SAF is joined in the lawsuit by Alan Kachalsky and Christina Nikolov, both Westchester County residents whose permit applications were denied. Kachalsky's denial was because he could not "demonstrate a need for self protection distinguishable from that of the general public." Nikolov's was denied because she could not demonstrate that there was "any type of threat to her own safety anywhere." In addition to Westchester County, Susan Cacace and Jeffrey Cohen, both serving at times as handgun permit licensing officers, are named as defendants. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, White Plains Division.
Attorney Alan Gura is representing the plaintiffs, along with attorney Vincent Gelardi with Gelardi & Randazzo of Rye Brook, NY. Gura recently represented SAF and the Illinois State Rifle Association in their landmark Second Amendment Supreme Court victory over the City of Chicago.
Under New York Penal Code Section 400.00, handgun carry permit applicants must "demonstrate good cause for the issuance of a permit," the lawsuit alleges. This requirement violates the Second Amendment, according to the plaintiffs.
"American citizens like Alan Kachalsky and Christina Nikolov should not have to demonstrate good cause in order to exercise a constitutionally-protected civil right," noted SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. "Our civil rights, including the right to keep and bear arms, should not be subject to the whims of a local government or its employees, just because they don't think someone 'needs' a carry permit. Nobody advocates arming criminals or mental defectives, but honest citizens with clean records should not be denied out of hand."
"Thanks to our recent victory before the Supreme Court," Gottlieb stated, "the Second Amendment now applies to state and local governments. Our lawsuit is a reminder to state and local bureaucrats that we have a Bill of Rights in this country, not a 'Bill of Needs'."
The case is filed as Kachalsky v. Cacace, U.S. Dist. Ct. S.D. N.Y. 10-05413
The Second Amendment
Foundation (www.saf.org) is the
nation's oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing
and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage
to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation
has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many
programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of