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EXCLUSIVE: New York City Rifle Permit Applications Surge by 340%

This article was originally published by the Daily Caller News Foundation and is republished here with permission from Creative Commons.

By: Jake Dima

New York City rifle permit applications and pistol license requests have surged this year, according to New York Police Department (NYPD) data obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

NYC residents submitted nearly 149% more handgun permits and nearly 340% more rifle/shotgun permits from Jan. 1 to June 28 compared to the same period in 2019, according to data provided to the DCNF by NYPD spokeswoman Sgt. Jessica McRorie.

A total of 2,338 people applied for handgun licenses from January to the end of June this year, compared to 1,571 last year in the same time frame, according to the NYPD data. Residents applied for 1,492 rifle permits in the six-month span in 2020 compared to 441 in 2019, the data show.

Handgun licenses were approved at a rate of 46% and rifle and shotgun licenses at a rate of 29% in the six month period in 2020, data show. Last year, 77% of handgun licenses were issued and 61% of long gun permits were approved in the same period, according to a data analysis performed by the DCNF.

The apparent decrease in approvals may not necessarily equal an uptick in denials, as residents can end up waiting up to 8-10 months to receive their permits. Thus, many of the currently unapproved applications may have yet to be either approved or denied.

The five boroughs have some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation and are one of three regions in the U.S. to mandate citizens have permits before they can purchase either handguns or rifles, according to the Giffords Law Center.

Residents must apply for the permit that covers the specific class of weapon they’d like to acquire and cannot purchase a gun legally without one, according to New York City Guns, a local firearm-advocacy organization.

A New York City rifle and shotgun permit application is 13-pages long and costs $231 to submit with all relevant materials. Applicants must show four color photographs of themselves, a utility bill or lease, a birth certificate and two character reference letters in addition to being fingerprinted.

If approved, the applicant is granted a license but must then register all of their firearm purchases with the city. License holders are also required to comply with NYC’s assault weapons ban that forbids the ownership of any firearm with a folding stock, pistol grip or threaded barrel, among other common features.

Any component that police deem to be akin to military features can also be banned at their discretion, according to the application.

NYC also has outlawed pistol magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and rifle or shotgun magazines that hold more than five rounds, according to New York City Guns.

The city has experienced a wave of violence since the death of George Floyd, who died after a police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes, video showed.

NYC has experienced a 64% increase in shootings in May, a 130% increase in gun incidents in June and a 177% uptick in shootings in July, according to NYPD crime statistics.

Murder in the Boroughs is also on the rise with 79% increase in May killings, 30% rise in June murders and a 59% increase in July killings, NYPD crime comparisons to 2019 showed.

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