The number of New Yorkers who may carry pistols legally dropped this year, while permits issued to allow people to keep pistols in their home increased, according to police statistics.
Mayor Bloomberg has sought to cut the number ofconcealed weapons on city streets, and since he has been in office it has dropped dramatically. This year, 2,516 New Yorkers received a permit to carry a concealed pistol. The city issued 2,555 such permits in 2006, almost 50% fewer than the 4,789 that were given out in 2004.
The head spokesman for the police department, Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne, said the reduction in the number of permits issued is partly due to sharp increases in the fees holders must pay to renew their permits. He also said more scrutiny is placed on new applications than in the past. While the number of permits to carry pistols dropped from 2006, 27 more permits were given out this year to New Yorkers to keep pistols in their homes.
Still, the number of permits handed out to people who keep guns in their home has plunged under Mr. Bloomberg. In 2000, 24,031 permits were given out for household pistols, compared to 14,985 this year.
A spokesman for the National Rifle Association, Andrew Arulanandam, said the drop in permits is a reflection of the city's penchant for giving only wealthy New Yorkers gun permits.
"If you're a plain Joe or Jane, you're out of luck, and they're the people who really need protection," he said.Mr. Browne said allegations that wealthy New Yorkers get preferential treatment for permits are flatly untrue.
Through a Freedom of Information Law request, The New York Sun received an official list of New Yorkers who have gun permits. The list includes Donald Trump,
Donald Trump Jr., Robert DeNiro, and Ronald Lauder, among others.
A study released yesterday by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute for International Studies found that America is the most armed society in the world, with 90 guns for every 100 citizens.
Correction from August 30, 2007:
The number of pistol permits handed out to New Yorkers who keep guns in their homes decreased to 14,985 in 2007 from 15,012 in 2006. The numbers were misstated in an article on page 2 of yesterday's New York Sun.