More law enforcement officials are joining a federal lawsuit opposing the new gun restrictions that were passed in New York following the Newtown, Conn., school shooting.
The New York State Sheriffs' Association and five individual sheriffs are asking U.S. District Judge William Skretny to include them in the suit. The new law places a limit on the number of bullets that a magazine can hold and also tightens up the definition of what counts as an assault weapon.
"The Supreme Court has confirmed that the Second Amendment protects arms typically possessed by law-abiding citizens, and identified that the right of self-defense is 'core' protected conduct that is at its zenith in the home," the sheriffs' brief said. "At a minimum, laws that criminalize the most common rifle in America today - a rifle that is often selected precisely for its self-defense capabilities - impinge upon that core right. The same is true of laws banning standard-capacity magazines."
Specifically, the law bans magazines with a capacity of more than 10 bullets and defines assault weapons as semi-automatics with detachable magazines and a single military-style feature. The sheriffs have sided with the New York affiliate of the National Rifle Association in protesting the law, Fox News reported.
The sheriffs believe that the letter of the law is too vague. They asked for clarification about "laws that will inevitably require enforcement, via confiscation, incarceration, or both, against otherwise law-abiding individuals attempting to exercise fundamental rights."
Enforcement of the new law could also be an issue. According to the sheriffs, "The lack of guidelines in these provisions will inevitably lead to 'erratic arrests and convictions' that the due process clause was meant to prevent.”