A federal lawsuit has been filed against the State of New York by affiliates of the National Rifle Association (NRA). New York State’s Rifle and Pistol Association filed the lawsuit earlier this month claiming that “the SAFE Act is unconstitutional in that it violates the Second Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause, and is unconstitutionally vague.” Now, the New York State Sheriffs Association has joined as amicus curiae in the lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of the NY SAFE Act.
The Oneida Dispatch reports,
Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol has been a member of the NYS Sheriff’s Association since taking office as sheriff in 2011, serves on several committees, and is currently serving as the association’s sergeant at arms.”As soon as I learned of the potential to become part of this important process, I immediately advised the NYS Sheriff’s Association of my support for this action,” Maciol said.
The amicus brief will support the main suit by setting forth legal arguments against the NY SAFE Act specifically from the view of law enforcement. Some of the arguments contained in the brief are that the law impinges upon the Second Amendment to a degree that renders it unconstitutional; that the law is fatally vague; and that the law does not provide sufficient guidance to law enforcement.
The New York Sheriffs Association, along with 5 individual sheriffs issued a statement regarding the SAFE Act:
“The Supreme Court has confirmed that the Second Amendment protects arms typically possessed by law-abiding citizens, and identified that the right of self-defense is ‘core’ protected conduct that is at its zenith in the home,” the sheriffs’ brief said. “At a minimum, laws that criminalize the most common rifle in America today – a rifle that is often selected precisely for its self-defense capabilities – impinge upon that core right. The same is true of laws banning standard-capacity magazines.”
The SAFE Act has been challenged in court, revised and has been questioned as to its constitutionality by court judges.
Lawmakers have been calling on sheriffs to enforce the SAFE Act. Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard was called out by Democrat Assemblyman Sean Ryan for his stand against the NY SAFE Act. The sheriff said he would not enforce the gun control measure as there are 75,000 pistol permit holders in Erie County.
“People know where I stand,” he said, “they know how I feel, I’m very concerned for public safety. I’m very concerned for police and communities that we serve. This law is wrong. It will not help us, it’s a squandered opportunity to make New York safe.”
Ryan has attempted to pressure Howard to enforce the SAFE Act saying, “As a top law enforcement official in Erie County, you’re job is to enforce the laws, you don’t have the liberty to pick and choose. We elect a sheriff, we don’t elect a king. Kings get to make their own laws, sheriffs get to follow laws as written.”
My question to Mr. Ryan is does he think he is a King and can just throw off the law of the land and write his own law? Apparently he does, since he is one of the legislators that approved the NY SAFE Act and now wants to force it on the citizens of New York and their other elected officials like their sheriffs.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has tried to silence the sheriffs on this issue. Chemung County Sheriff Christopher Moss said, “Cuomo pushed the sheriffs to stop publicly speaking out against the act. The governor was of the opinion that the sheriffs around the state should not be interjecting their personal opinions in reference to the law.”
One person even stated that Cuomo threatened to remove sheriffs from office who did not comply.
The NY Sheriffs Association stands with Howard who said that he “won’t enforce” the SAFE Act. That’s why they are joining the lawsuit. In essence, they are telling Assemblymen like Sean Ryan that they are not kings either, but elected representatives that cannot make up laws that are contrary to the law of the land.
Just two weeks ago a man was arrested for carrying 2 more bullets (9) than the seven allowed under the new law.
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