Gabriel Razzano: ‘Ineligible’ in NY, and Fighting Back

By CTD Blogger published on in News

A guest post by David Codrea

While the gun-rights community is focused on the National Rifle Association-backed New York State Rifle and Pistol Association lawsuit (NYSRPA) challenging New York’s Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act, a lesser-known complaint has also been filed that has both promise and controversy built in.

NRA LogoThe case is Razzano v. Cuomo, filed in the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York by “Gabriel Razzano, individually and on behalf of a class of all other persons similarly situated,” by attorneys Robert J. La Reddola and Steven M. Lester. What’s immediately noticeable in the brief is that the “class members” in the Razzano lawsuit include “all persons who own long arms and are or may become ineligible to obtain or maintain a pistol license or own a newly defined ‘Assault Weapon.’”

Razzano himself became “ineligible” after Rep. Carolyn McCarthy’s (D-NY 4th) office sicced the cops on him after an animated meeting over immigration issues, and they confiscated his legally registered weapons — nine rifles, 15 handguns, and his fiancée’s handgun. They revoked his pistol license three weeks later over his “suitability.”

In other words, an American citizen, with no criminal charges against him, no convictions, no mental health diagnoses, no adjudication of any kind, was stripped of his supposedly Second Amendment-guaranteed rights essentially because he exercised those promised in the First Amendment.

Those outrages lead to legal action in Razzano vs. County of Nassau (“Razzano I”). In that action, the court ordered the return of Razzano’s long guns — which would normally be called a win.

However, after years of litigation, Razzano is still “ineligible” for a Nassau County pistol license, and thus under the SAFE Act, is subject to having all of his “weapons” confiscated, including hunting rifles and shotguns for self-defense in his home, which is the point of the current Razzano v. Cuomo lawsuit.

“[T]here are many in New York State who, like Razzano, fail to meet the standard of local pistol administrators for non-criminal reasons, and are thus ‘ineligible to possess a handgun license’ or are ‘no longer a valid license holder,’” the second Razzano suit continues. “Therefore, the SAFE Act promulgates the same unconstitutional policy rejected in Razzano I: the seizure of all legally-owned weapons without notice, administrative review or judicial finding.”

That conclusion would seem borne out by the SAFE Act itself, which states, “The Division of Criminal Justice Services, upon determining that an individual is ineligible to possess a license, or is no longer a valid license holder, shall notify the applicable licensing official of such determination and such licensing official shall not issue a license or revoke such license and any weapons owned or possessed by such individual shall be removed….” Razzano’s legal team filed a motion for preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order to keep aspects of the SAFE law from going into effect on the April 15, 2014 deadline, but the District Court turned that motion down.

“The judge said that this needs to be dealt with in the state court until I have been ‘injured’ [having all my firearms taken away again],” Razzano explained by email.

“We will be bringing the state action forthwith and then return to federal court,” Razzano’s attorney Robert Redola promised.

If Razzano’s rights can be violated like this, might all gunowners be in danger? Let us hear your opinions in the comment section.

Also See

Use the First, lose the Second

How to Lose Your Guns without Due Process in Freeport

About the Author: David Codrea is a field editor at GUNS Magazine, penning a monthly “Rights Watch” column. He provides regular reporting and commentary at Gun Rights Examiner and blogs at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance.

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Comments (20)

  • Patrick

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    It would appear that NY state has set its citizens up by installing a law that allows the authorities to deem you ineligable to have a hand gun permit simply because they don’t like what you say or represent. Worse yet once deemed ineligable they take all your weapons. I suspect thats what they were after in the first place.

    People of NY don’t let them get away with this. Sue for your rights when ever they are trampled.

    And remember you the citizen can and should throw these tyrants from office. This is your right and your duty!!!!

    The Government is for the People, By the People and Of the People, not Over the People, Above the People and Against the People!!!!!!!

    Reply

    • Tjc

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      Insane and should not be tolerated. ….

      I pray things get better with 2014 election.

      Reply

  • Eric Brunke

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    I truly find it dishearting that in this country we the people are still fighting a battle that should never have been started. The liberals keep attacking our rights as defined the the Bill of Rights on the pretince that they will legitrate our safety by stripping us of the ability to protect ourselves. Somehow they have gotten these law through at state level claiming it is within a states rights to govern within it borders, however if for example a state decided that within it’s borders there was no longer free speech. How longer do you think it would take for federal government to act in striking down that law. Or in an extreme example, slavery could be brought back at a state level using the liberal form of reasoning. I fail to understand why there is all the debate over the right to keep and the right to bear arms. Unless the federal government want to admitt it has no power over any state government to uphold the constitution and bill of rights, it is only logical that as a nation we all have the rights set forth in the constitution and bill of rights and no state or local government can override those right period.

