ALBANY — The state Rifle and Pistol Association filed a notice of legal claim Tuesday against New York for its new gun-control law, saying it violates residents’ “fundamental constitutional rights to lawfully possess, keep, bear and use firearms for self-defense and other lawful purposes.”
The notice of claim is the first step in filing a lawsuit against the state. The lawsuit would have to be filed in 90 days.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit include the Westchester County Firearms Owner’s Association and AR15.Com LLC, a gun website based in Farmington, Ontario County.
The seven-page notice, filed in Albany with the state Attorney General’s Office, charges that there are a number of reasons why the new law is unconstitutional. It claims that the law, passed Jan. 15, violates interstate travel with a lawfully possessed firearm, criminalizes and bans the possession of certain firearms and ammunition and impacts private businesses.
The notice said that the law, called the NY-SAFE Act, “was passed and is being continuously enforced with the ongoing tortious intent to harass, harm, impede, interfere with, disrupt, interrupt, and/or destroy the present and future business and commercial activities” of gun owners and businesses.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has defended the measure, and he said Tuesday that it will keep New Yorkers safe after the school shootings in Newtown, Conn. Cuomo said the law will save lives and shows that government can act after a tragedy.
“I think the state is a safer state,” Cuomo said on 1300-AM (WGDJ) in Albany.
New York passed the first and toughest gun-control law after the Newtown shootings. It adds a stronger assault-weapons ban and limits the number of bullets in a magazine to seven, down from 10. It also requires more registration requirements of guns.
Some law enforcement officials have railed against law, saying it would be difficult to enforce and were leery of going after law-abiding gun owners. But prosecutors and some police organizations have backed the law, saying it would help crack down on illegal guns and sales.
In a letter Monday to lawmakers, Cuomo said he appreciated their support on the issue.
“Your vote for passage of the NY Safe was politically courageous and governmentally responsible,” Cuomo wrote.