US appeals court blocks SAFE Act bullet limit

NEW YORK (AP) – A federal appeals court has upheld key provisions of New York and Connecticut laws banning possession of semi-automatic assault weapons and large-capacity magazines.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday, finding that the core parts of the laws do not violate the Second Amendment.

The laws were passed after the December 2012 shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut killed 20 first-graders and six educators.

The three-judge panel did, however, agree with a lower court that a seven-round load limit in New York could not be imposed. And it found a Connecticut ban on a non-semi-automatic Remington 7615 unconstitutional.

The laws were opposed by groups supporting gun rights, pistol permit holders and gun sellers.

Lawyers did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

In a statement, Governor Andrew Cuomo said:

“Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld what we have long known to be true – that the core provisions of the NY SAFE Act do not violate the Second Amendment. Today, common sense prevailed.”

“When we passed the SAFE Act, just days after the tragedies in Newtown and Webster, New York proved to the nation that it is possible to enact sensible gun control that coexists with the Second Amendment. We showed that it can be done with bi-partisan support from both urban and rural communities. And we took a fundamental step forward to help end the stream of senseless killings by keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the dangerously mentally ill.

“This case validates a simple, fundamental truth about gun control: that it is possible to have strong laws that keep our communities safe, while at the same time respecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners. New York has set the example – and it’s far past time for Washington to follow suit and pass a sensible national gun control policy.”

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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