A federal judge has largely upheld New York's tough gun control law passed in the weeks after the Sandy Hook school shooting.
Judge William Skretny in Buffalo rejected arguments from opponents that its ban on large-capacity magazines and the sale of semi-automatic rifles infringed on Second Amendment rights.
He ruled that the provisions were constitutional because the state has an "important governmental interest" in public safety in a suit brought by the New York affiliate of the National Rifle Association.
However, the judge struck down one restriction that would have made it illegal to put more than seven rounds in a 10-round magazine.
The law was approved a year ago and some parts are already in effect, while provisions for background checks for gun and ammunition purchases are set to come into force on Jan. 15.
The New York Times says:
"The judge's ruling offered a victory to gun control advocates at the end of a year when relatively few new restrictions were passed in state capitals, and efforts to pass new legislation on the federal level were driven back in Congress."
"Gun rights groups have been sharply critical of the measures, holding protests at the Capitol, questioning their legality, and vowing to oppose officeholders like [New York Gov. Mario] Cuomo who championed them. The judge's ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association and other firearms groups."
Data show that more than 1,000 gun possession charges – ranging from misdemeanors to felonies — have been filed in New York City since the law took effect, according to The Associated Press.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
"The law requires that by Jan. 15, all sellers of ammunition must register with the state police. Sellers holding a valid federal firearms license will be registered automatically, but other businesses must fill out a registration form."
"Gun owners have until Jan. 15 to get rid of magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds or face a class A misdemeanor charge, with few exceptions. A person can dispose of a large capacity magazine by discarding it or by selling it to a licensed dealer or out-of-state purchaser. ... Guns classified as 'assault weapons' must be registered with the state by April 15, 2014."