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By NWV News Writer Jim Kouri
Posted 1:00 AM Eastern
October 2, 2013

One of the nation's oldest and largest civil-rights groups filed a lawsuit this week against the State of New York, its governor and its police commander over a recently passed bill, signed into law, known as the SAFE Act by its supporters, according of the group's attorneys.

Rather than fighting the New York government through the state court system, the Second Amendment Foundation filed its lawsuit in federal court seeking to prevent the New York government from enforcing provisions of the SAFE Act that prohibit the use of gun magazines containing more than seven rounds, according to the lawsuit.

SAF is joined in the federal lawsuit by the Shooters Committee for Political Education (SCOPE) and Long Island Firearms LLC. The groups are all represented by New York attorneys David Jensen and Robert P. Firriolo.

The two attorneys possess experience in firearms cases in which government officials and judges have made arbitrary decisions that they say violate the Second Amendment.

Named as defendants in the lawsuit are New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Joseph D'Amico, superintendent of the State Police.

Gov. Cuomo, considered an ultra-liberal Democrat, claims, "For hunters, sportsmen, and law abiding gun owners, this new law preserves and protects your right to buy, sell, keep or use your guns."

Regarding magazine size, the SAFE Act states: "While at a recognized range, whether you are there for recreation or for participating in shooting competitions, you may load the full ten rounds into any magazine you have. Starting on April 15, 2013, you are limited to putting 7 rounds in the magazine in all other locations."

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, asserts that the seven-round loading restriction violates the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment because it "substantially interferes with the right of law abiding citizens to defend themselves and is not sufficiently related to any compelling or otherwise adequate government interest."

"The cartridge limit is arbitrary and serves no useful purpose other than to frustrate, and perhaps entrap, law abiding citizens who own firearms with standard capacity magazines that were designed to hold more than seven rounds," said SAF Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, who founded the organization in 1974 and watched it grow to well over a half-million members.

"Several top law enforcement officials have already publicly stated they will not enforce provisions of this law, yet Gov. Cuomo and Supt. D'Amico are pushing ahead," Gottlieb claims.

Gottlieb refers to organizations such as the Albany Police Officers Union blasted the state’s SAFE Act saying it “violates fundamental constitutional rights” and is “unduly and purposely burdensome on law-abiding citizens,” according to the Albany Times Union.

The police union, an affiliate of statewide law enforcement union Council 82, has sent a four-page letter airing its grievances with the controversial new law to the region’s state legislative delegation.

The sharply worded message from police union's president, Thomas Mahar, calls for the law’s repeal -- saying it won’t make anyone safer and demonstrates government’s ”contempt” for the state’s citizens:

“Procedurally, we believe that the way in which the bill was rammed into law via an unjustified and expedient ‘message of necessity’, which circumvented the right and the ability of the citizens of this State to voice their concerns about the bill and have them addressed, is an outrage. This flawed law, and the way in which it was rushed and passed, shows the apparent contempt that those who govern have for the governed, and calls into question whether we truly have a representational government.”

"The law is contradictory, in that it is legal in New York to possess magazines that hold up to ten cartridges," Gottlieb said. "But the SAFE Act limits people to seven rounds, with some narrow exceptions. This amounts to virtual entrapment for anyone who loads more than seven rounds in a magazine for self-defense purposes.

"Magazines that hold ten or more rounds are in common use all over the country," Gottlieb concluded. "This arbitrary limit essentially penalizes law abiding citizens for exercising their right of self-defense, and that cannot be allowed to stand."

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"Gun-grabbing interests for years have been pushing for ways to undermine the individual Second Amendment civil right of law-abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms," said John Snyder, a former editor for NRA publications now serving as a board member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police.

"They generally have butted their heads against the brick wall of domestic American opposition to various anti-gun legislative schemes. They even have seen Americans strengthen public policy in support of some pro-gun measures, like right to carry concealed firearms and stand your ground laws," Snyder noted.

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Gottlieb refers to organizations such as the Albany Police Officers Union blasted the state’s SAFE Act saying it “violates fundamental constitutional rights” and is “unduly and purposely burdensome on law-abiding citizens,” according to the Albany Times Union.