A.G. Schneiderman Wins Major Court Victory In Defense Of State Gun Safety Laws

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Constitutionality Of New York’s Law Requiring Applicants To Demonstrate “Proper Cause” To Obtain License To Carry Concealed Handgun In Public

Schneiderman: My Office Will Aggressively Defend Our State’s Gun Laws To Ensure All New Yorkers Are Safe And Secure

WHITE PLAINS – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that his office has won a major court victory in defense of New York State’s gun safety laws. In a unanimous decision in the case of Kachalsky, et al. v. Cacace, et al, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected a constitutional challenge to New York's handgun licensing statute, ruling that the law requiring individuals to demonstrate “proper cause” to obtain a license to carry concealed handguns in public does not violate the Constitution’s Second Amendment.

“Every day, my office fights to ensure all New Yorkers are safe and secure in their communities,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “This means ensuring that our state’s gun laws are protected and vigorously enforced. This unanimous decision is a victory for New York State law, the United States Constitution, and families across New York who are rightly concerned about the scourge of gun violence that all too often plagues our communities.”

In Kachalsky, et al. v. Cacace, et al, five individual plaintiffs residing in Westchester County, and one organization, the Second Amendment Foundation, Inc., argued that the “proper cause” provision of the New York law governing the issuance of licenses to carry concealed handguns in public violates their rights under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as defined in two recent decisions by the United States Supreme Court, District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago. The “proper cause” provision requires a license applicant to show “a special need for self protection distinguishable from that of the general community or of persons engaged in the same profession.”

In today’s decision, the Court held the proper cause requirement is valid because it is substantially related to New York’s strong interest in public safety and crime prevention.

The defendants in this case, four State Court judges who also serve as "licensing officers" under the New York statute, were represented by Attorney General Schneiderman’s office, which argued that the "proper cause" provision of the New York law did not violate the Second Amendment as described by the Supreme Court in the Heller and McDonald cases. 

The case was handled by Assistant Solicitor General Simon Heller, Deputy Solicitor General Richard Dearing and New York Solicitor General Barbara D. Underwood.

A copy of today’s decision is available online at: www.ag.ny.gov/sites/default/files/press-releases/2012/CA2%20Kachalsky%20opinion.pdf

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