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City’s Tough Handgun Laws Could be Challenged by Supreme Court Ruling on Chicago

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Supreme Court has ruled that cities and states cannot violate the Second Amendment right to bear arms when they enact gun control laws. By a 5-4 vote, the Court held that Americans have the right to own a gun for self-defense anywhere they live, and it asked the lower court to decide whether Chicago's 28-year-old ban on handguns is constitutional. Although it's not yet clear what the decision will mean for states and cities with less restrictive gun rules, Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he's confident the ruling will not jeopardize New York City's gun control laws. "We don't think that it is going to have a detrimental effect," Bloomberg says. "I'm sure it will cause some more lawsuits, but the court clearly said that reasonable regulations--as opposed to a ban-- are acceptable under the Second Amendment." City Council Speaker Christine Quinn chimed in, saying that "at first blush," the decision doesn't seem to impact any city laws, but she said she has asked her general counsel to look into the issue. Throughout his administration, Mayor Bloomberg has pushed to rid the city of illegal guns. The city does not ban handguns or other firearms, but it restricts who can own them. Second Amendment advocates say the city has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country, including some of the highest permit fees. In 2006, the City Council passed legislation creating a gun offender registry, which permits people to buy only one handgun in a 90-day period. And unlike other cities in the state, pistol permits here expire every three years and must be renewed. The Mayor's chief policy advisor and lead gun policy architect for Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition (the organization Bloomberg formed with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino),John Feinblatt, says the Supreme Court ruling doesn't cripple states and cities that want to enact reasonable gun control regulations. "No constitutional right is absolute," says Feinblatt. "Just like with the First Amendment, you can't yell 'Fire!' in a crowded theater. The Court has written there's no absolute right to a gun." Feinblatt says New York City strikes the right tone. "New York City has a regulatory scheme that tries to balance the individual right to a gun with public safety," he says, "and we're doing an awfully good job of it. We're the safest big city in America," Feinblatt says. But gun advocates say the Supreme Court ruling shows the Court will give robust protection to the Second Amendment. Tom King, President of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, says his group might use the decision to challenge the city's tough gun control laws. He says the permit application fees in New York City--which reach a few hundred dollars--dwarf fees in other parts of the state. King says in some cities in New York, a permit could cost as little as $15 and the gun owner would never have to renew the permit, unlike in New York City. King also says the city's storage requirements are cumbersome. "You have to have it locked up or disassembled, and you have to have the ammunition in a different room. It's ridiculous," King says. In a statement, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly expressed confidence in the city's regulations and says the NYPD's licensing procedures provide "reasonable safeguards," while observing the rights of what he called, "the law abiding public." Anti-gun violence advocates say it won't be a surprise if the Supreme Court decision inspires a spurt of litigation to strike down local gun control laws around the country. What regulations are permissible will be clarified through that litigation. "There's a whole world of common sense gun violence prevention laws that can be enacted that are consistent with the Second Amendment right," says Ben Van Houten, a staff attorney for Legal Community Against Gun Violence. Two years ago, Washington D.C.'s handgun-ban was overturned by the Supreme Court.

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Comments [18]

Nick R from New York

As a New York State Resident , PLEASE NRA HELP US !!!!! we just can't roll over and let these jackasses tell us what we can't and can do with our 2nd amendment Right.......

Jan. 17 2013 04:12 PM
Mark from Manhattan

The press caused the Spanish American War. Perhaps for our own protection we should greatly limit their First Amendment Rights? Wake up America, those who have known freedom and lost it have often never known freedom again. As a Former Agent, mentally ill people making threats to our Pres are commonly released after 3 days in a hospital, yet they still pose a significant risk. mental illness is behind these mass shootings. Yet, the politicians use the incidents as an excuse to take away our rights, firearms, and further empower the government. These restrictions are designed only to chisel away at our right to bear arms while further empowering the government. The process and restrictions are well orchestrated to eventually disarm us, not protect us. Wake up!!!

Jan. 16 2013 12:56 PM
NavyVet65 from Manhattan

I had my 22 rifles registered with NYC over 14 years ago. This past Friday I was called by the NYC police department letting me know my 22 rifles are now considered assault weapons

I wonder if they will consider my cane also a weapon in the next few years?

I am a disabled veteran was mugged twice in the big apple was an auxiliary sergeant in the 1970's when NYC was almost bankrupt and had a major shortage of police and now the new administration is way above any laws as Mike Bloomberg feels laws are for the poor non politicians

After all I think Rudy was the best mayor of NYC but as a law abiding citizen he respected the two term limits I had voted for Not Mike he bought his way past the peoples vote

Here Mike Bloomberg knows Terrorists can fly a plane into a building in NYC but he being a pilot says NYC is not to subject to the FAA suggestions no private planes shall fly in NYC no fly zone

More people were killed by by planes flying into NYC structures, cops shooting unarmed people, drunk drivers then all the legally owned firearms.

