Gun owners File Lawsuit Against NYC Unconstitutional License Denials

The New York City Police Department and its License Division have been accused of violating the Second Amendment by unreasonably delaying gun licenses and refusing to accept out-of-state gun licenses. These alleged constitutional rights violations against gun owners in the city have resulted in a class-action lawsuit filed on Monday in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan.

In the class-action lawsuit filed in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan, the plaintiffs, who are gun owners in New York, assert that the NYPD License Division is hindering their right to gun ownership and possession in New York City, thereby violating their Second Amendment rights. The defendants named in the lawsuit include New York City, the NYPD License Division, New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell, and NYPD License Division Director Nicole Berkovich.

The lawsuit was filed subsequent to a groundbreaking ruling by the Supreme Court in June 2022 that invalidated New York’s concealed carry law. The verdict introduced novel methods for evaluating the constitutionality of gun laws and affirmed that individuals possess a constitutional entitlement to carry firearms in public places. Consequently, New York swiftly revised its gun regulations and passed the Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA). However, the plaintiffs contend that this act has made obtaining a gun permit more difficult.

Gun rights supporters have widely criticized the CCIA, and multiple courts have deemed it unconstitutional. Specifically, Judge John Sinatra from the Western District of New York concluded that the CCIA violates gun owners’ rights and obstructs the free practice of their religious convictions. This decision in the Spencer v. Nigrelli lawsuit marked the third instance in which courts found the law to be unconstitutional, following similar verdicts in the Hardaway v. Nigrelli and Antonyuk v. Nigrelli cases.

The NYPD’s actions indicate a deliberate effort to impede gun owners’ Second Amendment rights in New York City by enforcing policies that create obstacles for residents seeking gun licenses. This overt violation of the Constitution is intolerable and requires intervention. The NYPD must acknowledge that individuals possess the right to bear arms, and this right must be honored. The Second Amendment is a vital component of our Constitution, and no government entity should encroach upon it.

Written by Staff Reports

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