Is it short staffing or slow-walking of gun permit applications causing a backlog of gun permit applications in New York City? It could be combination of the two, but one this is for certain; New Yorkers are being deprived of their right to keep and bear arms thanks to the long delays and low approval rates for the permit required to keep a gun in their home.
According to the New York Post, the number of permit applications has more than tripled this year compared to 2019, with over 8,000 license applications filed since March. The number of permit approvals, on the other hand, has declined compared to last year.
In 2019 1,778 of the 2,562 of the applications were approved, but so far this year just 1,087 of the 8,088 applications have received an okay.
Recent weeks have also seen a series of disturbing incidents that led one police source to say that “it’s not surprising more people want guns.”
“People want to protect themselves.”
Gun store owners said they’ve been hearing complaints from would-be customers whose applications seem to have disappeared into limbo at the NYPD’s License Division, which was rocked by a corruption scandal in 2017.
“They just stopped doing the investigations and the processing,” said a city gun dealer who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“It’s a slowdown across the board. It’s every person that applies. Every day, I’m speaking to frustrated people.”
One Long Island firearms retailer even told the Post that he’s estimating an 18-month wait for approval for a premises license.
Think about that for a second. The Supreme Court declared in Heller that the core purpose of our Second Amendment rights is self-defense in the home, but in New York City that right is simply off-limits to the average resident. Even the chosen few have to wait for months on end for a government permission slip to exercise their right to keep a gun in the home, but the vast majority of applicants are simply told they can’t exercise that right at all.
An NYPD source familiar with the situation said the License Division was too short-staffed to deal with the flood of new applications and also blamed an unofficial reluctance to process them.
“The politicians are generally against giving licenses, to begin with, so it’s not a priority,” the source said.
That hostility towards the Second Amendment on the part of politicians is nothing new, which is one of the reasons why, even though license applications have tripled this year, they’re still pretty low considering New York City’s population. Most residents know darn well that even if they apply for permission to keep a gun in their home they’re not likely to get it.
The process itself involves turning over everything from tax returns to character witnesses, and since the NYPD had broad discretion to approve or deny applications for any reason or no reason at all, there’s a chilling effect on would-be applicants across the five boroughs.
Thankfully, there’s already a lawsuit underway challenging those licensing laws, and we’ll hopefully see some legal progress in that case in the new year. For now, though, the city continues to do everything possible to stand between you and your right to keep and bear arms.