Court Of Appeals Panel Upholds Constitutionality Of NY Restrictions On Concealed Weapon Permits

by CELESTE KATZ, Daily News  |  published on November 27, 2012

A federal Court of Appeals panel has rejected a constitutional challenge to New York’s handgun licensing law, a ruling state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is hailing as a major victory for public safety.

In Kachalsky, et al. v. Cacace, et al, five people from Westchester and The Second Amendment Foundation argued that the state’s gun laws — which require a demonstration of “proper cause” to obtain a concealed-carry permit — violated Second Amendment protections. To qualify under New York’s licensing laws, the applicant has to show “a special need for self protection distinguishable from that of the general community or of persons engaged in the same profession.”

In the case, one plaintiff simply argued the Second Amendment entitled him to carry his weapon without restrictions, in part because “[W]e live in a world where sporadic random violence might at any moment place one in a position where one needs to defend onself or possibly others.”

Two others said they were entitled to the permits because they were gainfully employed citizens in good standing, while another cited his status as a federal law enforcement officer with the U.S. Coast Guard.

The final plaintiff “attempted show a special need for self-protection by asserting that as a transgender female, she is more likely to be the victim of violence.”

The three-judge panel of the court’s Second Circuit, noting that “New York’s efforts in regulating the possession and use of firearms predate the Constitution” and continued with the 1911 Sullivan Law, said none of the plaintiffs demonstrated a qualifying need for self-protection beyond that of any other member of the public.

“As the parties agree, New York has substantial, indeed compelling, governmental interests in public safety and crime prevention,” the ruling says. “The only question then is whether the proper cause requirement is substantially related to these interests. We conclude that it is.”

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