Federal Judge Strikes Down Two NYC Provisions for Gun Permit Issuance

Brandon Wexler helps a customer shop for a handgun at his WEX Gunworks store on January 31
Joe Raedle/Getty

Judge John P. Cronan struck down New York City gun controls that he found gave city officials unconstitutional discretion in the issuance of gun permits.

Cronan struck down NYC’s “good moral character” and “good cause” provisions, concluding that they gave city officials a degree of leeway in judgment sufficient to provide them cover in denying permits for law-abiding citizens.

He tested the two provisions in light of the Supreme Court’s Bruen (2022) decision, then wrote:

In sum, having considered Defendants’ proffered historical materials, and applying the standard set in Bruen, the Court determines that the magnitude of discretion afforded to New York City licensing officials … empowering them to evaluate an applicant’s “good moral character” and “good cause” in deciding whether to permit that applicant to exercise his or her Second Amendment rights, is not constitutionally permissible under the Second and Fourteenth Amendments.

Elsewhere, Cronan emphasized that allotting city officials the authority to judge “good moral character” and “good cause” in order to issue gun permits lacks “any grounding in our Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.”

Moreover, Cronan found that the plaintiff, Joseph Spour, “suffered irreparable harm” in being denied his Second Amendment rights.

Cronan’s decision is stayed until October 26, 2023, “to afford Defendants an opportunity to consider their appellate options and whether they wish to seek a stay pending any appeal.”

The case is Spour v. New York City, No. 1:22-cv-00003 in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal in 2010, a speaker at the 2023 Western Conservative Summit, and he holds a Ph.D. in Military History, with a focus on the Vietnam War (brown water navy), U.S. Navy since Inception, the Civil War, and Early Modern Europe. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.


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