- Jun 23, 2013
Greco v. City of New York.
SAF, FPC CHALLENGING RESTRICTIVE N.Y. CITY CARRY LAW IN FEDERAL LAWSUIT1. This 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action challenges the inability of ordinary law-abiding
citizens to obtain licenses to carry handguns in New York City. As explained herein, law-abiding
citizens have a fundamental right to bear arms—including, specifically, operable modern
handguns—for the “core” purpose of self-protection. The only way that a private citizen can
exercise this right in New York City is by obtaining a license from the New York City Police
Department. To obtain this license, the person must (among other things) meet a highly
restrictive “proper cause” standard that requires a showing of special or heightened need. This
standard acts to ban all typical and average law-abiding citizens from obtaining licenses as they,
by definition, are not able to show special or heightened need. However, all people, not just those
with special or heightened needs, have a fundamental right to bear arms by carrying handguns,
away from their homes and in public, for the purpose of self-defense.
SAF and FPC are joined by George Greco, a private citizen in New York. Named as defendants are the City of New York and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, in his official capacity. The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Plaintiffs are represented by attorney David Jensen.
The lawsuit challenges the inability of ordinary law-abiding citizens to obtain licenses to carry handguns in New York City. While honest citizens have a fundamental right to bear arms for self-protection, the complaint explains, the New York Police Department requires applicants to provide a “proper cause,” which amounts to demonstrating a special or heightened need. As arbitrarily enforced, this requirement prevents average citizens from obtaining a carry permit, which violates their fundamental right to bear arms outside the home.
“The right to bear arms must be available to all citizens in New York, not just wealthy people and celebrities,” said SAF Founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “Like other rights protected by the Constitution, that right is not limited to the confines of one’s home. Ever since the SAF Supreme Court victory in McDonald v. City of Chicago ten years ago, the Second Amendment absolutely applies in New York.”