BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation has filed a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court for review of its challenge to the exorbitant gun permit fees charged by the City of New York. The case is Kwong v. de Blasio.
SAF is joined in the lawsuit – which was filed in 2011 against former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has been replaced by current Mayor Bill de Blasio – by the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association and seven private citizens. They are represented by New York attorney David Jensen.
The lawsuit challenges New York City’s $340 fee for a three-year handgun license, which is the highest such fee imposed for a gun possession license anywhere in the United States. SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb noted that the fee anywhere else in the entire state of New York is $10, but the city is exempted from that law, The city’s higher fee, he said, “discourages city residents from exercising their civil rights while violating the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
“The fee structure discriminates against all but the wealthy and well-connected elites,” Gottlieb said. “This prohibitively high fee leaves average citizens defenseless due to their financial situation, but the right of self-defense and exercise of the Second Amendment should not be limited solely to those with deep pockets and fat wallets.”
The federal district court and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals both sided with the city’s argument that the higher fee is allowable to recover costs and promote public safety.
“This recurring fee constitutes a substantial burden on the exercise of a fundamental civil right,” Gottlieb stated. “Nowhere in the Constitution does it condition the exercise of a civil right on the amount of money one has in the bank.”