Suit Takes Aim At New York City Gun Fees

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April 6, 2011; Source: New York Times | A nonprofit gun-rights group wants a federal court to shoot down fees New York City charges for permits that allow people to keep hand guns in their homes. The Second Amendment Foundation of Bellevue, Wash., filed a suit in federal court this week, claiming that the fees New York charges would-be gun owners violate the constitution.

In its suit, the group claims that the $340 the city charges, plus $94.25 for a fingerprint check “impermissibly burdens the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.” It also argues that because in other places in the state where the same fees are only $10, New York is in violation of the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause.

According to the New York Times, the pro-gun group is targeting New York because it is one of the few cities in the nation that require such a permit. Alan Gottlieb, the executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, said his group will argue in court that New York should not be allowed to charge gun owners so much "to exercise a fundamental right" in their own homes.

According to the Times, the Second Amendment Foundation is also upset about how the city uses the permit fees. “Not one penny of it goes to processing the application,” Gottlieb said. “It all goes to the police pension fund.” So far the only comment from New York City officials is that its lawyers are reviewing the suit.—Bruce Trachtenberg