South Dakota AG Challenges N.Y. Gun Ban

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) -

A New York state ban on semi-automatic weapons sets a worrying precedent that could affect the rights of South Dakotans and people across the country to use such weapons in hunting, the South Dakota Attorney General said in a court filing.

South Dakota joined 21 states in supporting a court challenge to New York’s ban on semi-automatic weapons. South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley said semi-automatic guns are among the “arms” protected by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, so the New York ban is unconstitutional.

“Hunting with semi-automatic firearms for pheasant, waterfowl and big game is commonplace in South Dakota,” Jackley said. “While the ban only applies to New York at this time, the federal court’s upholding of the gun ban sets a concerning precedent interpreting limitations on Second Amendment rights of all law-abiding citizens including here in South Dakota.”

A federal judge, William Skretny in Buffalo, N.Y., in December allowed most of New York’s new gun control law to stand, saying they’re related to achieving an “important governmental interest” in public safety.