Application for Pistol License Denied Due to Criminal History

In the Matter of Ralph Velez, Jr. v Robert M DiBella

Pursuant to Article 78, petitioner appealed a determination by the respondent denying his application for a pistol license.

According to Penal Law § 400.00(1), to be eligible for a pistol license, the applicant must be at least 21 years of age, have good moral character with no prior felony convictions or any other serious offense and there must be no good cause for denial of the license. Also, the pistol licensing officer may use his broad discretion and deny any applicant for any good cause.

Due to the petitioner’s criminal history, which consisted of six arrests and a conviction for disorderly conduct, the respondent determined that good cause existed to deny his application. Even though five of the six arrests were dismissed or resolved, the respondent still considered the circumstances surrounding each arrest.

Petitioner claims that the respondent acted improperly handing over his decision-making authority to the Westchester Department of Public Safety. However, the Westchester Department of Public Safety only provided the respondent with a recommendation of denial. In the respondent’s written decision, it clearly shows that the Department’s recommendation was not the sole basis for denying the petitioner’s application for a pistol license.

The court denied the petition and dismissed the proceeding without costs or disbursements.

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