WNY attorney to file suit over gun law

HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) — Just days after New York lawmakers passed a new gun control law, an attorney from Western New York is filing suit over the measure.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of local gun owners by James Tresmond of Hamburg, argues the law is unconstitutional for two reasons: the restrictions it puts on gun owners, and how quickly it passed.

"It violates certain tenets of the Constitution of the United States," Tresmond said.

MORE | See a breakdown of the provisions of the law, as well as the complete text, here

Tresmond will argue in court that New York's new gun control law violates gun owners' "due process" rights.

The Fifth Amendment states: "No person shall... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." The Fourteenth Amendment further clarifie: "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Tresmond contended, "[The NY SAFE Act] takes away the rights of law-abiding gun owners, who have done nothing. Committed no crimes. And all of a sudden, because they own certain weapons, they're going to be breaking the law."

Members of the Erie County Chapter of SCOPE packed a small meeting room at Southgate Plaza Thursday night to hear how the law will affect them and about Tresmond's effort to have it repealed.

SCOPE member Frank Boncore commented, "The Governor's beating his chest. He doesn't know anything about guns, or organizations like us, who promote gun safety."

New Yorkers who support the law say it's not about taking guns away from responsible owners.

Russell Ward heads up the local chapter of the national advocacy movement, "Move On."

Referring to recent, nationally-publicized shootings in Newtown, Webster, and elsewhere Ward said, "We'd just like to have them more controlled, by the people that own the guns, and not have disgruntled or mentally unstable people able to get a hold of these guns, to do these wrong things."

"We do enjoy our rights to gun ownership in this country, and that's what makes us what we are, so great as we are," Ward continued. "It just needs to be controlled."

Gun advocates counter, it's overkill. Even before NY SAFE, they point out, New York had tougher gun control laws than any other state in the nation.

Boncore said, "Not everybody should have a gun. But, if you pass the background check... I have a pistol permit. You know what I had to go through, to get that? In Erie County here, it takes six months to a year. You're investigated by the FBI. You're fingerprinted like a common criminal. You've got to have all kinds of references. And you better do right, or you don't get your permit."

Tresmond expects to formally file suit in court in the next two to three weeks.

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Democrat Andrew Cuomo is Governor of New York.  Two Democrats represent NYS in the U.S. Senate, and NY has 29 representatives in the U.S. House: 21 Democrats and 8 Republicans.
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