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Group Challenges NYC Handgun Fee

June 29, 2011 by  

A group is contesting a handgun fee in New York City.A brief was recently filed by the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) asking for a summary judgment to strike down a fee for owning a handgun in New York City.

The organization says that the $340 fee the city requires for a handgun license is “inherently prohibitive.”

“The recurring $340 fee is plainly exclusionary and prohibitive because it far exceeds the comparable license fees charged by all other New York localities — and for that matter, by all other U.S. jurisdictions,” the legal brief reads. “A New York City resident who seeks to exercise his or her right to keep and bear arms by keeping a handgun at home must pay a total of $434.25 to obtain a license, which is equivalent to over 60 hours of work at the $7.25 minimum wage.”

The SAF has been fighting to preserve citizens’ 2nd Amendment rights in California as well. The group filed an amicus brief in a San Diego County case that challenges certain gun permit rules. According to the SAF, the rules give authorities too much power over who can receive a carry permit.

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  • s c

    Ye gods, folks. The SAF came to Earth from what planet? Excuse me, but if $340 is truly prohibitive in New York, then what the #^@* do you call the price of a good, used vehicle (or a NEW one), a house or an apartment? Are those people as stupid as they sound?
    Is the SAF promoting common sense or an entitlement approach to the Second Amendment?

    • Cawmun Cents

      But they are not talking price,but an owners fee annually.You pay the price for the gun,then they hit you with an owners fee,every year after that.Its like the price of buying the gun every year being levied against you,just so you can own the gun.That is what is the criminal city politics have done to NYC citizens,and it is wrong.That kind of thing should never be allowed in the USA.The second Amendment DOESNT read:federal,state,and local governments can levy heavy taxes,or owning fees against the people for keeping and bearing arms.-CC.

    • Bob

      Uh, S C

      The second amendment IS A RIGHT, not a ‘entitlement’, learn the difference, one your born with, the other politicians use to buy your vote.
      Rights, like your right to life, to breath, to say what you want, write what you want, to follow the religion you want, a right to a speedy trial.
      Those are rights

      Charging 434 dollars to exercise a right is illegal, wrong, as it limits who can actually access that right.

    • Rick

      What are you thinking? You are comparing apples and oranges. Owning and bearing a gun is a right!! You don’t have to ‘buy’ your vehicle every year at the price you paid for it. This law is a way to bar most people from owning a firearm. Do you honestly think criminals will pay to own their firearms?

    • James

      SC, What planet are you from? Americans have the right to keep and bear arms, for NYC to charge such an exhorbitant fee amounts to denial of the right.

    • 45caliber

      s c:

      Are you the same sc we’ve grown to know and love or a stranger? The reason the SAF is arguing that a fee of this nature just to own a gun is ridiculous – and I fully agree. The fee will easily cost more than the gun will within less than ten years. And it will continue as long as you own the gun. Further, it is a way to make a record of who owns what gun which is also illegal. And it is to be paid for EACH gun you might own.

      The entire idea of this fee is to prevent the poor and hopefully the middle class from being able to afford to own a gun. That is the reason they eliminated the “Saturday Night Specials”. Not because they were unsafe (none of the ones I am familiar with were) but because they didn’t want the poor to have one.

  • wandamurline

    Under the constitution, I don’t believe that you are required to have a permit to own and carry a gun. I believe that all permits should be abaondoned with the exception of a criminal who is on probation or has been convicted of a crime. The way these states are going, only the criminals will have guns, and believe me, they don’t get a permit.

    • Ken

      I agree that the 2nd amendment requires no fee what so ever. We have a right to carry a gun in any state, any city, period! the only permit we need is to be a citizen of the USA.

    • James

      Wandamurline, If you are referring to the U.S. Constitution, it does not mention the right. If you are referring to the Second Amendment, it is solely a restriction on the federal government. New York State is one of six states that do not have a gun right clause is their state’s constitition. However, every American has the right to keep and bear arms by virtue of their birth here. All states regulate the use of firearms, but New York’s fee amounts denying some people their right to own one. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on several occassions that states may use their taxing power to deny their citizens of rights.

      • James

        correction: “mey use” should have been ‘may not use’.

      • independant thinker

        Uh James, the Second Amendment became part of the constitution when it was ratified along with the other 9 amendments in the bill of rights.

        • 45caliber

          James is right. However, I was under the impression that ALL states have the same clause in their state Constitutions. I didn’t know New York didn’t. On the other hand, the Supreme Court has ruled that the 2nd Amendment controls the states too.

