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Federal Judge Allows Lawsuit Against NY ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban to Proceed

U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Karas sided with plaintiffs on Thursday, allowing their lawsuit against New York’s “Assault Weapons” ban to proceed.

Plaintiffs J. Mark Lane and James Sears contend “that New York’s ban on assault weapons (the “Assault Weapons Ban”) violates their Second Amendment rights as incorporated against New York State by the Fourteenth Amendment.”

The lawsuit states:

Plaintiffs are two Westchester residents who claim they intend to keep and bear assault weapons for various purposes, including home defense and target shooting. Lane, if allowed, would purchase a Springfield Armory Saint rifle, an AR-15 style gun fitted to accept a detachable magazine, with a telescoping stock, pistol grip, and muzzle device. And Sears, if allowed, would purchase a LMT MARS-L 5.56 rifle, another AR-15 style gun with the same characteristics.

Both plaintiffs are “citizens over 21 and allege that they are legally eligible under federal and state law to possess firearms.”

“Both of them would immediately acquire their desired AR-15-model firearms were it not for New York’s enforcement of the Assault Weapons Ban and the associated threat of prosecution,” the lawsuit continues.

The defendants — Westchester County district attorney Miriam E. Rocah and acting superintendent of New York State Police Dominick L. Chiumento — claimed the plaintiffs’ complaints were “too vague.” The plaintiffs responded by demonstrating that despite their standing as law-abiding citizens who are not barred from purchasing and legally possessing other firearms, “they face a credible threat of enforcement if they follow through with attempting to acquire assault weapons.”

Rocah and Chiumento attempted to have the lawsuit dismissed, but their motion was denied.

The motion was filed in Lane v. James, No. 7:22-cv-10989, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.


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