendment guarantees are at their zenith,” must be subject to the highest standard of constitutional review:  strict scrutiny.  It adds that the “social science” evidence regarding the SAFE Act’s supposed public safety benefits, which was heavily relied on in Judge Skretny’s opinion, is clearly an insufficient foundation for the court’s conclusions when analyzed critically and carefully.  For example, one expert in the case admitted that state-level restrictions on firearms and magazines did not have an impact on crime, contrary to the “links” the court drew between the evidentiary record, the SAFE Act prohibitions, and the impact on public safety.

The appellate case has yet to be heard, but among those states that have weighed in on it, the clear weight of opinion is against the constitutionality of the SAFE Act.  Upon a fair and impartial hearing, that view should also prevail in the Second Circuit.

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Lawsuit Filed Against California's Assault Weapons Control Act

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today announced it is supporting, along with the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA), an important Second Amendment lawsuit challenging California’s newly expanded Assault Weapons Control ...

“F” Stands for Fail: School Jeopardizes Student’s Future for Possession of Squirt Gun

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Second Amendment  

Friday, April 21, 2017

“F” Stands for Fail: School Jeopardizes Student’s Future for Possession of Squirt Gun

Public education’s long-running “zero tolerance” war against anything that suggests the idea of a firearm (including, for example, clothing, gestures, toys, food, computer images, and favorable opinions of self-defense) has claimed another victim. This time ...

Chicago: Mayor Emanuel Demands Tougher Laws for Gun Dealers as Straw Purchaser Gets Probation

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Chicago: Mayor Emanuel Demands Tougher Laws for Gun Dealers as Straw Purchaser Gets Probation

On Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel met with representatives of the UCAN organization to make the case for further gun controls to combat the city’s violent crime. Chicago’s WLS reported that Emanuel used the opportunity ...

The Prosecutors and the Pagans: Two Sides of the Empire State’s Gun Laws

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Second Amendment  

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Prosecutors and the Pagans: Two Sides of the Empire State’s Gun Laws

Early this month, members of the gun-control group Prosecutors Against Gun Violence met at a “Manhattan Summit” and took the time to express their dismay and alarm over federal bills proposing national concealed carry reciprocity. ...

California: Open Carry Ban Passes in the Assembly

Friday, April 21, 2017

California: Open Carry Ban Passes in the Assembly

Yesterday, the state Assembly passed Assembly Bill 7 by a vote of 44 to 29.   AB 424 was not considered during yesterday’s floor session, however it remains eligible for a vote at any time.  

For 2017, A Historic NRA-ILA Leadership Forum

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Second Amendment  

Friday, April 21, 2017

For 2017, A Historic NRA-ILA Leadership Forum

For the past decade, NRA-ILA has sponsored leadership forums that have allowed our members to hear directly from national leaders.  Next Friday, that tradition continues and the line up of speakers is top notch.

South Carolina: Senate Subcommittee to Hear Multiple Gun Bills Tomorrow

Monday, April 24, 2017

South Carolina: Senate Subcommittee to Hear Multiple Gun Bills Tomorrow

Tomorrow, a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to discuss several firearm-related bills, and subcommittee members need to hear from you.

Oregon: Anti-Gun Bill Heads to Senate Floor

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Oregon: Anti-Gun Bill Heads to Senate Floor

Yesterday, on the deadline for policy bills to move out of committee, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to pass Senate Bill 719 with its -5 amendment.  Because a number of bills were effectively dead for ...

Pennsylvania: Firearms Preemption Bill Heads to the House Floor Next Week

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Pennsylvania: Firearms Preemption Bill Heads to the House Floor Next Week

Today, April 19, the House Judiciary Committee passed House Bill 671 by a 20-5 vote. HB 671 is scheduled to go before the full House for consideration next week.  Anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg and the gun ...

California: One Gun a Month Bill Passes Senate Public Safety Committee

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

California: One Gun a Month Bill Passes Senate Public Safety Committee

On Tuesday April 18, the Senate Public Safety Committee passed SB 497 by a party-line vote and will be assigned to the Senate Appropriations committee for further consideration.  On Monday, April 17, the Senate Appropriations Committee sent ...

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NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.