New York, NY – In response to the alleged bribery scheme which has rocked the NYPD Firearms License Division, law enforcement officials have announced they are making it even more difficult to obtain a gun permit in New York.
“We are doing a top to bottom review of the license unit, the firearms license unit,” NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said earlier this week. “We will be making a lot of changes in that unit, have been making them.”
NY1 reports (http://bit.ly/1sgv4ON) that one of the changes being instituted will require gun permit applicants to appear in person to respond to a series of questions. Previously, prospective candidates were permitted to use third-parties or expediters to represent their interests with the NYPD.
Bratton’s review comes on the heels of the arrest of Alex Lichtenstein, a businessman charged with bribing officers in the Firearms License Division in exchange for over 150 gun licenses for people who, in some cases, did not meet the strict requirements to obtain a license.
“I think at this stage that based on the info we are working with, we fully understand the scope of the several matters that are being investigated,” Bratton said. “And that it is a scope that we can deal with and deal with very effectively.”
Other changes will now include dual signatures for permit approvals. The commanding officer’s signature will still be required, but now, an assistant deputy for legal matters will also be required to sign off on any gun permit approvals. And current permit holders must renew their licenses every three years.
An audit is also being conducted of the entire license division, including of all 62,000 active permits. Since the investigation began, 15 permits have been revoked and more are expected to be rescinded.