      • Carl

        Wrong James- See McDonald v. Chicago

  • Andrew

    nyc has the most restrictive laws against private citizen owning fire arms. this annual fee is just another way to disarm nyc citizens, without passing any law, that may be unconstitutional. the wonderful govt of nyc does not live in the real world of nyc. they never see past the nyc hi-rise buildings they live in. the nyc govt has one direction, its to get all its inhabitants under their control, make them eat only certain foods, illegal to drink beer in front of your own house, ban all mcdonalds and burger king restautants from serving any thing but apple salad with romaine lettuce. nyc goverment is
    liberal/socialist/communist heaven. criminals do not obey an laws, this fee will make criminals of innocent people, and subjuct them to a felony conviction and jail time if found with an unregistered (no annual fee paid) gun. my solution to nyc gun problem?, is pass a law that every citizen, not felony convted citizens, must carry a loaded fire arm on their persons at all times. crime would plummet to zero in a very short time.

    • 45caliber


      I agree. If all adults were required to carry at all times, crime would drop like a rock. And despite the old Western movies, when everyone is armed no one runs around trying to shoot up the place.

  • Jeton

    i think the fee is the tip of the iceberg here, there’s also the tremendous subjectivity the NYPD uses to decide who can or can not be licensed. allowing such discretion is so problematic that you cant really prove you were *particularly* discriminated against…which is to NYC’s liking, of course.

    the entire system of subjective licensing needs to be challenged and repealed. frankly i don’t see how anything less than “shall-issue” permitting can pass 2nd Amendment muster.

    right now, NYC’s system is expensive and deeply uncertain, both obstacles are unconstitutional. shame on anyone who defends such obstacles…especially anyone who calls themselves a defender of the 2nd Amendment or Personal Liberty in general.

    • James

      Jeton, there was no mention of ‘license’ here, did I miss something? It was my undestanding from the article that the $340 was a tax on the purchase of a handgun.

      • independant thinker

        James the article says it is an annual fee it does not say it is a one time tax.

    • 45caliber

      The only ones who can get permission (license) to own a pistol in New York are politicians, police, and a few businessmen who can PROVE they have to carry large amounts regularly and might be robbed. Home ownership is presently almost unheard of there – and is illegal without the special license.

  • Pavel

    Open your eyes wider! The pocket knife many of us carry with the “Hole” or a “Stud” in the blade for one hand opening is now illegal in New York City! Get caught with it and you may, as one man did, spend the night in jail with a fine to pay as well. The Declaration of Independence and the Second Amendment have the warnings embedded in them about these encroachments. This is why the Second Amendment is there. Also notice that the Second Amendment states “arms” not just firearms, in simple text “arms” that is knives, swords, any firearm, bows and what ever is considered and “arm” including your kitchen butcher knife.

    • 45caliber


      Most politicians want to do more than copy just England’s health care program (which is going bust and is rationing health care.) They want their anti-gun laws and anti-knife laws.

      In England it is illegal to carry ANYTHING that has an edge or a point. Umbrellas can and have been ruled illegal there. So have finger nail clippers and a number of other similar things. Even pepper spray used on a rapist was illegal since it was “excessive force used on an unarmed man.”

  • eddie47d

    A recurring fee is ridiculous and should be stopped. Then again maybe they need the fee to tackle all the illegal guns that pour into NYC.It still shouldn’t be on the backs of legitimate gun owners.

    • James

      Eddie47d, there was no mention that the fee was recurring, where did that come from?

      • independant thinker

        Yes it does say it is recuring.

      • ValDM

        Read the 3rd paragraph, 1st sentence again & you will find the word recurring as the 2nd word.

      • 45caliber

        It came from a report I saw Monday. It is a three year reoccurring fee. It also calls it a reoccurring fee in the article above.

        There is a $340 fee PLUS an initial fee for fingerprinting, etc. That’s what raises the first fee to $434.25.

  • gml

    What’s next? We will be throwing rocks to protect ourselves! Wake up America.

    • 45caliber

      The feds have identified “assault weapons” as “any weapon ever used in combat anywhere in the world at any time in history”.

      That includes rocks. So … to prevent us from using “assault weapons” to defend ourselves, rocks are also illegal when thrown.

  • TombstoneLizard

    New York used to evoke images of “tough guys,” high-rise builders who would walk out onto a thread of steel hanging a thousand feet in the air; mobsters, hoodlums, and tough S.O.B.s to face in any fight, anywhere in the world.

