New York, NY – A veteran attorney and business owner has filed a lawsuit against the New York Police Department (NYPD) after it refused to renew the gun permit he has had since 1973.
Max Leifer, a veteran New York City attorney, said in his Manhattan Supreme Court filing that he has never had a problem getting his gun permit renewed every three years in the past, the New York Post reported.
“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,” Leifer wrote in his lawsuit.
But when he went to renew his gun permit in 2020, 47 years after he got his first one, the NYPD License Division denied his application, the New York Post reported.
His Walther semiautomatic handgun and a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver have been locked away in the 10th Precinct station house on West 20th Street while Leifer fights the License Division’s decision.
Leifer wrote in his court filing that he needed a concealed-carry gun permit because his business dealings require him to sometimes carry a “substantial amount of cash,” the New York Post reported.
He said he’s also part-owner in two bars in the city which “also generate cash” and make him a target.
But NYPD’s License Division said that Leifer didn’t cooperate with the investigator and failed to produce “three months of bank statements and the corresponding deposit slips, and documentation of being in extraordinary personal danger,” among other things, according to the New York Post.
Leifer said the License Division was acting like the Internal Revenue Service.
Eventually, Leifer’s gun permit renewal was declined, the New York Post reported.
“The activities which justified granting a Business Carry License in the past, do not exist anymore,” NYPD said. “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.”
Leifer called the License Division “a joke” and said they don’t want to grant gun permits to anyone, the New York Post reported.
“They’re just unilaterally denying everybody,” the attorney told The Police Tribune.
“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,” the attorney 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.”
NYPD’s License Division has been a controversial affair ever since the officers working there in 2017 were accused of fast-tracking permits in exchange for booze and hookers, the New York Post reported.
Leifer told The Police Tribune that the “new people who took over are clueless bureaucrats.”
In 2020, gun permit applications soared with the spread of the pandemic and the George Floyd riots, and between March and December, 8,088 people had applied.
But only 1,087 gun permits were granted, the New York Post reported.
During the same period of time in 2019, NYPD approved 1,778 of 2,562 applications.
NYPD was unable to provide any statistics on gun permit renewals, according to the New York Post.
Gun store owners said customers have been complaining that their applications are in limbo and have not been approved.
“There has undoubtedly been a change in policy over the issuance of carry handgun licenses, since the shakeup from the public corruption scandal,” Manhattan attorney Fred Abrams said.
Abrams has been dealing with gun permit issues for clients for 30 years, the New York Post reported.
“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,” he said.
Leifer said his lawsuit is the first step in fighting back against the denial of his Second Amendment rights, and he vowed he would take it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if he has to.
“I’m a multimillionaire,” the 75-year-old attorney told The Police Tribune. “I don’t care. I want to do what I have to do protect the average American from having their constitutional rights taken away.”