A Manhattan attorney is suing the New York Police Department for denying his gun carry permit renewal after nearly 50 years of holding a permit. Now he’s at risk of losing his guns, the New York Post reported on Saturday.
Leifer, who has been an attorney for 49 years, said he has never had a problem renewing his gun permit every three years, until July 2020 when the NYPD’s license division denied his application. The attorney said he carries a firearm because of the nature of his business that involves taking client retainers involving “substantial amounts of cash.”
The NYPD alleges that 75-year-old Leifer did not cooperate with the department’s investigation by failing to provide “three months of bank statements and the corresponding deposit slips, and documentation of being in extraordinary personal danger.”
“The activities which justified granting a Business Carry License in the past, do not exist anymore,” the NYPD stated. “You no longer carry or transport cash. You no longer transact business involving expensive watches and artifacts. You no longer collect rent from rental properties. This amounts to a change in circumstance.”
Now, the court will decide if Leifer’s two firearms – a Walther automatic and a .38-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver – will be kept in a locked case at the 10th Precinct stationhouse on West 20th Street.
“It is amazing that while New York City is plagued by unlicensed gun holders, the NYPD is now depriving a law-abiding New York City resident who has maintained a license for 47 years without any problems,” Max Leifer said in his Manhattan Supreme Court filing.
Gun permit applications in the city are skyrocketing, but Leifer claims the department is intentionally avoiding approval. In December, 8,088 first-time applications had been filed since March, but only 1,087 were approved, the Post reported.
“They intentionally do not want to give licenses. Contrary to the Second Amendment where a citizen should be able to have a gun in his home or business,” Leifer said. “Meanwhile, all these maniacs are running around with unlicensed guns and shooting everybody in the street. Every day you have a shooting, a killing.”
He told the New York Post the police department was acting the like IRS.
Between March and December in 2019, the NYPD granted 1,778 out of 2,562 applications, a rate of nearly 70 percent compared to just 14 percent over the same period a year later.
“There has undoubtedly been a change in policy over the issuance of carry handgun licenses, since the shakeup from the public corruption scandal,” said Manhattan attorney Fred Abrams, who has dealt with gun permit issues for decades. “The rules that guide the police department in these licenses have remained unchanged. People from all walks of life, who the license division deemed eligible for carry handgun licenses, suddenly are ineligible.”
Filed on February 3, Leifer’s suit seeks to renew his pistol license and unspecified court costs.