Federal Court Upholds SAFE Act

This is not surprising news for those of us who do not expect the courts to do much in terms of helping uphold a robust Second Amendment right. According to Judge William Skretny, a George H.W. Appointee, the states get to determine what is and what isn’t useful for self-defense:

Unlike handgun bans elsewhere, which affect weapons commonly used for self-defense, wrote Judge Skretny, New York’s law “applies only to a subset of firearms with characteristics New York State has determined to be particularly dangerous and unnecessary for self-defense; it does not totally disarm New York’s citizens; and it does not meaningfully jeopardize their right to self-defense.”

So can we ban any subset of handguns, like semi-automatics, and that’s just fine by the Second Amendment? But we do get a consolation prize:

Judge Skretny struck down a provision of the law, however, that limits a gun-owner from loading more than seven rounds in a gun at a time, calling it “largely an arbitrary restriction that impermissibly infringes on the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment.”

It’s all arbitrary. There’s no public safety issue. They are just trying to ban what they can get away with. If the Second Amendment can’t save NY from SAFE, it might as well not even exist in the Bill of Rights.

33 thoughts on “Federal Court Upholds SAFE Act”

      1. Well, Reagan didn’t get everything right. But Bush had that experience behind it and didn’t use it appropriately. Because Bush was a RINO. What is a bug to us was a feature to him.

  1. And the law in other states that limits the number of rounds a pistol of any type may contain to only five rounds was not selected without malicious forethought. What is it the pistol made by Colonel Colt and others was called?

  2. So limiting how many you can put into a magazine is arbitrary but limiting how big the magazine isn’t?

    And you gotta love their doubletalk “determined to be particularly dangerous and unnecessary for self-defense”

    Oh you say pistol grips or barrel threads aren’t really dangerous? Well don’t worry, they’re not necessary for self defense! And thus can be banned.

    I suppose there’s a tiny consolation that when they justify these laws they actually have to say “See! It doesn’t violate self defense!”

    Before they’d just go “Self defense isn’t a relevant part of gun ownership.”

  3. Judge Skretny’s decision would appear to be very weak and poorly decided.
    Included in his decision are reference cites from MAIG, “Mother Jones” magazine, and the Brady Campaign as factual supporting evidence.

    1. INCREDIBLY pathetic decision.

      I almost burst a blood vessel when I saw Mother Jones referenced.

  4. ” The people (of New York ) – why the people
    Are magnificent; in their carriages, which are
    Numerous, in their house furniture, which is fine,
    In their pride and conceit, which are inimitable,
    In their profaneness, which is intolerable, in
    The want of principle, which is prevalent, and
    In their Toryism, which is insufferable.”
    -Letter from Henry Knox to his wife, Lucy

    The Founders literally had to put the majority of the population of New York under military occupation due to their slavish Toryism. 2/3 of the city was Loyalist, and entire outlying areas like Long Island welcomed the Redcoats and Hessians with flowers, fresh fruit, and their virgin daughters (literally — Lord Percy of the Brits writes about daily gang rapes).

    Not much has changed.

    The District Court, 2nd Circuit, and SCOTUS could all rule against SAFE and it would not matter. Until you force the state to comply with the 2A with fire and sword they simply will not. They already ignore FOPA; why wouldn’t they ignore some court ruling?

    Ultimately the court battle is interesting, and it would be nice to win there, but it is ultimately meaningless. To paraphrase another proponent of strong state authority, “How many divisions do the courts have?” They are simply unable to enforce their rulings against the state of New York.

    I doubt the current federal government, or any conceivable future federal administration, would so much as withhold some federal funding for NY much less send the 82nd airborne to force NY to honor the People’s natural rights.

    The root cause of the problem is that the people of New York always have been — and continue to be — slavish Royalists who want to be ruled. The good news is that NY is slowly imploding economically; they are depopulating on their own. I suspect that the new Mayor of NYC will accelerate the trend.

    The best solution I see is for the nearby states and the South (all those retirees going to FL, NC, etc…) to figure out how to assimilate Tory Refugees who are fleeing NY’s imploding economy and socialize them to freedom, lest the rats fleeing the sinking ship vote for their nonsense once they move to Free America.

