New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said his administration will simplify the process whereby New Yorkers can obtain gun permits, reversing what gun rights advocates have long criticized as arcane and restrictive rules. However, his move appears to have failed to satisfy gun proponents.
The decision—which the administration explains is meant to increase efficiency by allowing for better investigation of applicants who might not qualify for a gun, while processing those fit to have them more swiftly—has been described as a reversal for Bloomberg who has been known for his anti-gun policies, according to The New York Times.
However, representatives of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) have said that on reviewing the new regulations they see the announcement as "a lot of flash and very little substance."
The program, which Bloomberg said will streamline licensing requirements, reduce renewal fees and speed up the application process, "sounds good on the surface," said SAF executive vice president Alan Gottlieb.
He noted, however, that there is only one handgun licensing office in Manhattan and only one office for registering and licensing rifles and shotguns in Queens.
"The handgun application fee is $340, and there is a $94.25 fingerprinting fee on top of that. This fee structure screams ‘for elites only’ because those fees are outrageously expensive for average citizens," Gottlieb concluded.