The truth will never allow Bloomberg, Schmuer to get in the way of trying to take away the rights of citizens

Yet Schmuer is armed and Bloomberg has full time armed body guards

Feb. 28 2012 04:17 PM
USNavyVet 65 from Manhattan

I had my 22 rifles registered with NYC over 14 years ago. This past Friday I was called by the NYC police department letting me know my 22 rifles are now considered assault weapons

I wonder if they will consider my cane also a weapon in the next few years?

I am a disabled veteran was mugged twice in the big apple was an auxiliary sergeant in the 1970's when NYC was almost bankrupt and had a major shortage of police and now the new administration is way above any laws as Mike Bloomberg feels laws are for the poor non politicians

After all I think Rudy was the best mayor of NYC but as a law abiding citizen he respected the two term limits I had voted for Not Mike he bought his way past the peoples vote

Firearms I use for target practice are now considered assault weapons yet NYC "finest" is known for killing unarmed people just like the Clinton regime ordering an unarmed child to be shot in the back and his unarmed mother was also killed as the Clinton's did not want any witnesses to the Ruby Ridge murders

Here Mike Bloomberg knows Terrorists can fly a plane into a building in NYC but he being a pilot says NYC is not to subject to the FAA suggestions no private planes shall fly in NYC no fly zone

More people were killed by by planes flying into NYC structures, cops shooting unarmed people, drunk drivers then all the legally owned firearms.

The truth will never allow Bloomberg, Schmuer to get in the way of trying to take away the rights of citizens

Yet Schmuer is armed and Bloomberg has full time armed body guards

Feb. 28 2012 04:10 PM
Lain Dapipe

Lets be honest people. The reason NYC's gun violence has gone down so much over the past decade is because of how expensive it is to live in the city. Has nothing to do with gun laws.

Dec. 31 2011 01:24 PM
Anna

People who are poor are banned from having guns because of the burden of cost to register. What about bb guns? We can't have those neither. How about when Poeple train to fight with our body we still are wrong to defend ourselves. New York politicians need to let there jobs go for real Poeple who care to run for positions of policy making. Police can not protect everyone everywhere at all times. The Poeple need some personal power to protect ourselves and not be put in jail for it. This country has gone to hungry in its police economic system. I lastly would just say may God have mercy on us all.

Dec. 26 2011 01:22 PM
Raul Ramirez from New York

It's to my understanding that the high fees for gun permit in nyc go to the police officers retirement fund. The city also tell you crime is down. The reality is police are instructed not to report all crimes, so it can look like a safe city. The city's Mayor Bloomberg and One Police Plaza leaves all to fend for ourselfs then tie our hands. The fees are ridiculous and the background check is a joke. Ther whole procedure is illegal to our 2nd amendment rights.

Dec. 07 2011 01:28 PM
Hsarry Tuc

Bloomturd defecates on the Second Amendment.

NYc gun laws clearly are unconstitutional and will be held so by the courts, including SCOTUS.

Oct. 12 2011 08:34 PM
redneck

Guns don't kill people people kill people. Stabbing 20 people at the mall is just as easy as spraying them with an assault rifle or automatic pistol with an extended clip!

Jun. 27 2011 02:35 PM
Katie Claussen

To all the morons above - since NY cracked down on gun possession murders have gone down 70%!

May. 31 2011 09:36 AM
Jake

This is so ridiculous! The only thing that New York City has done is to empower the thugs even more. Do you really think that this gun law makes a difference to a crack dealing, pimp pushing, gang banging criminal? I grew up in Brooklyn and, my friend, the thugs don't care about Bloomberg's gun law. So then, Mr. Bloomberg, what do you say to Mrs. Joe Abidding Citizen when her son, or husband is shot down by one of these thugs because you made it almost impossible for him to get a gun permit to protect himself? You know what I think Mr. Bloomberg? You and all your big talk don't really give a crap one way or another. That's what I think. Prove me wrong and make a reasonable way for the legal, law abidding citizens to get a gun permit that's not just a money making scheme for you and the City of New York.

