The NY Gun law effectively banned the purchase of new pistols because pistols are not generally made to hold 7-round magazines, and even if some manufacturers would produce such magazines for the NY market, it still presented a constitutional problem:  Under the Heller and McDonald cases, the state cannot effectively ban handguns either outright or by setting up irrational and onerous obstacles.

This was a point made by attorney Alan Gura in response to a question I asked when he spoke at Cornell Law School.  (Video at bottom of post.)

“Well the 7-round limit to me is clearly unconstitutional, for the reasons mentioned, Americans have expectation  to find in common use handguns that have more than 7-rounds, and so a 7-round limit is plainly unconstitutional.”

So it is no surprise that Governor Andrew Cuomo now is open to changing that part of the law, via NY Times:

… after weeks of criticism from gun owners, Mr. Cuomo said on Wednesday that he would seek to ease the restriction, which he said had proved unworkable even before it was scheduled to take effect on April 15.

The gun-control law, approved in January, banned the sale of magazines that hold more than seven rounds of ammunition. But, Mr. Cuomo said Wednesday, seven-round magazines are not widely manufactured. And, although the new gun law provided an exemption for the use of 10-round magazines at firing ranges and competitions, it did not provide a legal way for gun owners to purchase such magazines.

As a result, he said, he and legislative leaders were negotiating language that would continue to allow the sale of magazines holding up to 10 rounds, but still forbid New Yorkers from loading more than 7 rounds into those magazines.

“There is no such thing as a seven-bullet magazine,” Mr. Cuomo said at a news conference. “That doesn’t exist. So you really have no practical option.” ….

Even after allowing the sale of 10-round magazines, New York’s law would still be among the strongest in the country. Only three other states — California, Hawaii and Massachusetts — and the District of Columbia have a 10-round magazine limit, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

There are many other problems with this law, as we have discussed before.  As indicated above, NY still will restrict gun owners to loading 7 rounds into the 10-round magazines.  That’s just irrational and arbitrary.

[Note -- the subtitle has been removed after a number of people pointed out that 7-round magazines exist for some models, although still not many. So it was not correct to say they "don't exist" and now that subtitle doesn't exist.]

 
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