The NRA is taking New York to court.
The organization announced on Tuesday that it plans to file a notice of appeal at noon Eastern time to challenge the state’s ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. This comes three days after Governor Andrew Cuomo and other New York state officials announced a decision to ban assault weapons in the state.
The legal action could delay implementation of the new law, which took effect on Wednesday. Cuomo, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and others signed it into law on Sunday.
“We are aware of the state’s intent to file an appeal and are examining our options,” a Cuomo administration official said. “If the state truly believes these laws are constitutional they should support our efforts to show their legality and the value to public safety they represent.”
The legal notice from the NRA, which calls the laws “needlessly restrictive,” notes that the New York courts have twice rejected a similar lawsuit filed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the association representing gun manufacturers, and the plaintiffs include two “civil rights organizations,” which were not identified.
“NSSF and its First Amendment protected representatives in New York were forced to engage in litigation based on allegedly biased and uninformed trial court rulings, and an appeal provides the proper process to vindicate their constitutional rights,” the NRA said in a statement.
The ban on assault weapons, which includes many semiautomatic pistols and rifles, expands current gun safety laws in the state. It bans the possession of the following firearms in New York: AR-15s, AK-47s, .50-caliber sniper rifles, and 10 magazines that have more than 10 rounds.
Cuomo, a Democrat, blamed the situation in New York City in part on a gunman who used an AR-15 to kill police officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in December.
“As we show the nation there is no more assault weapon than an AR-15,” Cuomo said in a news conference.
New York state banned assault weapons in 2005 and granted a 10-year grace period. This new law further phases out the exemption from the ban.
Cuomo and other state officials noted that the ban wouldn’t apply to rifles and shotguns that are sold in New York before the implementation of the ban.
A group called the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence noted that the NRA is taking New York to court without success in the past. In April 2012, the NRA filed a suit against Washington, D.C.’s ban on military-style firearms. However, a federal judge, who oversees a federal district court, issued a ruling a month later.
On Monday, Donald Marron, president of the New York Committee to Prevent Gun Violence, called the NRA’s lawsuit “blatantly political” and said the new law was long overdue.
The organization also sued a California town in April after they passed an ordinance that prohibits gun owners from loading magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.