DC v. Heller Attorney: NY Gun Law ‘Clearly Unconstitutional’    

January 31, 2013 - 4:58 PM

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Attorney Alan Gura. (AP)

(CNSNews.com) -- Attorney Alan Gura, who successfully represented plaintiff Dick Heller in the Supreme Court case DC v Heller, which struck down a ban on handguns as unconstitutional, said the new gun control law in New York signed by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo is “clearly unconstitutional.”

Speaking at a discussion on Jan. 29 at Cornell University Law School, Gura specifically mentioned the law’s seven-round bullet limit for gun magazines as unconstitutional.

“Well, the seven-round limit to me is clearly unconstitutional for the reasons that you mentioned,” Gura said, responding to a question from William A. Jacobson, an associate clinical professor at Cornell Law.

“Americans have an expectation to find in common use handguns that have more than seven rounds," Gura said, "and so a seven-round limit is plainly unconstitutional.”

Gura added that plaintiff Dick Heller’s gun—which was illegal under the unconstitutional handgun ban in the District of Columbia—would also have been illegal under the New York law because of the gun’s amount of rounds.

“Dick Heller’s gun, that was an issue in the Washington case, was a revolver that held nine rounds -- I guess it’s illegal in New York now,” he said.

Although Gura does not take issue with state governments regulating the amount of ammunition an individual has on his or her person, the limit on how many rounds a gun can hold is “plainly ridiculous.”

“I think that states can regulate the amount of ammunition that one takes with him or her walking down the street,” Gura said. “At some point, it’s no longer something that people would expect to be using in traditional applications and concerns are raised about what this individual has in mind.”

He continued, “But again, that depends upon the time, place, manner and the circumstances. But as a general possession question, to prohibit anything that contains more than seven rounds is plainly ridiculous and it should be struck down.”

In addition to DC v Heller, Gura successfully argued the gun-rights case McDonald v Chicago which also went to the Supreme Court.

On Jan. 15, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law gun-control legislation that, among many things, limited the amount of rounds (bullets) in gun magazines to seven instead of 10.

New Yorkers currently in possession of 10-round magazines are only permitted to carry as many as seven rounds of ammunition for their firearm.