Sibley Challenges New York State’s Handgun Law and Licensing Procedures in Federal Court

Jul 29, 2019 12:20 PM ET


CORNING, New York ? New York State criminalizes all handgun possession unless a handgun permit has been issued. After waiting 10 ½ months for a decision on his Application for a handgun permit, Montgomery Blair Sibley recently received the decision denying his Application from NY Licencing Officer Chauncey J. Watches who stated:

“The basis for the denial results from concerns about your being sufficiently responsible to possess and care for a pistol” and “The Court is concerned that your history demonstrates that you place your own interest above the interests of society.”

When Sibley asked for the factual information and documents that served as the basis for that decision, NY Licencing Officer Chauncey J. Watches told Sibley: “I have reviewed your requests for information and documents and find them to be without legal basis and therefore they are denied.”

The sum and substance:  The State of New York believes it can: (i) prohibit handgun ownership in the home in clear violation of the Second Amendment, District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 742 (2010) and (ii) deny a handgun permit upon “secret evidence” which it refuses to reveal.

Said Sibley: “Clearly, handguns do not belong in the hands of felons and the mentally ill.  However, under the Second Amendment, Heller and McDonald, before the State of New York can criminalize my possession of handguns in my home, it must comport with basic Due Process: Give me notice of the reason for the denial and an opportunity to be heard before my application is denied. The State of New York gave me neither.  My only options were to go along or go against. I, if you know anything about me, unhesitatingly chose the latter.”

A copy of Sibley’s lawsuit can be viewed at this link: Sibley v. Watches.  More background on the lawsuit and Montgomery Blair Sibley can be found on his blog: Amo Probos.



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