    In the words of the immortal George Carlin: “When did we become a nation of snitches? A nation of pussies?” George was from New York, and had shed many a tear for the whimpering decline of one of the toughest cities on the planet.

  • Bob Marshall

    The sad fact is next to the Patriot Act, loss of ownership by the citizenship will be the final nail in the coffin. Hard to resist with no arms to defend your self.You can bet To Protect and Serve would not longer apply. Yes!Either troops would fire on us if we resisted . Both US and UN.Not to mention the police. If the UN succeeds passing the bill to take away guns in the UK we will be next.wake up! We live in a socialist country and a police state. Just look at what has be happening to our citizens. This was not the police i knew as a young man.Swat has made the situation even worse.Shoot and never ask questions seems to be their new motto.never forget the you Marine veteran that was shot sixty times. Served his country to die at the hands of the gespato.That could be any of us one day.

  • C130 Gunship

    I bet NYC doesn’t charge gays a recurring $340 marriage license fee. And which is inherently more dangerous, more morally corrosive, more detrimental to society and families……guns or homosexuality?

    NYC is a total moral sewer pipe and it is not surprising why all the terrorists in the world wants to attack it.

  • Chemiker

    Above all, remember that the power to tax is the power to destroy.

  • 45caliber

    The entire idea of this fee is to prevent the poor from owning a gun. The money, supposedly to be used solely to pay for the work involved in keeping the records, is actually simply deposited in the police retirement fund so the city doesn’t have to put in as much. And it is a reoccurring charge every three years.

  • Bob from Calif.

    This is just another way to attack the second ammendment by saying that gun ownership is a right that is given by the government. If the government grants the rights, they can also take them away. It is also a way to track gun owners and to create a revenue stream in the process.

    • 45caliber


  • Montie R

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    What part of shall NOT be infringed do you NOT understand.

    Websters dictionary states
    Definition of INFRINGE

    transitive verb
    : to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another
    obsolete : defeat, frustrate.

    The constitution was NOT written so anyone trying to understand it
    needed law school to understand it.

    It was written in plain common language so even the illiterate could easily understand it.

    THE ONLY reason for having a constitutional lawyer to help you “understand” it is to twist the meaning to serve YOUR purpose.

    Try something novel READ the constitution AND the (federalist papers)
    THE basis for how and why the constitution was written the way it was.

    I understand this is a daunting prospect for all you liberals to actually THINK for your selves. But in doing so the wondrous ENLIGHTENMENT you so desperately try to FORCE on everyone else MAY just come to YOU.

  • i41

    Why does Bloomingidiotberg need to carry a gun, with his monkeies guarding him, The $340 fee is first revenue creator, second Blooming idiot is a crook, criminal, and a white Onumnutts

  • Ricketts

    I am sure that if the $340 is too expensive, the people that want to own guns can go to their need-to-be re-elected officials and get a government program started to make sure the poor are not disadvantaged in not having a gun. I am sure they can hire a few hundred bureaucrats at $100,000/yr to oversee the program, and use obummer stimulus money to fund it.

    • 45caliber

      I’m sure …

  • http://MSN Erik

    The funniest thing about anti-gun Bloomberg is every other person walking down the street already has a firearm on them. The NYC anti gun policy is not working, people are still getting shot by criminals, and people are obeying the law by buying and carrying as NYC is disobeying common sense.

  • RKZ777

    There are those that would ask the question “What do I do, get a firearm to protect my family”, “Or listen to these socialist thugs, who in stating they want to remove all weapons from the hands of American citizens, thereby taking away your GOD GIVEN RIGHT and Constitutional right to keep and bear arms”. Do you actually need to debate that question in your mind? Hell no, do what you know you have to do. Are they (Thugs in office) going to arrest and incarcerate 300,ooo,ooo people. My family and my rights always, get my drift! It’s the same answer that all those that gave their lives in the World Wars gave, in action not words. If we need to do it again, at least we don’t have to take a boat ride. Semper Fi

  • Bruce

    I salute the 2nd Amendment Foundation, Gun Owners of America and the National Rifle Association!! Here is another example of gun control at its finest. Thing is NYC and New Yorkers, the gang bangers, mafia, drug cartels, illegals and other criminals don’t have to worry about this sort of crap. Like the expression goes, “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”. NYC politics anti-gun ownership (it is what it is)is loved by criminals. The muslims and communists also approve of it. Time to “wake up” folks. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!

    Keep your powder dry.


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