New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that his administration will seek to simplify the process by which New Yorkers obtain gun permits. Though the mayor’s office claims the move is to “allow for better investigation of applicants who might not qualify for a gun while more swiftly satisfying those fit to have them,” pro- and anti-groups recognize the action as a political ploy to ward off litigation following the 2008 Heller decision that struck down gun-control laws in other cities and subsequent challenges that the High Court is preparing to rule on.
“If I were working for the mayor in New York, in the legal department particularly, I’d be saying: ‘Are we sure we can defend these laws? Are there things to do, ahead of time, that will make it easier for us to defend them?’” said Paul Helmke, president of the anti-gun Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “I would be surprised if that were not the thinking.”