    1. Love the history! Thank you, Chris!!! In addition, I read that when NYC burned (who set the fire is unknown, but Washington’s retreating army was blamed by the Tories), enraged loyalists threw suspect Patriots into the flames…alive! I have no love to lose for NYC!

      And you are right; the rats fleeing NYC ARE a threat to Southern America’s freedom if they are not re-educated in the ways and principles of liberty. Just ask Colorado!!!

      With gratitude,


      1. It’s not just Southern America’s freedom they are a threat too. Trust me, I have plenty of Manhattanites in the Delaware Valley of this county (my this county) to cause enough trouble.

        And not to defend New York City folk, but Colorado was thoroughly ruined by Californication, like Washington, Oregon and Nevada.

        But I would note that if you go back in California’s history, California itself was ruined by moralizing North-easterners :)

        1. My apologies for my incomplete statement. Now that I re-read it, it does sound like I blamed New Yorkers for Colorado’s demise. Thank you for clarifying – yes, it was indeed California “rats” who invaded Colorado and turned its gun culture upside down — to the degree that one of my friends took his family out of there and moved to gun-friendlier (and freedom-friendlier) Oklahoma.

          It’s difficult to pin down, but my theory is these “rats” leave their sinking ship (due to tax and budget woes) to financially safer havens without “repenting” of their underlying cultural values (statism) that ultimately led to the tax and budget problems that made their previous State unbearable to live in. So of course they unwittingly import to their new State the seeds of its future tax-and-spend and gun-control-happy destruction. At least that’s what my Colorado friends and I have come up with to explain the paradox.

          Thanks again for clarifying my comment!!!


          – Arnie

          1. I think that’s exactly what happens. Professor Ilya Somin has commented that people are much more rational on their migration preferences than they are on voting preferences. Therefore people are going to move places to escape poor policy and then vote for that same poor policy where they move to. They don’t even understand they are doing that.

            1. Yes! Exactly!!! That’s it exactly!!! And, yes, they DONT realize they’re doing it! It’s weird, but they truly don’t understand the cause-and-effect relationship of values to budget demands. Thank you, Sebastian!!!!! Thank you!!!!

              I must google this Professor Somin and peruse his work. My Colorado friends thank you, and I thank you!!!!

              With deepest gratitude!!!!

              – Arnie

                1. Wonderful!!! I shall check it out now. Thank you for the link, sir! And for everything!!!!

                  – Arnie

                    1. Got it, sir! Thank you!

                      Love his statement: “Their foot-voting is often better than their ballot-voting.” His explanation is most illuminating. Thank you, Sebastian!


                      – Arnie

        2. I meant to include NH, VT, ME, PA, etc as “nearby” states as well which are threatened by MassHoles/Californication/”Whatever We Want to Call CarpetBagging New Yorkers.”

          I have just started to think about this and I think a reasonable counterstrategy would look like this-ish:

          1) Identify. You need to ID which states are lost to freedom for the next few generations. I think they line up with the new Ban States on a wide variety of levels. NY scores poorly for personal liberty and economic freedom, for example.

          2) Contain. You need to encourage rats to stay on their sinking ship, or at least discourage them from coming to YOUR place. The discouragement can be done with sticks. When I moved to TX, my wife’s car had CT plates and all four tires got slashed. I suspect it was a bit of mild political violence. If such acts, or even non-violent statements like public shunning (works for the Amish, right?) became more common then Tories would be less likely to emigrate and be open about their Toryism.

          The encouragement to get rats to stay could be through continued federal subsidy of their lifestyle. Maybe it is worth funding some bread and circuses in NYC to keep them there. I don’t think about the long term implications of this for the Republic, though.

          Finally, you need an “underground railroad” or outreach effort to get freedom loving Patriots stuck behind the lines out of these places. That might mean education, financial assistance, etc.

          3) Socialize. You need institutions in place to socialize new arrivals to your state to Freedom. Right now when people move the only state institutions they likely contact are the DMV and the public schools. The schools are overrun by Tories and don’t have an immediate impact on the parents. The DMV isn’t necessarily a pro-freedom educational experience (although it could be — we have “Motor Voter,” why not “Motor CCW Permit?”).

