Court Rejects SAFE Act Challenge

5:01 PM, Jul 4, 2013   |    comments
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Wednesday, a New York State Appellate Court rejected a challenge to the New York SAFE Act, the state's controversial gun control law, adopted by the Governor and legislature earlier this year.

"This is a bump in the road on our way to the court of appeals," said plaintiff Robert Schulz in a phone interview Wednesday.

Schulz is the founder of "We the People of New York," and he led the lawsuit against the SAFE Act, along with more than one-thousand other plaintiffs.

Even though a state Appellate Court shot down their challenge Wednesday, Schulz still has hope.

"We are very confident that eventually the Court of Appeals will agree that the procedure followed by the governor and the legislature in enacting the SAFE Act was unconstitutional," says Schulz.

Schulz plans on going to the Court of Appeals to try to get the SAFE Act overturned. But, attorney Barry Covert thinks the chances of Schulz winning his case do not look favorable.

"I would be surprised if the Court of Appeals did take this up if asked by the plaintiffs. So it really is, at this point, very negative news for the plaintiffs in this case to have the Appellate Court affirm the trial court," says Covert. "That does not mean that the plaintiffs won't eventually win. They very well could win. It's a bad sign to be told that you don't have a likelihood of success on the merits, but that does not mean that you will eventually win."

Covert says the case could end up tied up in court for years.

Assemblyman Mickey Kearns did not vote for the SAFE Act and does not support it. Kearns thinks this issue will not be resolved in the courts. He says legislators need to figure it out.

"We've got to have conversations with healthcare professionals. When you take the mental health aspect of it and you marry it to control, that is never going to work. We need to have two separate discussions and dialogues," says Kearns.

Meanwhile, Schulz vows to gun-rights advocates that he will not back down in his fight to get the SAFE Act overturned.

"It's really angered many, many people in the state. Law abiding citizens and the plethora of lawsuits and the number of rallies is clearly an indication that this issue is not going away," he says.

Covert says this case does have the potential to end up in front of the United States Supreme Court because he expects the nation's highest court to hear some Second Amendment cases going through the lower courts right now.

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