New York Gun Permit Regime Challenged

November 6, 2020

By

Matthew Hoy

For the second time this week, Second Amendment groups are taking aim at states with the most restrictive concealed carry regimes. First it was New Jersey, now it is New York.

The lawsuit, Greco v. City of New York, filed Tuesday, follows a similar path to that aimed at New Jersey. New York City's handgun licensing procedure—which includes not just onerous restrictions on the carry of handguns outside the home, but also time-consuming and expensive procedures for possession inside a business or residence—runs afoul of the Second Amendment. Both the Firearms Policy Coalition and the Second Amendment Foundation are parties to the litigation.

“Like the lawsuit against New Jersey’s carry ban we filed earlier this week, we are suing New York City over their unconstitutional ban that prevents typical, law-abiding people from carry loaded, operable handguns on their person in public places,” explained attorney Adam Kraut, FPC’s Director of Legal Strategy. “The State of New York and New York City have enacted broad criminal laws to prohibit the carry of handguns, and then set up an unconstitutional requirement for the issuance of a license to carry, thus completely foreclosing the right. This case seeks to strike down these laws and allow New Yorkers and visitors to exercise the right to bear arms as they are entitled to.”

Unlike most people who wish to carry a handgun for self defense in New York City, George Greco had at several points demonstrated that a need that New York City's police department determined met its heightened and stringent requirements. He was able to attain a Carry Business License from 2003 until 2018. In 2018, the department decided that he no longer had sufficient need, and refused to renew his license.

While the lawsuit may face an uphill battle in the Second Circuit, with a prior case, Kachalsky v. County of Westchester, allowing governments to require heightened need before allowing citizens to carry firearms for self-defense, the hope apparently is that these lawsuits will eventually make their way to a Supreme Court that appears to have a solid five votes confirming the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms with the addition of Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

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