Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Rights of Part-time New York Residents Affirmed

Friday, January 17, 2014

In a victory for gun owners who spend at least part of the year in the Empire State, on October 15, 2013, the New York State Court of Appeals issued an opinion in the case of Osterweil v. Bartlett that makes clear that part-time residents are eligible for New York handgun licenses.

The case arose when Alfred G. Osterweil, a resident of the town of Summit in Schoharie County, N.Y., submitted an application for a New York State pistol license in May of 2008. During the process, Osterweil alerted the Schoharie County Sheriff that he had purchased a home in Louisiana and intended to make that home his primary residence, while keeping another residence in Schoharie County. Unclear on how to proceed, the Schoharie County Sheriff queried Schoharie County Court Judge and licensing officer George R. Bartlett on the matter. Bartlett denied Osterweil’s pistol license application in May 2009.

In his denial, Bartlett claimed that the establishment of domicile in New York is required for an applicant to be eligible for a pistol license. Osterweil appealed the decision to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, which ruled in favor of Bartlett. Osterweil then appealed once more to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which in turn asked the New York State Court of Appeals to resolve a potentially dispositive statutory issue in the case.

New York state law states, “[a]pplications shall be made and renewed, in the case of a license to carry or possess a pistol or revolver, to the licensing officer in the city or county, as the case may be, where the applicant resides.” The State Court of Appeals determined that the case hinged on the different definitions of residence and domicile. Citing New York case law, the court determined that “an individual can have more than one residence, but only one domicile.” Therefore, the court held, “The plain language of the statute is not consistent with the theory that the law requires an applicant to establish domicile as an eligibility requirement.”

The court’s opinion also went on to cite the statute’s legislative history: “the … history of the statutes that underlay Penal 400 evinces an intent to ensure that an applicant for a handgun license applies in his place of residence, rather than an intent to limit licenses to applicants who make their domicile in New York.” According to the court, the requirement for applicants to apply within their own county of residence is intended to prevent “forum-shopping” for licenses in parts of the state where they are issued more readily than in others.

In choosing to base its ruling strictly on how the handgun licensing statute interacts with the definitions of residence and domicile, the court declined to opine on whether the New York law, as interpreted by Bartlett, is unconstitutional. Osterweil’s attorneys had argued that if New York’s pistol licenses were by law limited to those domiciled in the state, such a law would violate the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause and the Second Amendment.

While the constitutional issues posed by the case for now remained unresolved, the ruling is an important victory for New York gun owners, ensuring that those who divide their time between homes in New York and another state will not be deprived of the means of self-defense while doing so. 

TRENDING NOW
Alabama: Important Lifetime Carry Permit Legislation Introduced

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Alabama: Important Lifetime Carry Permit Legislation Introduced

Today, January 22nd, legislation was introduced in the Alabama Legislature to create a new lifetime carry permit for state residents.

Bloomberg Dismisses Texas Hero, Insists It Wasn’t His “Job” to Have a Gun or Decide to Shoot

News  

Monday, January 6, 2020

Bloomberg Dismisses Texas Hero, Insists It Wasn’t His “Job” to Have a Gun or Decide to Shoot

Jack Wilson – a 71-year-old congregant of the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Tex. – is a hero to most Americans. When a deranged man savagely murdered two of Mr. Wilson’s fellow ...

Bloomberg Bought Virginia Legislators Introduce Confiscatory Gun Ban

News  

Monday, November 25, 2019

Bloomberg Bought Virginia Legislators Introduce Confiscatory Gun Ban

Michael Bloomberg’s bought and paid for Virginia legislators have wasted no time introducing legislation that would make the Old Dominion’s gun laws worse than those of the billionaire’s home state of New York.

New Hampshire: Bill to Shut Down Shooting Ranges Set for Committee Hearing

Thursday, January 16, 2020

New Hampshire: Bill to Shut Down Shooting Ranges Set for Committee Hearing

On January 23rd, the New Hampshire Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on Senate Bill 469, sponsored by Senator Jeanne Dietsch (D – District 9), at 10:00 AM in Room 100 of the State ...

Washington: Mag Ban & Other Bills Heading to Senate Floor

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Washington: Mag Ban & Other Bills Heading to Senate Floor

On January 23rd, the Washington Senate Law & Justice Committee approved three anti-gun bills, among them Senate Bill 6077 to ban most standard capacity magazines. These bills are now headed to the Rules Committee awaiting being pulled ...

Virginia Senate Passes Three Gun Control Bills - Committee Advances a Fourth

News  

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Virginia Senate Passes Three Gun Control Bills - Committee Advances a Fourth

Last week, the Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee sent four gun control bills to the full chamber. The measures included an attack on the state firearms preemption statute and Right-to-Carry permit holders (SB35), a one-handgun-a-month bill ...

Los Angeles Backs Down, Repeals Controversial Ordinance Targeting NRA

News  

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Los Angeles Backs Down, Repeals Controversial Ordinance Targeting NRA

FAIRFAX, Va. — The Los Angeles City Council today voted to formally repeal a controversial city ordinance requiring contractors seeking to do business with the city to disclose ties to the National Rifle Association (NRA). The ...

Virginia Gov. Northam Wants Millions in Tax Money to Ban Guns and Jail Gun Owners!

News  

Monday, January 6, 2020

Virginia Gov. Northam Wants Millions in Tax Money to Ban Guns and Jail Gun Owners!

In recent weeks NRA-ILA informed Virginia gun owners about gun control funding included in the state budget bill. The budget legislation, HB30, included a $250,000 appropriation to the Corrections Special Reserve Fund in order to provide for the ...

California: Firearm & Ammo Tax Bill Returns

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

California: Firearm & Ammo Tax Bill Returns

On Thursday, January 23, the Assembly Appropriations Committee has scheduled Assembly Bill 18, a returning anti-gun measure that was sent to the committee suspense filed last year.    

Sorry Shannon, But Those “Random Civilians” Are What Are Known As NRA Members

News  

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Sorry Shannon, But Those “Random Civilians” Are What Are Known As NRA Members

We were well aware that after New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg spent a cool $2.5 million on his latest acquisition, majority control of the Virginia General Assembly, law-abiding gun owners in The Old Dominion would see an onslaught of legislation ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.