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Fox Business’ John Stossel Tried To Get A New York Gun Permit­–It Turned Out Poorly

John Stossel is an outspoken and unabashed libertarian. He’s a public figure on a major news network, where some people think his ideas about free markets and liberty should end with him being shot in the face. Hence, why he wants a gun permit for self-protection. The problem is that Mr. Stossel lives in New York, which is a bastion of anti-gun sentiment. He found that out quite explicitly when he tried to acquire a carry permit. First, the application is about 50 pages because the applicant must not only know their name, residence, lack of criminal history, etc.—but also know the definitions of other weapons.


“I don’t want a kung Fu star; I just want a gun for safety,” exclaimed Stossel. It took him hours to complete the application, which included calls to the New York City Police Department due to the vagueness of the questions. Finally, it was done. Stossel went to One Police Plaza personally and submitted his application, which included a $430 fee. He also said he waited about 90 minutes before he was assisted by NYPD officials about processing.

He aptly noted who has time for this if they’re life is in danger. Given that the Supreme Court has said law-abiding Americans have an individual right to gun ownership, the process should not be this arduous or expensive. If anything, one could make an argument that the red tape involved is unconstitutional, as it’s making it virtually impossible to exercise one’s Second Amendment rights in the state. In New York and other blue states, you need to satisfy the justifiable need test when it comes to obtaining a carry permit. It’s completely arbitrary and outrageously absurd. Moreover, Stossel interviewed a military veteran, Robert Martinez, who was denied a permit, even though a man was beaten to death out front of his apartment complex. He said that the NYPD was rude; they had him waiting for over three hours, and denied his application. It’s not unheard of for this process to last up to a year. In Stossel’s case, it took him eight and a half months.

In the end, he was eventually denied his permit, but the NYPD added that he qualified for a permit with his apartment. He added that he feels safe at his residence; it’s when he’s in public he wants a firearm to protect himself.


Stossel’s video is maddening and shows what could be coming down the legislative pipe if a virulently anti-gun politician, like Hillary Clinton, is elected president.

So, who gets permits? It’s the wealthy and the politically connected. Stossel noted that Howard Stern, Donald Trump, and Robert De Niro all have carry permits, but for ordinary people, even veterans, like Mr. Martinez, they couldn’t be trusted for some reason. Sen. Ted Cruz could’ve probably executed his "New York values" talking point better, but the fact remains that he’s right. New York is a bastion of anti-gun rights; a bastion of pro-abortion sentiment (the city is an abortion hub); and a bastion of progressivism. What’s more is its sordid history of corruption. In the most recent case, it’s bribes for gun permits (via WSJ):

A member of a volunteer Brooklyn security force that works closely with city police was charged Monday for allegedly paying officers in the New York Police Department to expedite gun-permit applications, the latest development in a burgeoning federal corruption probe.

Alex “Shaya” Lichtenstein was charged with one count each of bribery and conspiracy as part of a three-year scheme in which he claimed to have secured more than 150 gun permits through bribes to officers, including for people who otherwise might have been rejected because of arrest records, prosecutors said.

Mr. Lichtenstein, 44 years old, was arrested at his home Sunday in Pomona, N.Y., and appeared in Manhattan federal court Monday afternoon, but wasn’t required to enter a plea. He was released on a $500,000 bond and had to surrender his travel documents and firearms.

“We believe the facts disprove the government’s claims,” said Mr. Lichtenstein’s lawyer, Richard A. Finkel.

Moments before the federal complaint was unsealed, NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said he had transferred three officers assigned to the police force’s License Division, including a top commander, until the investigation is complete.


In New York, you have to break the law to exercise one of our oldest civil rights. That’s how bad the process is in the Empire State.

Last Note: We're wishing you a speedy recovery, Mr. Stossel. 

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