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October 28, 2008

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Why Do You Own A Handgun?

Some of us own handguns for protection. Others like to hunt with them. Still others enjoy participating in shooting competitions.

But if you’re Martha Stewart’s daughter, Alexis, you own a pistol in order to shoot your dogs in the head:

Permit holder Alexis Stewart, daughter of homemaking queen and ex-convict Martha Stewart, told The Post that she applied for a gun license after 9/11.

She said she got a gun, now kept in a lockbox in her $3 million TriBeCa apartment, to euthanize her elderly dogs in the event that another calamity struck and forced her to abandon them.

"I had two very old English bulldogs," said Stewart, who hosts a show on her mother's Sirius Satellite Radio channel.

"They could never make it out of Manhattan. I could never leave my dogs to die of thirst in my apartment, so I looked on it as a euthanasia situation. I would never kill my pets unless they were going to die anyway."

This is from a story in the New York Post on celebrities in New York who pack heat or who have gotten permits to keep handguns in their homes. The latest to join the ranks of celebrity gun owners are New York Mets David Wright and Carlos Delgado.

The famous-folks-with-guns is one of those stories in New York that crops up every few months. It highlights the well-known fact that celebrities have an easier time getting approved for permits in places like New York and Los Angeles than the rest of us, who either face additional red tape or are denied the right to have a firearm.

As much as I question Stewart’s motives for arming herself, it makes me wonder if the NYPD is relaxing its notoriously strict requirements for gun ownership in the Big Apple. After all, if the desire to whack your dogs is justification enough to have a gun in the home, what would the police say to someone who wanted to carry a handgun in order to protect and save their life?

—John Snow

Update: Ahab's take.

Update: Murdoc sums it up rather nicely:

Hello Kitty guns: Bad.
Goodbye Doggy guns: Good.



I have just recently aquired my NYC 'premise pistol permit', and I can attest that it was no easy task...involving over 8 months and a few thousand dollars in attorney's fees.
I am 26 years old, and I was born and raised here in Manhattan. It was when I was younger that I was lucky enough to be able to spend my summers outside of the city where I was introduced to hunting, fishing, and shooting.
I have never been convicted of a crime, and yet the NYPD licensing division initially denied my permit. Apparently it is standard practice to deny initial applicants in order to weed out those not determined enough, or well-off enough to appeal the matter with an attorney.
It's a shame that a city filled with so many intelligent people, including a mayor I consider one of the best in NYC history (despite his failure to fix a corrupt licensing division) has such a flawed approach to gun rights.
I certainly believe in common sense 'gun control' that has the purpose of keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. What I have a problem with is leaving the final decision to either 'deny' or 'approve' a permit application in the hands of an individual police officer or 'investigator'. Leaving a police officer to objectively decide whether he/she thinks you should be issued a permit without any real subjective criteria is a real problem.
There is no question that the average law abiding citizen would find it difficult if not impossible to meet the demands of the licensing division, including: hundreds of dollars in licensing fees as well as no less than five visits to One Police Plaza...during the workday...with a few of those visits limited to the hours of 12-2pm??
What's most amusing is the fact that the city doesn't even require proof of training to be licensed. Does that make sense? If the city did require training before a handgun permit was issued, they could deny just about everyone as it is illegal to even touch a handgun within the city limits without the permit. Did I just give the licensing division a new tactic...