Legal challenge to SAFE Act scheduled for oral argument Feb. 28 in NYS Supreme Court in Rochester, N.Y.

February 6, 2019 – BUFFALO, N.Y. – Attorney Jim Ostrowski issued a punishing reply to the Office of the New York State Attorney General this week regarding his legal challenge to The People of the State of New York v. Benjamin Wassell. The challenge to the aforementioned case, scheduled for oral argument in State Supreme Court in Rochester, N.Y. on Feb. 28, 2019, seeks to reverse a SAFE Act conviction erroneously applied to a Western New York resident, and challenge the totality of the SAFE Act on constitutional grounds.

In response to the Attorney General’s reply contending the challenge to The People of the State of New York v. Benjamin Wassell is without merit, Ostrowski meticulously picked apart the argument made by the Office of the New York State Attorney General. He clearly, logically, and forcefully demonstrated that Benjamin Wassell’s SAFE Act conviction should be overturned and the SAFE Act should be nullified in total based on the following:

  • Unconstitutional
  • Void for vagueness
  • Due process violation
  • Lack of equal protection under the law
  • Jury instruction error
  • Not supported by legally sufficient evidence

Specifically, Ostrowski stated the following in his reply brief, noting the totality of the Attorney General’s argument against his legal challenge relies on the faulty presumption that New York State can run roughshod over citizens’ Second Amendment civil rights simply because imperial bureaucrats in Albany believe they have a compelling public interest in doing so.

“The respondent’s [Office of the New York State Attorney General’s] response to the defendant’s Second Amendment arguments typifies the casual attitude of most state and federal appellate courts towards the right to bear arms since the revolutionary and controversial Heller and McDonald decisions were issued: that is, they basically ignore them,” Ostrowski stated in his reply brief. “The predominant opinion in the legal community for many years had been that the Second Amendment was a dead letter that had some vague relationship to the militia and colonial times and that militias having passed from the scene, the Amendment was essentially a meaningless vestige of primitive times and primitive minds. As pointed out in detail in defendant’s brief, New York courts and all too often the Second Circuit have essentially ignored Heller. Specifically:

  1. The respondent completely ignores the primary purpose of the Second Amendment, to allow the people to defense themselves against government tyranny;
  2. The respondent uses an intermediate scrutiny balancing test rejected by Heller and McDonald.
  3. The respondent relies on biased and tendentious academic studies which are flawed for many reasons.”

“The argument made by Jim Ostrowski in his reply brief to the State Attorney General is spot-on and logically unassailable,” 2AWNY.COM Civil Rights Advocate Steve Felano said. “Imperial Criminal Andrew Cuomo and his minions in the legislature and courts have gotten away with trampling the Second Amendment civil rights of New Yorkers for years by making the same specious ‘intermediate scrutiny’ argument over and over. They claim that, because state government has a compelling interest in public safety, they are able to simply ignore the Second Amendment to achieve their desired ends. This type of thinking on the part of lawmakers and judges will be issued a sharp beatdown by the conservative wing of the U.S. Supreme Court when they review NYSRPA v. NYC in 2019-2020. This will open the door for Ostrowski’s legal challenge to achieve U.S. Supreme Court review and nullify the SAFE Act in its entirety. The death of the SAFE Act is coming. Jim Ostrowksi’s legal challenge is the looming executioner.”

In addition to the legal challenge mentioned above, Jim Ostrowski is progressing a case in 2019, Libertarian Party of Erie County v. Cuomo, that seeks to nullify New York State’s pistol permit requirement based on the following grounds:

  • Unconstitutional – Second and Fourteenth Amendment rights violated
  • Overly subjective nature of “good moral character,” “good cause,” and “proper cause” requirements
  • Application of “intermediate scrutiny” to Second Amendment restrictions when “strict scrutiny” is most appropriate for this constitutionally enumerated right

The aforementioned case is expected to be argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan, N.Y. on Feb. 20, 2019 (one step away from U.S. Supreme Court review).

To learn more about any of the above, please contact Steve Felano at (518) 852-1863 or [email protected].

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2AWNY is a force multiplier for the numerous Second Amendment civil rights advocacy enterprises forming the backbone of Western New York’s vibrant gun culture. We act as a 2A news and information distribution, policy analysis, and organizational driver for the many interest groups seeking to defend and expand Second Amendment civil rights throughout the region. 2AWNY is dedicated to assisting in the organization, promotion, and funding of legal challenges to the unconstitutional New York State gun control regime. We seek to make Western New York the epicenter of New York State’s Second Amendment civil rights renaissance. Learn more at WWW.2AWNY.COM.