Feb. 14 2011 11:46 AM
Shasta from Florida

How about this for protecting citizens. A year ago my brother( who lives in Florida) was traveling through NYC to go help a friend move back to Florida. He had just got into the city, when he made a illegal right turn on a red light. Of course he was pulled over by NYC finest. My brother was respectful and did exactly as the officer asked. When my brother went to his glove box to get his license and registration the officer saw my brothers gun. He asked my brother to get out of the car. Needless to say, my brother was taken to jail. He told the officers why he was in NYC and also let them no that his gun is legally registered in the state that he lives in. He also let the officers know that he did not realize the gun law of NYC. The gun was not loaded nor has he ever shot! None of this seemed to matter to NYC. Now a year later my brother is going to court to try and get charges dropped. The DA offered him a year in Rikers jail or he can take it to trial and maybe be found not guilty. However, if he does take it to trial and is found guilty he can spend 3 or more years in prison in NYC! Does anyone else see this as being ridiculous? Did I mention that he has no history of violence, drug abuse, felonies or mental illness. He is a law abiding citizen and if he had been aware of NYC very strict gun law, there is no way that he would had allowed the gun to travel with him. The only thing the he is guilty of is trying to help a friend move home and not knowing how absurd the gun laws are in NYC.

Feb. 09 2011 09:53 AM
Bob

I believe in the right to bear arms including pistols. I don't care what anyone says.... no matter what you do, you will never keep thebad guys from getting guns.

Nov. 08 2010 07:23 PM
ceanf from Baltimore

@Rob

Just because an amendment seems 'obsolete' to you does not mean that it no longer exists, and that it no longer guarantees that right to the citizens of the US. Additionally, your analysis of the second amendment is totally bunk. No where in the text of the 2nd does it say that an 'active' militia is required to guarantee the right to bear arms. Nothing in there says that a standing, volunteer army voids that right. In fact, all it really says is a) a militia is necessary for a secure state, and b) the government may not infringe on the right to bear arms. It does not say that a militia is required to secure the right to bear arms. Now if you use your brain, and look at the obvious, a militia is composed of citizens of a given state who have their own guns. So the amendment in question secures the right of citizens to bear arms, so that, should a militia be formed, it will be armed and able to provide for the security of the state. Citizens having the right to possess guns is necessary for the formation of a militia, which is necessary for the security of a state. It not the other way around, that a militia is required for a citizen to have the right to own a gun. You should go and have yourself a look again.

And lastly, your assertion that restrictive gun laws have lead to a drop in crime in NYC over the past two decades... This you have absolutely no proof for beyond anecdote. Crime rates had already been dropping for 10 years prior to the 1998 gun laws you mention in both NYC and the entire US in general. So no, gun laws did not lead to huge drops in crime. In reality, it was the changes Giuliani enacted in the NYC police department, both good and bad, along with a general decline in crime overall that lead to the drop seen over the past 20 years.

But really, it was a nice try, even though pretty much nothing in your post has any truth to it.

Nov. 04 2010 05:56 PM
Rob

Just to respond to what Christian said its not your first amendment right its part of the second amendment right. But the 2nd amendment "right" is not so because the 2nd amendment it seems is obsolete it is not just the right to bear arms, it is the right to bear arms during times with an active militia and because we have a national army, there is no active militia and there are actually laws preventing militias. Also since these strict gun laws came into effect in 1998 under Giuliani and now Bloomberg, crime has had a huge decrease in New York City. Even since 1991 when the first gun laws began to come into effect murders have decreased significantly, so obviously something is working.

Oct. 14 2010 03:02 PM
christian Daza from Queens NY

in NYC only the rich can own guns or with connections who know cops and at one point cops would even tell you straight "You are not going to get it!" I would say but its my first amendment right. reply "Its a privilege not a right". there is so much anti gun propaganda where people are afraid of even talking about guns in this city. if you are prop gun you are looked at as if something is wrong with you. I guess new yorkers feel more comfortable defending themselves with iphone, blackberry, gucci, and prada than with smith and wesson. put more guns in law abiding citizens and stop the mythical nonsense. to prove how anti gun NYC is do your research, How many gun ranges and gun shops are there in the city? How come people in other states own them? this is america people, slowly becoming a third world country. so many people have died to make for this country and things just get stupider as time goes by stricter and less freedom. I wonder what these politicians are on when they make these laws?

Sep. 15 2010 07:27 AM
Albert from Bronx NY

I agree with Peter, I am just trying to better my financial situation I pray that I am given the Pistol permit so that I can pursue the 47 hour armed guard position.....Right to Bear Arms!!!!!!!

Aug. 25 2010 12:33 PM
Peter from LI, NY

In NYC criminals seem to have more rights than law abiding citizens, that is why most of them are back out on the street, committing crimes. NY State has some of the most confusing gun laws, a person from Delaware county who's carry permit has no restrictions (none exist) has more rights in my county (Suffolk) then I do because my carry permit is only good to/from the range, although we both went through the same, unconstitutional procedures, to get it.

Aug. 05 2010 05:10 PM

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