NYPD Quick on the Draw in Revoking Trump's Carry Permit

AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson

Now that Donald Trump is no longer legally allowed to possess a firearm because of his felony convictions in New York, his NYC carry permit is about be revoked by the NYPD. According to CNN, a "senior official" with the police department says Trump's permit-to-carry, which was first issued more than a decade ago when the city and state were still "may issue" regimes, was suspended in April, 2023 after he was first charged with dozens of felonies by Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg. 

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Trump, or at least someone in his camp, turned over two pistols to the department the day before his indictment, while a third gun was "lawfully moved to Florida", according to CNN's source. 

The NYPD’s Legal Bureau will complete its investigation “that will likely lead to revocation of his license,” the senior police official said. Trump could seek a hearing challenging the revocation.

Trump has had a license from the NYPD to carry a concealed firearm for more than a decade, according to multiple law enforcement sources, but because Trump’s application came with a request for confidentiality, they are exempt from public records requests, according to the NYPD’s guidelines and New York state law.

 The suspension and pending revocation of his carry license suggests that he maintained his license the entire time of his presidency and after, until he was charged with multiple felonies for falsifying business records in March 2023.

The NYPD Licensing Bureau seems to be moving much faster in revoking permits than issuing them. The department is facing multiple lawsuits from plaintiffs who've been kept in limbo for months while the Licensing Bureau holds on to their carry and premises permit applications. In fact, in the wake of the Bruen decision, the NYPD approved fewer permits than it did under the old "may issue" laws. 

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In the six months after the high court’s ruling in New York State Rifle vs. Bruen, from June 24, 2022 to Dec. 31, 2022, the NYPD saw a surge in new gun permit applications, from just over 2,000 in the same period a year earlier to nearly 5,000. So far, the department has approved 503 of those, or just above 10%, despite its guidelines and state law requiring applications to be decided upon within six months. 

Relatively few applications have been flat-out denied — just 16 in 2022, including two for applications submitted after the June 23 Supreme Court ruling, meaning the approval rates still could change as the NYPD completes additional, and now overdue, investigations. 

Most of the applications are still pending, an indication the NYPD’s permitting operation came to a standstill in the wake of the ruling, experts say.

That was last July. Have things gotten any better since then? It's impossible to say, because the NYPD isn't saying how many permits have been approved

The number of New Yorkers petitioning to arm themselves with guns — both at home and on the streets — more than doubled last year, according to new data on NYPD license and permit applications obtained by Gothamist.

But the NYPD will not say how many gun license and concealed carry permit applications it has approved, even as the department faces a class-action lawsuit claiming it takes too long to review applications.

The surging number of applications follows a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2022 that found New York’s gun licensing regime was too strict. Last year, the NYPD License Division received 13,369 to possess a handgun or rifle at home. That’s 80% more applications for home licenses than the department got in 2022, and nearly triple the applications it got in 2019.

The increase was even starker for concealed carry applications, which jumped from 258 in 2019 to 6,751 last year, according to NYPD data.

The number of concealed carry applications in the first two months of this year has already surpassed the total for 2019, 2020 and 2021 combined. The NYPD did not respond to multiple requests for data on the number of applications the department has approved since 2019.

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My guess is that if the NYPD was processing these applications within the time allotted under state law they'd be proudly touting their numbers. But faced with a class-action lawsuit over delays, it's better for the department to keep these figures under wraps... and the public in the dark. 

Based on the quick suspension of Trump's carry permit, it's clear the NYPD Licensing Division can move quickly when officials want. And based on the lengthy delays permit applicants are facing, it seems equally clear to me that authorities are intentionally slow-walking approvals in New York City in order to suppress the exercise of a fundamental civil right. 

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