Last fall I was leading a discussion at our local library about the proposed NYS Constitutional Convention. After we have been talking for a while, I made a statement that if there is a Constitutional Convention, whatever they change in Albany will not affect our rights in the Federal Constitution. A woman automatically reacted and said, “That’s not true.” I was stunned. She then said, “We have the SAFE Act and that’s unconstitutional.” I’m sure she didn’t believe me when told her that the SAFE Act had never been declared unconstitutional. I left it at that, since the purpose of the meeting was to talk about the pros and cons of approving the Convention in November.
Many like the woman in the discussion have heard that the SAFE Act is unconstitutional. She has heard it at SCOPE Rallies and from our own Congressman, an attorney. They don’t make that decision. Courts do.
I could have said that the SAFE Act has been reviewed twice in Federal Courts, and twice in New York State Courts. The Courts declared some parts of it not proper ( ie the seven bullet limit) but upheld the SAFE Act. Matter of fact the United States Supreme Court decided not to look at the SAFE Act, and a similar law from Connecticut.
We need to remember that the 2008 Supreme Court decision Heller v District of Columbia declared that hand guns could not be banned, but that regulation of gun ownership was compatible with the Second Amendment. Justice Scalia said, “We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons.’”
Although we do not have federal laws against assault weapons, the following states, and the District of Columbia, do. Those laws have not been declared unconstitutional.
Also, local municipalities the District of Columbia, Illinois (Chicago and Cook County), Indiana (Gary and East Chicago), and Massachusetts (Boston) have banned or restricted the possession of assault weapons.
The chart and above statement is from this Wikipedia article.
Earlier NewNY23rd articles on the legality of the SAFE Act: