We noted before that New York was going to abandon the 7-round magazine limit in the new handgun law.

We didn’t expect it would be done so quietly, by folding it into a provision in the budget, via Bloomberg News:

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s seven-round limit on magazines sold in New York will be suspended “indefinitely” by a measure in his $136.5 billion budget set to be passed this week, Dean Skelos, a Senate majority leader said.

The ban on magazines holding more than seven bullets was set to start April 15. Cuomo has said the law needs to be rolled back because manufacturers don’t make seven-round holders. The measure was a center piece to a gun law the 55-year-old Democratic governor pushed through the legislature in January, making New York the first state to respond with tougher gun regulations to the Newtown, Connecticut school massacre.

The budget “bill will have an indefinite postponement of the issue,” Skelos, the Long Island Republican who co-leads the Senate with a group of five breakaway Democrats, told reporters in Albany yesterday.

The limit almost certainly was unconstitutional, as it amounted to a de facto ban on most handguns. So it had to go, either by legislation or the courts.

But why via the budget?

Lumping it in with the budget deprives opponents of the opportunity to make the gun law a separate issue and to point out the haste with which the legislature acted.

Most important, this maneuver deprives opponents of the gun law the chance to vote against changing the 7-round limit in isolation? Huh, you say.

The limit is unworkable as the Governor admits, and makes a mockery of the entire gun law. By keeping the limit in place, opponents of the gun law in general would have created a situation where the gun law all but imploded of its own weight.

Now that weight will be removed in a manner designed to make as if it never were there in the first place.