Four groups sue over new state gun law

A Diamondback Firearms representative, rear right, explains features

A Diamondback Firearms representative, rear right, explains features of one of their rifles on display at the 35th annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas. (Jan. 16, 2013) (Credit: AP)

ALBANY -- Four pro-gun groups Tuesday filed notice that they plan to seek an injunction to block New York from enforcing a new law that cracks down on assault weapons.

The plaintiffs, which include an affiliate of the National Rifle Association, said in a notice of claim that the law signed one month after the Newtown, Conn., school massacre "violates their fundamental constitutional rights to lawfully possess, keep, bear and use firearms for self-defense and other lawful purposes."

The Cuomo administration didn't immediately comment.


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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who signed the bill Jan. 15, won over State Senate Republicans by coupling stiffer penalties for illegal guns with a narrower definition of assault weapons and a reduction in magazine capacity to seven from 10. Owners of handguns and assault weapons must register them every five years.

Brian Stapleton, a lawyer who represents the plaintiffs, said they aren't seeking monetary damages because the suit will center on state and federal constitutional questions. He said that no class-action lawsuit is planned and gave no time frame for actually filing suit. The groups include the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association and the Westchester County Firearms Association.

The pro-gun groups said New York's firearm curbs violate constitutional rights to privacy, "criminalize and ban the possession of certain firearms," and "harass" and "disrupt" the plaintiffs' business of making or selling guns and ammunition.

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