Skip to comments.NYC Gun Owners Misfire in Legal Challenge
Posted on 03/29/2012 5:52:15 AM PDT by marktwain
MANHATTAN (CN) - As dusk settled over the city Monday, a federal judge ruled that New York City won its showdown with handgun owners who challenged a $340 residential licensing fee as unconstitutional.
A city attorney applauded the ruling, saying the fees were needed to do the exhaustive background checks that keep New York City safe.
"The city has some of the strongest laws in the nation to ensure that guns do not fall into the hands of criminals," Michael A. Cardozo said. "Today's decision rejects a constitutional challenge to home handgun application and renewal fees, upholds our ability to conduct meaningful background checks, and helps preserve policies that have helped make New York the safest big city in the nation."
Last year seven gun enthusiasts, the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association and the Second Amendment Foundation sued New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, in Federal Court.
Schneiderman, who was dismissed as a defendant, later rejoined as an intervenor.
U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl summarized the dueling arguments in a 38-page order dismissing the challenge.
"The city defendants contend that the $340 fee is permissible under this standard because it is designed to defray, and does not exceed, the costs of administering New York's handgun licensing scheme," Koeltl wrote. "However, the plaintiffs argue that, to be permissible, a fee must not only be designed to defray administrative costs but must also be a 'nominal' amount. According to the plaintiffs, the $340 fee is too high to be nominal."
The gun enthusiasts' position contradicted longstanding case law, Koeltl wrote, citing several appellate court rulings.
"While it is possible to conceive of fees that are impermissible because they are so exorbitant as to deter the exercise of the protected activity ... there is no showing that the $340 handgun licensing fee qualifies as such a fee," Koeltl wrote in his 38-page Opinion and Order. "The plaintiffs merely assert that the $340 fee is excessive, which is not sufficient to raise a genuine issue of material fact regarding the permissibility of the fee."
Courts have allowed a $3,000 adult business licensing fee and festival permit fees of $950 to $6,500, Koeltl noted.
The gun owners also misfired on arguments that the $350 licensing fee, and identical renewal fees every 3 years, went to purposes other than administrative fees.
"The User Cost Analysis performed by the OMB in 2003 indicates that the average cost to the city at that time for each handgun license application was $343.49, more than the $340 fee at issue," the order states.
"In addition, a User Cost Analysis performed by the OMB in 2010 indicates that the cost to the City for each Premises Residence handgun license application was $977.16 for each initial application and $346.92 for each renewal application. ... Thus, as of 2010, the fee for each Premises Residence handgun license application - the only type of license at issue here - represented only 34.79 percent of the per-unit costs incurred by the city."
Koeltl closed the case, which involves only home-licensing fees. The identical carry fees have not been challenged.
So, essentially a “poll tax” for gun owners doesn’t bother Libs at all, or the fact that this discriminates against poorer people owning legal guns.
adult business fee, festival fee are not comparables...those are income producing ventures.
Translation: "Because we screw you in one arena, we are permitted to screw you in all others."
Actually, the Sullivan Act was originally instituted to ensure firearms were kept out of the hands of Blacks and immigrants. It's never done much to keep them out of the hands of criminals, just potential victims. Sort of the original "Workplace Safety Act" for criminals.
Well, that's a relief! Next, maybe they can pass a law outlawing criminal behavior, such as murder and rape. That'll take care of it.
They obviously should appeal and go to the supreme court.
It takes about 5 minutes during a traffic stop for a cop to find out your record and if there are any outstanding warrants.
States could use the same process for guns. The extensive background check they do is what costs money and should be argued as illegal since having the gun is a right.
5 minutes to find out if you’re a felon.
discriminates against poorer people owning legal gunsSince when do leftists care about poor people, especially when the goal is eviscerating the constitution?
Strange. I don’t recall what the cost of a background check is here in PA but it’s probably under ten dollars!
(Pssst! The guns are cheap, too!)
Judge John G. Koeltl...Clinton appointee.Color me stunned!
“laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding”
“Supreme Law of the Land”
“Judges in every State shall be bound thereby”
“The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms shall not be infringed.”
This isn’t rocket science.
It was stupid to bring this case as framed by the plaintiff.
This was my concern after Heller and McDonald that yahoo groups would start cases that result in bad precedents and a loss of firearm freedom.
The Second Amendment Foundation is involved in this case. They have been very successful in their legal challanges.
I suspect that they set up the case for a good appeal.
We will see what is happening. Clearly, the article was written as a slapdown for gun owners.
similar in MI. last time i got one, it was about $10 to get a permit to purchase- required each time you purchase a handgun.
$105 for a CPL, but then you don’t need to get the permit to purchase anymore. it costs more to register my car every year than to keep my CPL.
Call teh Waaahambulance!
Those who choose to dwell in the Big Sh*tty, land of socialist taxation, should “p*ssy up” and pay up.
Live like a socialist, get taxed like a socialist.
One may not claim the government has the right to regulate beyond the boundaries of a strict interpretation of the Constitution and also whine about taxes being high. If the Big Sh*tty dweller lives where gun ownership is unconstitutionally restricted, he/she/it should not make claims that the tax on a Constitutional guaranteed right is “too burdensome”.
Either the tax is constitutional or it is not.
My Give A Damn, Ver. 101 program can’t seem to load up for those whose ancestors made New York (indeed, most of New England) a socialism pest hole.
Let the Turd World trash their liberalism imported and supported prey upon them. Such predation is proof that there just may be a G*d of justice, after all.
I applaud them. Not everyone can move easily.
Just because the Progressives have turned your state into a socialist mess does not mean that it can all be blamed on you.
The phalanx of liberal federal judges in New York has long guaranteed that protests against their gun control, rent control, food control, and other controls get no fair hearing; and if necessary, are blocked from further appeal.
If you told Thomas Jefferson that he had to have written permission from the govt. (plus fork over some $$$) to own and carry a firearm, do you think he might ......... start a Revolution?
Wonder if this same judge thinks a 340 dollar poll tax is okay?
Wonder if this same judge thinks a 340 dollar poll tax is okay?