Society

Federal Appeals Court Says New York Gun Licensing Laws Are Constitutional

| by Amanda Schallert
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New York’s gun licensing laws, which allow New York City to charge gun owners hundreds of dollars in licensing fees, have been deemed constitutional, according to a ruling from a federal appeals court Tuesday.

Despite protests from gun rights advocates who filed a lawsuit against the state in 2011, the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals announced that a New York law permitting some state regions to charge expensive licensing fees was legal, according to the Brooklyn Eagle. 

The court argued that the government is allowed to impose fees on citizens when it is also paying to regulate those citizens' related activity, according to Newsday.

The state law gives New York City the right to charge a $340 handgun licensing fee.

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In other areas of New York, however, gun licensing fees range from just $3 to $10.

New York City leaders told the appeals court that the money gained from smaller licensing fees only covered about half of the financial burden that fell on the city in relation to the gun sales.

"Imposing fees on the exercise of constitutional rights is permissible when the fees are designed to defray (and do not exceed) the administrative costs of regulating the protected activity," the court said.

The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association and the Second Amendment Foundation, which together filed the 2011 lawsuit, are deciding whether they will appeal the ruling.

Sources: Newsday, Brooklyn Daily Eagle