BELLEVUE, WA – New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “relaxation” of gun regulations to make them more streamlined in the city is “a lot of flash and very little substance,” the Second Amendment Foundation said today, after carefully studying the new guidelines.

“It is clear to us,” said SAF Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “that Mayor Bloomberg is trying to make it appear that his gun regulations are more user-friendly to deflect a potential lawsuit once the Supreme Court rules on our legal action to overturn the handgun ban in Chicago. This tells us that Bloomberg and his legal advisors are convinced the high court will hand down a favorable ruling in the McDonald case, striking down Chicago’s ban and incorporating the Second Amendment to the states via the 14th Amendment.’

Under Bloomberg’s program, licensing requirements will be allegedly streamlined, renewal fees will go down and the application process will be speedier.

“This sounds good on the surface,” Gottlieb observed, “but a little digging reveals that there is only one handgun licensing office in the entire city, in Manhattan. There is only one office for registering and licensing rifles and shotguns in the entire city, and that office is in Queens. The handgun application fee is $340, and there is a $94.25 fingerprinting fee on top of that. This fee structure screams ‘for elites only’ because those fees are outrageously expensive for average citizens.

“Adding insult to injury,” he continued, “this is only to keep a handgun in your home or business. To get a carry permit, you still have to prove a ‘need.’ Mayor Bloomberg, it’s not the Bill of Needs, it’s the Bill of Rights.”

Even Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, told the New York Times that Bloomberg is relaxing the rules because the current regulations will not be defensible under an affirmative ruling in the McDonald case, Gottlieb noted.

“Mayor Bloomberg is right to think he needs to relax gun regulations in New York City,” Gottlieb said. “He is also right to think that SAF just might come knocking with a lawsuit after our case against Chicago is decided. But he is wrong to think these sham rules are going to mollify gun owners, or fool us into giving him a pass.”