Getting a handgun legally in New York is a two-step process. First, applicants must obtain a license, which costs $340, takes about 12 weeks to process, is good for three years and requires a background check by the New York Police Department. In addition, fingerprinting costs about $100.
Those who pass that hurdle then must get a purchase authorization from the police for the particular weapon they intend to buy. One handgun license may list up to 25 weapons (so far, no one has tried to register more than that, officials said), but buyers must wait 90 days between purchases.
So it costs $440 dollars for the ability to ask the New York police department, “Can I purchase this gun?”. Many, especially in these harder economic times, do not have the disposable income to spend $440 on a weapons permit, especially given the cost of living in New York.
Continuing on through the article they provide a nice list of prominent names that have weapons permits. Of the entire population of New York City, only 4,000 have permits that allow them to carry a concealed weapon. That’s 0.0477% of the population of New York.
Compare that to Washington State, where in 2007 there were 258,000 permits, coming to a ratio of 3.9%.
The government can discriminate against who it issues permits to, and lower class individuals are prevented from owning firearms due to the high costs of licensing.
This also completely disregards the fact that New York released the names of permit holders to the public. While they may have withheld street address, it still provides a shopping list for criminals.