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Judge upholds New York state gun law

[JURIST] A trial judge for the Supreme Court of New York [official profile] dismissed [text] a lawsuit on Thursday challenging the state's strict gun laws. The plaintiffs, a group of gun rights activists, argued [lohud news report] that the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 (SAFE Act) [text] infringes upon rights granted by the state constitution [text]. Judge Thomas McNamara held that the plaintiffs failed to show any right being infringed upon by the act. Governor Andrew Cuomo [official website] signed [JURIST report] the SAFE Act into law following the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting [WSJ backgrounder]. Lead plaintiff Robert Schulz has already said that he plans to appeal the decision.

Second Amendment rights are a hotly contested [JURIST op-ed] political issue in the US, as is the authority of federal and state governments to restrict the right or to place conditions upon its exercise. In February the Supreme Court denied [JURIST report] to hear three gun rights cases without issuing an opinion. Earlier that month the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] overturned [JURIST report] a California statute requiring a showing of "good cause" to obtain a concealed carry permit, holding that such restrictions undermine the constitutional significance of the right granted by the Second Amendment. Conversely, a district court in New York in January upheld [JURIST report] the New York SAFE Act, one of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, as constitutional, with the exception of a limitation mandating that no firearm be loaded with more than seven rounds at a given time. In September the Illinois Supreme Court struck down [JURIST report] a state law saying that by practical effect it placed a ban on carrying guns outside of the home in violation of the Second Amendment, agreeing with case law precedent promulgated by the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit [official website].

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