          If free states want to stay free they need to figure out how to assimilate economic refugees from Tory-controlled communist shitholes. That’s going to require education, outreach, incentivizing pro-freedom activity, and new institutions.

          1. Great plan, Kemosabe.

            I was born in this festering ****hole.

            If I had the money I would have left long ago.

            I’m now a second-class citizen here because of these corrupt dickweasels in charge, and I’m going to be punished further if I’m able to finally escape this dump? It’s bad enough I have to worry about being SWAT’ed by vindictive, creepy, little panty-twisted fascists that I’m surrounded by, who take great pleasure in giving me a ration of shit because I don’t agree with them. And, because I own a weapon, they’ll no-knock and shoot first on a freaking non-violent misdemeanor if I’m ever naughty enough to run afoul of the law.

            Now I have to worry about what happens when I actually do get out? Thanks for reminding me of the 4 years I spent in college in the south where my car was keyed up weekly. Where the mechanics decided to do no work and damage my engine even more when brought in for repairs. I only pumped at least 100k into the local area’s economy. But screw me. Because, NY. AMIRIGHT?

            Hey, no problem. It’s only my families life. And mine. Screw ’em right? They were born in NY. They deserve it. It’s not like most of the counties have been fighting back. Nah.

            Oh, but you have an “underground railroad” idea. That makes it so much better.

            What happened to no one gets thrown from the life-raft?

            No wonder we’re losing.

            I woke up furious thanks to the news from Western NY. Thanks for bringing that just a little bit more towards stroking out.

            1. I am sorry for your plight. Really, I am. It is also important to be cogent of reality as we face it. I sent money to the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association and other plaintiffs in the suits. I wrote to your state and local elected officials. I lived in NY for awhile so had a NY address to use. I’ve written my federal reps and asked them to stop supporting funding for NY law enforcement.

              Let’s look at where we’re at, though.

              1) The Soap Box of public opinion. Guess what? A majority of New Yorkers want gun owners dead or in a prison/institution. You control none of the institutions of the state. You face an exceedingly hostile media environment. Your neighbors, coworkers, and other associates will turn you in on the “1-800-GunOwner” stasi snitch line your governor has set up.
              2) The Voting Box. In the 2010 Gubernatorial election, Cuomo won in all but 13 counties. He even swept the much-vaunted freedom loving upstate. He won by two to one. In 2012, Obama won by a margin of ~30% (2 million votes), carrying over half of the counties in NY, including many in the upstate.
              3) The Jury Box. The NY State courts have rubber stamped SAFE. The Fed District court approved most of SAFE, and the 2nd Circuit is very hostile so we are unlikely to win anything on appeal. There is a remote chance that SCOTUS takes the case and rules in our favor, but I find that unlikely. SCOTUS did nothing in 1994. SCOTUS has done nothing to provide relief in Heller 2. Even if they did overturn SAFE, NY State would have to be forced by fire and sword to comply, which the federal executive will not do. So the jury box is out.

              So where does that leave us?

              If you’re a “cold dead hands” type then I hope you’re prepared to live like an outlaw guerrilla. I hope you’re doing PT, have a squad-sized element of like minded partisans, have moved your family out of the state, have established caches with an E&E plan, etc. Let’s face it, if your plan is to die in place when SWAT burns down your house, you are going to get your family killed, which is a pretty shitty plan.

              The other alternative is the moving box.

              So really, I don’t know what to do to get you back in a life raft. Your raft has a giant hole and is sinking, and it can’t be saved. You can stay in it and either live a slave or be executed by SWAT, or you can GTFO and stop paying taxes to feed Cuomo’s stormtroopers. That’s why I think it is valuable to offer true like minded patriots like yourself who were born on the wrong side of the line some sort of help in moving.

