Legal Question in Criminal Law in New York

Hypothetical questions concerning pistol permit laws in the state of NY and possible constitutional issues.

NY is a "may issue" state that does not recognize any other state pistol permit as valid within the state, it also requires that permit applicants submit 4 letters of reference written by individuals that live in the same county as the applicant (and have resided there for at least 5 years) and have known the applicant for at least 5 years. Highly restrictive, and possibly open to constitutional arguments on several grounds.

Would an argument based on the full faith and credit clause (Article 4 section 1 of the US Constitution) be valid when arguing the case of a resident of a nearby state (Pennsylvania for instance) who carries their legally owned and permitted handgun across the border into NY without intending to actually cross the border. Certainly Pennsylvania acted (through their authorized representative) in issuing the permit. there is a record of that action on file in the State of Pennsylvania. As long as no other state or jurisdiction has acted to negate the legality of that permit ... I'm thinking that NY must consider it valid.

Is the NY pistol permit law discriminatory against new residents to the state? Certainly someone moving to the state might have a problem finding the people that could legally provide them with a letter of reference (residents of the state for 5 years that have known the applicant for 5 years, 4 people that are not related to each other or the applicant and are not officers of the court or licensed gun dealers).

Any best guesses as to why these defenses have not been tried, or if they have what was the outcome?

Asked on 4/12/19, 12:03 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Zev Goldstein Law Office of Zev Goldstein PLLC

There have been a number actions brought against NY in federal court, and there is a live case going right now. Very little success. Bringing an action is expensive.

Were you charged with a crime in NY, or did you recently move to NY?

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Answered on 4/13/19, 9:45 pm

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