    Reply

  • RON

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    I AM SURE GLAD I DON’T LIVE IN NEW YORK !!!

    I’M TOO OLD TO FIGHT, TOO SLOW TO RUN, THEREFORE I CARRY !

    Reply

  • dave

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    These NY officials are in open rebellion against US citizenry. They should be stopped, arrested, and charged with federal crimes. They wage war on America. Surely no citizen need tolerate that.

    Reply

  • Indignant

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    Are we sheep! The Second Amendment guarantees citizens the right to bear arms. It is a right! No different than the rights of other Americans to be protected on the basis of race, age, gender, freedom of speech, religious belief or sexual orientation, etc. While others who enjoy freedoms insist on their freedoms, they are willing to trample on the rights of gun owners. The issues that are most often involved in insistence on control advocates are additional violations of the Eight Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendments.

    Gun control advocate and elected political officials forget that the Fourteenth Amendment lead to the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This came one hundred years after the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment. (The Fourteenth Amendment was not well understood by our government or our political leaders. They also tend to forget that our country is a Republic which is based on rule through the consent of the governed!)

    Violations of Constitution come in two types. Civil violations and Criminal Violations. Wrongful death is and example of criminal violation. (Remember Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Whatever happened to that?

    I know this is long so let me get to my point. I believe that those who attack gun ownership and gun owners including politicians and legislators who pass restrictions on gun ownership and the right to bear arms are committing a criminal violation of the Second Amendment and certainly the Fourteen Amendment. The Eight Amendment is another issue but if there is a punishment involved and Constitutional Rights are involved, I would throw it in also.

    How can this be so? The Fourteen Amendment guarantees citizens equal and fair constitutional rights. I interpret this to mean that other citizens cannot attack me because I exercise my right to bear arms or deny me that right. Oath takers who swear to uphold the Constitution commit a Criminal violation of Constitutional Rights when they violate the provisions of the Constitution. I would have to go back and look up the specific section of the Federal Code but I believe it is Chapter 1982 which specifies that those who take an Oath specifically commit a Criminal Act when they commit a Constitutional violation. I believe that this applies.

    Criminal violations of the Federal Code are filed with the Justice Department. I know it has become popular for politicians not to uphold the law or ignore it but it is time to test our government. I believe that “a righteous man is justified in his indignation.” I recommend that anyone who is discriminated against because they exercise their freedoms under the Second Amendment go straight to the Justice Department and file a criminal complaint or pursue your grievance though the civil process.

    Finally I believe in, “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of anyone who threatens my Life or my Liberties.” Let the pursuit begin. If enough gun owning citizens file complaints with the Justice Department., some action is required. It cannot be ignored and it serves as warning that such attacks will not go unchallenged.

    This is a long discourse but the time to take an organized and a righteous indignant response to the uninformed, disrespectful and willing violation of Second Amendment Rights is long over due. Our politicians on every level need to know the cost of their actions in violation of the Constitution that they take an Oath to uphold. They must be made to understand the peril that they bring on themselves when they violate that oath.

    Thank you for your time – it is our most valuable possession,

    An Indignant Gun Owner

    Reply

  • Frantz

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    Having to have standing is a requirement of every court. The only cases that haven’t required standing, that I’ve heard of, are abortion cases. Unborn child’s right, and all that.

    The argument for standing is founded on the idea that it will stop, or slow down suites without merit.

    Reply

  • Kevin J. Kehoe

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    You cowards are talking about big bucks and suing are sick and dreaming. Just whose side are you on?

    God Given Rights Need no Legal Standing.

    It is Inherent in that Right. People who live in a lawful Republic need no standing.

    Legal Standing is some pathological Liars words on how to make a buck.

    But Keep dreaming corrupt Power Mad Pols give a rats ass about you.

    Your standing comes and goes out of the barrel of a gun. Only as long as you are willing to defend it.

    Now it’s their guns .
    Make up your minds.

    They are taking your FREEDOM, your LIFE and WEAPONS.

    LOL

    Reply

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