Bay Ridge

Golden says judge got it right with SAFE Act ruling

January 3, 2014 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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The federal judge who threw out parts of New York State’s strict gun-control law made the right decision, according to an ex-cop politician who said he agreed with the decision handed down from the bench.

State Sen. Marty Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-southern Brooklyn) said the decision handed down by Chief U.S. District Judge William Skretny “upholds the most important parts of the SAFE Act, which overall keeps New York State safe from the use of assault weapons.”

On Dec. 31, Skretny ruled in a case brought by gun rights advocates in Buffalo that the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act, the assault weapons ban passed by the State Legislature in January of 2013 at the behest of Gov. Andrew Cuomo in response to the Sandy Hook shooting, does not violate the Second Amendment.

The SAFE Act bans assault weapons and limits the amount of rounds a gun magazine can hold. The law contains a mandate that magazine rounds capable of holding 10 rounds of ammunition be limited to seven rounds.

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But WGRZ-TV, the NBC station in Buffalo, reported that while Skretny ruled that the law does not violate the Second Amendment, the judge did toss out the key provision of the law limiting a gun magazine to seven rounds.

“This court finds that the challenged provisions of the SAFE Act — including the act’s definition and regulation of assault weapons and its ban on large-capacity magazines — further the state’s important interest in public safety, and do not impermissibly infringe on plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights,” Skretny wrote in his opinion. “But, the seven-round limit fails the relevant test because the purported link between the ban and the state’s interest is tenuous, strained, and unsupported in the record.”

The New York State Rifle and Pistol Association and other gun-rights organizations filed a lawsuit in federal court in March to stop the law’s implementation.

Golden, who is a retired New York City police officer, said the judge got it right.

“This ruling clears up the one flawed piece of this law, which sets an arbitrary limit on the amount of ammunition for handguns. Legislators like myself moved to amend the bill to disregard this limit for retired police officers, and I am pleased to see that the court not only agreed with my position, but also have expanded it to encompass all law abiding gun owners,” Golden said.

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