About the Plantiff Lawrence Sloane
Plaintiff Lawrence Sloane is a U.S. citizen, a resident of New York, lives in Onondaga County, and is a member of Gun Owners of America and thus, is one of the individuals whose interests were represented by the organizational plaintiffs in Antonyuk v. Bruen.
Plaintiff Sloane is a law-abiding citizen who does not currently possess a New York carry license because, prior to Bruen, he did not believe he would be found to have “proper cause.” Since Bruen held “proper cause” unconstitutional, he has intended to apply for his carry license. Before he could apply for a permit, however, New York changed the rules, implementing the CCIA and imposing a slew of new restrictions and requirements.
Plaintiff Sloane challenges the following portions of the CCIA: “1) social media history requirement, 2) providing information about my family, 3) providing character references, 4) exorbitant training costs and the time required to complete it, 5) an in-person interview with a government agent, and 6) proving that I am of “good moral character” in addition to being a law-abiding, responsible person.”
Plaintiff Sloane has accounts on some “social media” platforms, of which his Facebook profile is set to “friends only.” This means that he would have to add a sheriff or investigator or perhaps even his licensing official as a “friend” so that they could view his Facebook posts. He refuses to comply with this requirement, or to divulge any social media accounts to the state. Id.
Plaintiff Sloane states that, if here were “forced to produce all [his] speech,” he would “self-censor for fear of retribution, unwilling to express [his] true feelings, especially on contentious issues involving political speech[.]”
Plaintiff Sloane is unwilling to provide the government with “information about [his] family, on the carry license application.”
Plaintiff Sloane is unwilling to provide the required four character references so that the government can interrogate his “friends and family.”
Additionally, Plaintiff Sloane objects to the in person interview requirement, because it would violate his “Fifth Amendment rights to remain silent and against self-incrimination.”
Plaintiff Sloane cannot even apply for a license without first providing the licensing official with all of the required information on the application, as it will be rejected, both based on the statutory language, and also his local sheriff’s statements to that effect. Therefore, it is futile to even attempt to apply because he is unwilling to “submit to the unconstitutional requirements that [he] is unwilling to provide to the government.”
Moreover, Plaintiff Sloane’s sheriff, Defendant Conway, does not have an appointment available for Plaintiff Sloane to even submit his application until October of 2023, more than 13 months from today, in violation of Bruen’s footnote 9 which anticipates challenges to permitting regimes which require “lengthy wait times” to obtain a permit. Thus, not only is it futile for Plaintiff Sloane to submit his application to the sheriff (knowing that it will denied), it is actually impossible for him to do so (because it will not even be accepted – much less processed – until October of next year).
Moreover, the Sheriff’s refusal to accept Plaintiff Sloane’s application represents a constructive denial of that application. Indeed, the Sheriff’s current 13 month delay greatly exceeds even the time he has to process an application under the statute.
The Sheriff’s delay in accepting license applications also violates New York Penal Law 400(4-b), which requires that [a]pplications for licenses shall be accepted for processing by the licensing officer at the time of presentment,” and that “[e]xcept upon written notice to the applicant specifically stating the reasons for any delay, in each case the licensing officer shall act upon any application for a license pursuant to this section within six months of the date of presentment….”
By refusing to permit Plaintiff Sloane to “present” his application, the Sheriff not only has violated the statute, but has constructively denied Plaintiff Sloane’s application, making Plaintiff Sloane’s challenge ripe.
An Illinois Northern District Court found that plaintiffs stated a “plausible Second Amendment claim” alleging that “residents commonly wait[ ] as long as 60 to 90 days to receive a FOID card . . . The amended complaint recites the experience of a number of individuals who had been waiting between five (5) to nine (9) months for their FOID applications to be processed at the time the amended complaint was filed in November of 2020” when the statute requires the Illinois State Police to “adjudicate applications within thirty days.”
As to the training requirement, Plaintiff Sloane will not complete “sixteen hours of classroom instruction, plus two hours of live-fire training, [as it] is unnecessary and expensive.” Plaintiff Sloane objects to the requirement that he has to pay to learn about “suicide prevention,” as he is not suicidal and such subject matter has no bearing on his being a responsible gun owner. Plaintiff Sloane would still object on principle to a four hour “basic handgun safety course,” but alleges that the prior existing training standard “would be doable” and that he would obtain such training in order to receive a license, despite his objections.
Plaintiff Sloane states if all the “unconstitutional requirements were removed from the application, and the Sheriff would accept [his] application, [he] would immediately submit [his] application for a concealed carry license, something [he] greatly desire to obtain and, but for the CCIA’s unconstitutional demands, [he] would seek to obtain.” Plaintiff Sloane further states that he “otherwise meet[s] all of the requirements to be ‘granted’ a permit to carry [his] firearm in public and, in fact, [has] completed the remaining parts of [his] application (save for the portions [he] will not provide), and [he has] attempted to secure an appointment for submitting [his] application, but there is not one available until late next year, a completely unreasonable time frame” which makes application both futile and impossible.