December 11, 2014:

Second Circuit Takes NY and Conn Safe Act Cases Under Advisement

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit heard oral arguments yesterday on two cases challenging the constitutionality of restrictions on “assault weapons” and ammunition magazines in New York and Connecticut. The decisions of two cases were consolidated before the Second Circuit on appeal – Western District of New York Judge William Skretny’s ruling in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Cuomo, and US District Judge Alfred Covello’s ruling in The Connecticut Citizens’ Defense League v. Malloy. Both district court decisions upheld the bulk of the restrictive statutes, with the exception of a finding by Judge Skretny that a seven-round limit on firearms was nonsensical given that it would have effectively banned the large majority of semi-automatic pistols on the market. In yesterday’s oral argument, counsel for the plaintiffs noted that 44 states do not have restrictions similar to those in New York and Connecticut, and argued that the NY and Connecticut statutes do not pass muster under the recent decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, a case which struck down a handgun ban in the District of Columbia. In response, counsel from the respective states noted that the respective laws do not implicate core Second Amendment rights like they did in Heller, and that round capacity restrictions do not implicate Second Amendment rights “at all.”The Court took the cases under advisement, and will likely issue a decision in the coming weeks.

Sandy Hook Families to File Civil Claims Against Bushmaster and Others

The parents of 10 victims of the Sandy Hook shooting reported yesterday that they plan to make wrongful death claims against Bushmaster, the town of Newtown, and the estate of Nancy Lanza (the Mother of the shooter). Adam Lanza used a Bushmaster AR 15 in the attack at Sandy Hook elementary, a firearm which was owned and legally purchased by Nancy Lanza. There is speculation that the claims will not be based in product liability, but rather allegations that Bushmaster (the manufacturer) does not have sufficient safeguards in place to insure that their firearms do not end up in the hands of individuals who are unfit to handle firearms. This case (if it is filed) would appear ripe for an early dismissal based upon The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which prevents firearm manufacturers and dealers from being held liable for legally sold firearms that are used by others to commit a crime.

Hundreds of NY Firearm Owners Flagged as Mental Health Risks

278 licensed firearm owners in New York have been deemed mentally unstable by health professionals. Several of those individuals have reportedly had their firearms confiscated by their local law enforcement agency. Under the NY SAFE Act, medical professionals are obligated to identify and report to the State of New York patients that the professionals consider to pose a threat to themselves or others. A provision within the SAFE Act permits health professionals to provide this information to the state without obtaining informed consent from their patients. As such, most individuals who have been identified are unaware of their presence on the state database.

Renzulli Law Firm is Monitoring Firearm-Related Legislative Developments

Renzulli Law Firm, nationally recognized as one of the premier law firms in the countryserving the Firearms Industry, is monitoring legislative developments affecting the industry and publishing regular updates which are available by e-mail and on this website. Any questions you may have about these developments should be directed to John F. Renzulli or Christopher Renzulli.