              Otherwise, you need to find a way to take care of your Tory problem. The only long term political solution that seems viable is for Western New York and maybe the Finger Lakes to peel off and join PA. That will probably not happen unless Western New York makes itself literally ungovernable, so in that case you will still need to move your family out of the AO before popping flares at the LZ and asking for a supply drop of railroad ties, tar, feathers, and PMAGS.

              Given the facts on the ground, containment seems the best strategy. It worked for abolitionists against the Slave-Owning South for a century or so, it worked against the USSR, it has been working against the DPRK, and I suspect it will work against the socialist utopia of NY, too. Eventually NY will run out of other people’s money, the economy will implode, and people will look to leave for greener pastures. As NY, CA, etc depopulate their hold on federal power can be reduced and we may, in a few generations, be able to impose some sort of liberty on them as Sebastian has suggested at this blog previously.

              Good luck with whatever you do. If you truly need help with money to rent a UHAUL and put a security deposit on an apartment in PA I am sure the community will help chip in. Bloggers can be generous.

              If you’re staying for the money, then, well… May the chains rest lightly and all that. Our founding fathers risked it all to move across an ocean for freedom, wrest the land from the wilderness, and fight down the strongest power on Earth; modern Americans can’t even imagine hopping in a uhaul to drive four hours down the road. :-\

      2. Remember, Col. Knox wished to lay waist and fire to the city from a strategic stand point before the siege war ever enveloped.

        Washington and Congress disagreed from the stand point that it might shift the loyalists to the hard core side of the Brits, alienate the revolutionary sympathizers, and fracture the uprising before it really got going.

        I think in the end, it might have ultimately done us more good than harm.

        1. Yes, the book I read, “Washington’s Spies,” written by a Brit, agreed with you, FBH51.
          – Arnie

    1. We really need to bring that back.

      Its amazing the contortions courts go through to ignore a right. If this was about the first, there is no way it would have withstood scrutiny.

  5. The power of the sword, say the minority…, is in the hands of Congress. My friends and countrymen, it is not so, for The powers of the sword are in the hands of the yeomanry of America from sixteen to sixty. The militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be tremendous and irresistible. Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress has no power to disarm the militia. Their swords and every terrible implement of the soldier are the birthright of Americans. The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments but where, I trust in God, it will always remain, in the hands of the people.

    Tench Coxe

    The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.

  6. The only way out of this mess is for Congress to exercise its section 5 powers of the 14th amendment, just as the ratifiers of that amendment intended it to be enforced. We lose sight of the fact that the courts were supposed to police the boundaries of Congress’s (did I use that apostrophe properly?) powers, not to intervene directly within the states as they have been.

    With that in mind, the court was right to leave the law (mostly) intact for the time being.

  7. “It’s all arbitrary.”

    That becomes true the first time people look at a constitution and assert “No constitutional right is an absolute,” and then (usually) recite that utter nonsense about “crying fire in a crowded theater,” in their most civilized and patronizing tones. And, all ideologies are guilty of it.

  8. Big City Police Chiefs Group Supports SAFE Act

    The Major Cities Chiefs Police Association filed a brief in Federal Court in support of the NY SAFE Act! You might be surprised how many cities from Free states are members of this group, such as most Texas cities. Do you live in one of those cities? If you do you might want to make some noise.


    Police Chiefs ought to be aware of what the groups they belong to are doing in their name, just as Mayors who are part of MAIG. And if those Chiefs are aware, they should suffer the consequences for supporting tyranny.

    1. Texas big city police chiefs are appointed by the mayor or city council, not elected. And the mayors and city councils of most cities are not conservative Republicans, by any stretch.

  9. More fodder for my theory that the Tory controlled states like NY will have to be forced to honor the 2A, literally at gun point from federal troops:


    The judge in Buffalo did strike down one controversial provision – the limitation on ammunition to large capacity magazines. The SAFE Act currently limits magazines to seven bullets.

    However, Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick noted that the ruling is only binding in the Western District of New York.

    He says the limitation on ammunition will continue to be enforced in the Northern District of New York – which includes the greater Syracuse area.

    The DA who says he is going to ignore the fed judge’s ruling and prosecute people for a law which the district right next door has found to be unconstitutional is a Republican, too, which just goes to show how lost NY is.

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