Gun Bans in NY and CT Upheld by Appeals Court

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on October 21, 2015 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

New York and Connecticut gun control laws banning semiautomatic assault rifles and large-capacity magazines will stand, according to a federal appeals court. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York held that the restrictions don't violate the Constitution.

The court did, however, strike down a provision in New York's law barring gun owners from loading more than seven bullets in a clip as well as a Connecticut prohibition on the non-semiautomatic Remington 7615. Similar bans on semiautomatic weapons have been upheld in other states.

A Constitutional Response to Gun Violence

Both statutes were passed in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012. In that case, Adam Lanza used a semiautomatic Bushmaster M4 rifle to kill 20 children and 6 school staff members.

New York responded with the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act in January 2013, and Connecticut enacted new restrictions to its existing gun laws a few months later. Circuit Judge Jose Cabranes wrote that "[t]he core prohibitions by New York and Connecticut of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines do not violate the Second Amendment."

More Gun Laws, Fewer Gun Deaths

Every state differs in their gun control laws. It should be noted that while New York, Connecticut, and Maryland added tougher restrictions in the wake of the sandy Hook shooting, ten other states relaxed their gun laws.

After the recent shooting at Oregon's Umpqua Community College, President Barack Obama contended that states with tougher gun control laws see fewer gun-related deaths, and there is some data to support that position. New York and Connecticut already had some of the strictest gun laws on the books, so we can wait and see if these latest restrictions have an effect on gun deaths in either state, or if the Supreme Court will review the decision.

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