New York's strict new gun laws, including an expanded ban on assault weapons, were ruled constitutional by a federal judge except for a provision forbidding gun owners to load more than seven rounds into a magazine, the New York Times reports. The ruling was a victory to gun control advocates at the end of a year in which efforts to pass new federal legislation failed, although some new restrictions were approved by states.
U.S. District Judge William Skretny in Buffalo said expanded bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines were legally sound because they served to “further the state's important interest in public safety.” The new New York laws, enacted in January 2013, are among the nation’s most restrictive. Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed for the state to be the first to take action after the Newtown school shooting. Gun rights groups accused him of promoting restrictions they called ill-conceived, poorly understood and unconstitutional. Skretny cited Newtown in his decision, saying, “Studies and data support New York's view that assault weapons are often used to devastating effect in mass shootings.”