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Court Considers Revocation of Gun License in Domestic Violence Case


On June 29, 2006, a man was involved in a domestic dispute with his wife. His wife told the New York Police Officers that during this dispute, her husband punched and kicked her and that she punched and kicked him. Pursuant to New York Law, the officers discovered that the husband had a residence permit for a target pistol. When they collected the firearms in the home, they discovered that the husband was also in possession of two long guns, rifles, for which he did not have a permit. The husband’s pistol license was suspended pending an investigation into the matter.

A New York Criminal Lawyer said that in June 30, 2006, a Temporary Order of Protection was issued in Kings county New York for the wife against the husband and for the husband against the wife. These protection orders were issued following several additional domestic disputes involving this couple. On September 19, 2006, after a heated verbal dispute with his wife in a public restaurant, the husband was arrested. The arrest was eventually voided. However the fact that he had a history of domestic violence and had been in possession of two long guns illegally in his home, his license to have any guns was revoked.

On December 30, 2006, the man requested an administrative hearing in order to repeal the revocation of his gun permit. His argument stemmed from his assertion that his wife had caused the domestic violence incidents and that he had never been notified of a renewal date for his long guns. The husband stated that he had not been aware that he was supposed to notify the police department of any arrests or orders of protection as they related to his possession of guns.

The police department noted that the husband had violated the terms and conditions of his pistol permit by not notifying the License Division of his confiscated long guns and target pistols. They note, that he had in his possession two illegal long guns and had failed to tell the License division that he was the recipient of a temporary order of protection. He failed to notify the License Division of his arrest. A Brooklyn Criminal Lawyer said he did not notify the License Division that he had been involved in any domestic violence incidents. His claim that he was unaware of the rules and regulations concerning his pistol permit were not valid since that is his responsibility and no one else’s.

The court maintains that there is only one issue for them to address in regards to this claim and that is: whether the revocation of the licenses was arbitrary and capricious or an abuse of discretion. Interestingly enough, even though the United States Constitution’s second amendment clearly states that it is the right of every citizen to keep and bear arms, the Court stated that in New York, it is a privilege. In fact, the court documents show that the court stated that the issuance of license “to carry a gun is a privilege, not a right.”

The court stated that under Penal Law §400.00, the New York Police Department has a huge range of discretion to grant or revoke licenses. They caution that the court must give great thought to its decisions when public safety is an issue. The court claimed that they will only set aside a revocation if the find that the discretion used to revoke it was so “disproportionate to the offenses in light of all circumstances as to be shocking to one’s sense of fairness.” The court found that in this case, the man had a temporary protective order against him.

In New York, if a person has a temporary order of protection against them, they must surrender their firearms until the end of the trial of the facts of the case. The court refused to reinstate the man’s license even though he had been in possession of his license for more than thirty years with no previous incidents of indiscretion.

At Stephen Bilkis & Associates we realize that the domestic violence laws are intricate and that there can be many additional issues involved like the right to bear arms. No one should attempt to go to trial without a criminal Lawyer. Whether you have been involved in a domestic violence matter, or have been charged with sex crimes, assault, or negligence, contact our office for a free consultation.

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