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 (23)

  • Hop

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    Not being a lawyer, I do not understand why a judge cannot rule on a Constitutional issue until someone has been “harmed.” It would save a lot of time and money. And judges should stop deferring to the Legislatures when it comes to “public safety.” If something is unconstitutional, rule it so and let that be the end of it.

    Reply

  • David

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    “The judge said that this needs to be dealt with in the state court until I have been ‘injured’

    This is sorta like not being able to do anything about a ticking bomb until it goes off and “injures” you.

    Reply

  • Frantz

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    I know everyone is thinking it, so I’ll just say. Is the east coast part of the U.S. of A.? I’m seeing more of Europe and 3rd world country gun laws then the U.S. constitution. What do I know, I live in Illinois where we have to pay for a foid card to use our 2nd Amendment right.

    People keep saying to me “Nobody has a need for a AK-47″. OK. using that logic nobody has a need for a 5000, 8000, or 10,000 sq ft house. The Amendment rights are not about need, but about the right to have without the need to have it.

    Reply

  • Diamondback

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    The victim of our so-called “justice system” needs to file a countersuit against all authorities involved in the raid on his home etc. from the actual officers their supervisors, Department, City, DA/prosecutor, Judge et. al. for a “1983”

    KNOWING, OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN, VIOLATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER COLOR OF LAW.

    Both civil and CRIMINAL charges may be filed against them and you can, under these circumstances, PIERCE THEIR CUSTOMARY “official immunity” and go after them PERSONALLY as well as in their professional capacity.

    Re. the following US Codes:

    18 USC Sections 241, 242

    42 USC Sections 1983, 1986, 1987

    Go for the really, really BIG BUCKS and don’t back down.

    Reply

    • Grumpus

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      Amen! Amen! Amen! Has anyone interested the NRA/ILA in going for a 1983 through any of their subsidiary foundations? This is too damned important not to pierce their gun-grabbing balloons with a PERSONAL suit!!!

      Reply

  • RE Hafner

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    Fortunately the Red Queen is ending her worthless do nothing political career except make a fool of herself and harass firearms owners.

    Reply

  • Rich

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    The very definition of tyranny at work. Seems like another Bundy moment on the stste level.

    Reply

  • SecretSquirrel

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    Registration = Confiscation. ALWAYS.

    Defy. Resist. Evade. Smuggle. Molon Labe.

    Reply

  • Police State Pelosi

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    Great article! It also shows why police state proponents want to see us register and have records of who owns what firearms – that way they are very easy to confiscate if someone dares to get out of line with their speech against the almighty state!

    Reply

  • Tom Skoch

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    So unless the royal courts rule otherwise, we impertinent serfs will be trampled for the “offense” of upsetting The Red Queen McCarthy. When did this country fall down the rabbit hole?

    Reply

    • Sez Eye

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      November 2007

      Reply

  • Richard J. Medicus

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    “Might” is inadequate to the situation. “Will be” is the appropriate leader to that sentence. Gov. Cuomo and NY state will do whatever they can get away with.

    Reply

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