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Bans on Assault Weapons in NY and Ct Are Upheld in Insane Court Ruling

Bans on Assault Weapons in NY and Ct Are Upheld in Insane Court Ruling

By Benjamin Weiser for The New York Times

A federal appeals court on Monday upheld strict statewide bans on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines that were passed in New York and Connecticut after the 2012 mass murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

In finding that the “core provisions” of the laws did not violate the Second Amendment, Judge José A. Cabranes, writing for a unanimous three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan, said the states had acted “based on substantial evidence” and had “tailored the legislation at issue to address these particularly hazardous weapons.”

He noted that state legislatures were “far better equipped than the judiciary to make sensitive public policy judgments (within constitutional limits) concerning the dangers in carrying firearms and the manner to combat those risks.”

Judge Cabranes noted that the legislation had been “targeted to prevent mass shootings like that in Newtown,” referring the school shooting in Connecticut in which the gunman, Adam Lanza, fired 154 rounds.

The judge noted that the plaintiffs who had challenged the laws, including advocacy groups, businesses and gun owners, had argued that mass shootings “are ‘particularly rare events’ and thus, even if successful, the legislation would have a ‘minimal impact’ on most violent crime.

“That may be so,” Judge Cabranes said. But, he added, “gun-control legislation need not strike at all evils at the same time to be constitutional.”

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