Judge refuses to block NY SAFE Act, plaintiffs claim it violates state constitution

A state judge has refused to block New York's tough new gun law in a lawsuit by more than 1,000 people who claim it violates the state constitution because it was passed too quickly and restricts the rights of its citizen militia.

Justice Thomas McNamara says the law prevents him from reviewing Gov. Andrew Cuomo's justification for pushing the bill quickly through the Legislature instead of waiting the three days usually required. Cuomo used a "message of necessity" to skirt the waiting period.

Robert Schulz, who brought the suit, says he will ask the Court of Appeals to review the precedent, claiming Cuomo's emergency justification was false.

The law enacted Jan. 15 sets a seven-bullet limit on magazines, tightens the definition of illegal "assault weapons" and requires owners of formerly legal semi-automatic guns to register them.

State attorneys say similar gun restrictions have been judged constitutional, lawmakers chose not to wait to vote and the law advances public safety.

"The court rightfully rejected an attempt to halt the State's efforts to reduce gun violence and prevent the tragedies that result from the use of military style weapons and high capacity ammunition devices," General Eric T. Schneiderman said in a media release. "The SAFE Act is a comprehensive law that enacts significant reforms designed to increase the safety of all New Yorkers, while ensuring constitutional protections to responsible gun owners. There are multiple lawsuits challenging the SAFE Act on numerous grounds, and our office will continue to fervently defend the protections embodied in the law."