The good news: Thousands of New Yorkers are interested in exercising their Second Amendment rights, and have applied for a permit to keep a gun in their homes over the past few months.
The bad news? Those residents will be waiting for months to be approved to exercise a constitutional right, and only after paying hundreds of dollars in non-refundable fees for the privilege of applying to keep (not even bear) arms.
With gunshots ringing out inside the Westside Rifle and Pistol range in Flatiron, workers say a lot more city residents want to be licensed gun owners.
“In New York City, everyone, they feel very, very threatened,” said salesman John Aaron. “They see the rioting going on, people are getting mugged, the shootings, so they figure the answer is: let me protect myself.”
But at the Westside Rifle and Pistol Range in Manhattan, workers say you won’t see people lined up to purchase guns in New York City. Unlike in most other places across America, it is very difficult and time-consuming to get an NYPD gun license. The process can take more than a year and cost a lot of money.
“When people hear they got to get a license, $440, they have to purchase a weapon — let’s say $1,000 — and then you need a place to practice, another $600. That’s not cheap. That really adds up,” said Aaron.
If a New York City resident applied for their pistol premises permit today, the odds are that they wouldn’t even hear back from the city until sometime in the summer of 2021, and even then, they could be denied for no reason other than the NYPD doesn’t think they’re suitable to exercise their constitutional rights. With violence soaring, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of those applicants decide to skip the exhausting process of becoming a legal gun owner in the city and become the owner of an illegally possessed gun instead.
I’m not recommending that, by the way, but it stands to reason that if people want to protect themselves with a firearm and the city won’t let them easily do so, at least a portion of the pool of applicants will decide it’s better to be judged by twelve than carried by six. Of course the city could adopt a reasonable process for gun ownership that doesn’t involve approval by local police and hundreds of dollars in fees, but we’re more likely to see the Statue of Liberty replaced by a 200-foot tall statue of Joseph Stalin than the New York City Council rescind the city’s gun licensing laws.
Demand for firearms may be surging in the Big Apple, but the city’s politicians are going to continue to do everything they can do prevent as many New Yorkers as possible from actually purchasing a gun for self-defense. They may not be able to get crime under control, but they’ve done a remarkable job of keeping New Yorkers from legally exercising their Second Amendment rights.