Plaintiffs SHUI W. KWONG; GEORGE GRECO; GLENN HERMAN; NICK LIDAKIS; TIMOTHY S. FUREY; DANIELA GRECO; NUNZIO CALCE; SECOND AMENDMENT
FOUNDATION, INC.; and THE NEW YORK STATE RIFLE & PISTOL ASSOCIATION, INC., by and through their undersigned counsel, as and for their Complaint against Defendants MICHAEL BLOOMBERG ("Mayor Bloomberg"), the CITY OF NEW YORK (the "City"), and ERIC SCHNEIDERMAN, allege as follows:
1. This action for deprivation of civil rights concerns the City's $340 fee for issuance or renewal of a 3-year "Residence Premises" handgun license pursuant to § 400.00(14) of the New York Penal Law and§ 10-13l(a)(2) of the New York City Administrative Code. This fee is excessive and is not used to defray administrative costs, and hence, it impermissibly burdens the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
2. This suit also challenges Penal Law § 400.00(14), which limits the maximum fee for issuing a New York State handgun license to $10, but exempts New York State citizens who happen to reside in New York City from its protection. The right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental civil right, and this disparate State law treatment violates the Equal Protection Clause.
3. Plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive relief and attorney’s fees and costs.
4. It is illegal to possess or carry a handgun in the State of New York, including within one’s home, unless one holds a handgun license issued pursuant to § 400.00 of the New York Penal Law. See N.Y. Penal Law §§ 265.01(1), 265.20(a)(3).
5. The City issues Residence Premises handgun licenses to applicants who reside in the City of New York pursuant to § 400.00 of the Penal Law. See N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 10- 131(a)(1); 38 RCNY 5-02. A Residence Premises handgun license allows a person to possess and carry a handgun within a specified residence, and also to transport the handgun (locked, cased, and unloaded) directly to and from a target range. See 38 RCNY 5-23(a). A Residence Premises license is the only license that a private citizen living in New York City can obtain without showing special “need” or “cause.” See generally 38 RCNY 5-01.
6. A person applying for a handgun license anywhere in New York State must submit fingerprints for a background investigation that is conducted by the New York State
Division of Criminal Justice Services (“DCJS”). See N.Y. Penal Law § 400.00(4). DCJS notifies the licensing official (i.e. the City of New York, or elsewhere in the State, generally a designated county judge) of the results of the investigation. See id.
7. All applicants in New York State must pay a fingerprint and investigation fee to DCJS that is (presently) $94.25. See N.Y. Exec. Law § 837(8-a); 9 NYCRR 6051.3(a)-(b). This lawsuit does not challenge this fee.
8. This lawsuit challenges only § 10-131(a)(2) of the New York City Administrative Code, which requires applicants in New York City to pay an additional $340 fee, and
§ 400.00(14) of the New York Penal Law, which authorizes the City to charge different fees than the other licensing authorities throughout the State. This lawsuit does not otherwise challenge the laws of the City and State governing the issuance of handgun licenses.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
9. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1343, 2201, 2202 and 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
10. This Court has personal jurisdiction over each of the Defendants because, inter alia, they acted under the color of laws of the City and/or State of New York and/or within the geographic confines of the State of New York.
11. Venue is proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391.
PARTIES AND STANDING
12. Plaintiff Shui W. Kwong (“Mr. Kwong”) is a citizen and resident of the State of New York residing in Brooklyn.
13. Mr. Kwong is a 43 year-old Chinese-American who is married and has two children, and who is employed as a union electrical worker.
17. Plaintiff George Greco (“Mr. Greco”) is a citizen and resident of the State of New York residing in Rockaway.
18. Mr. Greco is a 51 year-old man who is married and has 2 children. Mr. Greco is a principal of Midhattan Woodworking Co. Mr. Greco is a board member of Plaintiff New York State Rifle & Pistol Association.
22. Plaintiff Glenn Herman (“Mr. Herman”) is a citizen and resident of the State of New York residing in New York, New York.
23. Mr. Herman is a 43 year-old married man. Mr. Herman is a firearms safety instructor certified by the National Rifle Association of America.
27. Plaintiff Nick Lidakis (“Mr. Lidakis”) is a citizen and resident of the State of New York residing in Queens.
28. Mr. Lidakis is a 37 year-old single man who lives with his girlfriend. Mr. Lidakis is a paramedic who serves the people of the City of New York who require emergency medical assistance.
32. Plaintiff Timothy Furey (“Mr. Furey”) is a citizen and resident of the State of New York residing in Queens.
36. Plaintiff Daniela Greco (“Mrs. Greco”) is a citizen and resident of the State of New York residing in Rockaway.
37. Mrs. Greco is married and has two children. She is a New York City public
41. Plaintiff Nunzio Calce (“Mr. Calce”) is a citizen and resident of the State of New York residing in Bronx County.
42. Mr. Calce is a 37 year-old married man with children. He is a Certified Public Accountant and is first generation Italian-American.
46. Plaintiff Second Amendment Foundation, Inc. (“SAF”) is a non-profit member organization incorporated under the laws of the State of Washington with its principal place of business in Bellevue, Washington.
48. Members of SAF have paid the $340 fee required for a New York City Residence Premises handgun license, and members of SAF would apply for a Residence Premises handgun license but for the prohibitive $340 fee.
49. SAF brings this action on behalf of itself and its members.
50. Plaintiff The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. (“NYSRPA”) is a non-profit membership corporation incorporated under the laws of the State of New York with its principal place of business in Troy, New York.
53. Members of NYSRPA have paid the $340 fee required for issuance or renewal of a Residence Premises handgun license, and members of NYSRPA would apply for a Residence Premises handgun license but for the prohibitive $340 fee.
54. NYSRPA brings this action on behalf of itself and its members.