Monday, March 4, 2013

Courts are likely to get last word on gun control

Washington Times
March 4, 2013


With congressional action on gun control largely stuck in a holding pattern on Capitol Hill, the real battlefields on the issue may become local, state and federal courtrooms.
The New York attorney general’s office is due before the state Supreme Court next month to defend the constitutionality of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tough new gun control package, and two separate appellate courts recently issued opposing opinions on whether the Second Amendment guarantees the right to carry a concealed weapon in public.

Mr. Cuomo signed sweeping gun control measures into law in January that included a beefed-up ban on so-called assault weapons and a limit on magazine capacity to a maximum of seven rounds of ammunition — even less than the 10-round limit proposed by President Obama. But Buffalo lawyer James Tresmond — with the backing of the National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups — is arguing on behalf of two gun owners that the law amounts to an unconstitutional seizure of property under the Fifth and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
State Supreme CourtJustice Diane Devlin has ordered the state to show cause by April 25 — when oral arguments are scheduled — though the state attorney general's office plans to respond by mid-March. Mr. Tresmond also has represented a gun dealer in a separate case challenging the law, with a hearing set for late April.

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