Last week, two appellate courts turned back challenges to the SAFE Act, which was adopted in response to the December 2012 killings in Newtown, CT, expanded the state’s assault weapon ban; required all assault weapons to be registered; limited gun magazines to seven bullets; required background checks for ammunition sales, and increased penalties for certain firearm-‐related crimes.
On Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the constitutionality of New York’s SAFE Act. The three-judge panel concluded that the “core provisions” of the expanded ban on assault weapons “do not violate the Second Amendment” because they are “substantially related to the achievement of an important governmental interest” — public safety and crime reduction. The court found New York’s requirement that only seven bullets can be loaded into a 10-round magazine is unconstitutional, upholding previous court ruling. New York has already agreed to not enforce the seven-bullet limit.
On Thursday, a state appeals court unanimously dismissed a challenge to the SAFE Act. The Appellate Division of state Supreme Court rejected arguments from two conservative activists who sued the state, claiming that the gun control law violated the state’s Constitution.