Lawsuit Fears Prompt Pro-Gun Control Mayor To Take New Tact

NEW YORK (1010 WINS/CBS 2) — Concern that the Supreme Court threw out the gun laws in Chicago and Washington has prompted a plan by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to slash the cost of obtaining a pistol permit.

Bloomberg said the aim is to ensure that no one could challenge the tough New York gun laws on the books as being too restrictive, 1010 WINS’ Senior Correspondent Stan Brooks reported.

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1010 WINS Reporter Stan Brooks

“We want to be in compliance with the law…so that we don’t want to lose the ability to have reasonable controls. If we have controls that the courts have ruled too onerous or too unfair, we could lose the whole thing,” Bloomberg said.

Bloomberg’s plan entails cutting the price of a gun permit from $340 to between $25 and $110.

But according to CBS 2’s Derrick Dennis, some New Yorkers are nervous.

“Bad idea, because we don’t need anymore guns on the streets,” one person said.

“I don’t think so. I don’t think so. Too many people will have guns,” another said.

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Charles Hu showed Dennis his gun and his permit. He’s licensed in New York, the manager of the Jovina Gun Shop in Little Italy. He said there’s no getting around the city’s lengthy gun application, but $25?

“Yeah, that’s too low, too low. Twenty, 30 years ago it was more than that,” Hu said.

Tough on crime, and pro-gun control, but pushing to cut the cost of gun permits seems to go against Bloomberg’s own core values, but he said it still won’t be easy to get one.

“The restrictions and requirements that we have, we want to make absolutely sure, are in compliance with our understanding of what the law was,” Bloomberg said.

The mayor’s concern is a 2008 Supreme Court ruling that struck down parts of the National Gun Control Law for being too restrictive, discriminatory, violating a person’s constitutional right to bear arms. But City Councilman Erik Dilan said reducing fees out of fear of a lawsuit is ridiculous.

“If a New Yorker were to sue the water board tomorrow, I don’t think the city would rush to reduce water rates. So I just think we’re sending the wrong message here,” Dilan said.

The idea is just a proposal now but one the mayor said if the city doesn’t take steps on, the federal government will.

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Reducing the cost of gun permits requires approval from the City Council. Several members are said to be opposed.