How To (Illegally) Get A Gun And Permit In New York City.


Alex Lichtenstein had a hot business going.

In New York City, where it is down right impossible to get a permit for a weapon, Lichtenstein had a way to get around that little roadblock of permits being denied to honest citizens.

For $18,000 you could pay Lichtenstein and he would come back to you later on and have a perfectly valid gun permit enabling you to go purchase a gun and keep it in the city. The “illegal” part of “How to Illegally Get A Gun and Permit in New York City” comes into play when one sees how Lichtenstein was obtaining the permits.

A Brooklyn volunteer safety patrol member was charged Monday with bribing cops with $6,000 in cash and other goodies to expedite gun permit requests, and three officers were transferred out of the licensing unit as part of the far-reaching NYPD corruption probe.

Shaya (Alex) Lichtenstein, 44, was so cozy with cops in the License Division that he’d spent nearly every day inside the office in police headquarters since 2014, federal court papers say.

Yep. To get the permits, Lichtenstein was bribing police officers who were in charge of the permitting process.

The amount of bribes to the officers were not too shabby when put together:

In all, Lichtenstein boasted that he obtained 150 weapons for his friends and associates, charging them about $18,000 each time, and giving $6,000 of the payout to his police connections. If true, that means corrupt officers raked in as much as $900,000.

As was noted earlier, Lichtenstein was arrested and charged.

And as for the policemen:

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton late Monday transferred three officers out of its License Division Monday afternoon: Deputy Inspector Michael Endall, the commanding officer, Sgt. David Villanueva and Police Officer Richard Ochetal. The latter two were also stripped of their guns and badges and placed on modified duty.

One must wonder why the person who offered the bribes was arrested and those who were accepting the bribes were allowed not only to remain free, but to continue working as an officer of the law.

There is also another issue to consider. As Ira Stoll at The Future of Capitalism</em> states:

If it didn’t take months of waiting, hundreds of dollars in fees, and an extensive application to exercise one’s Second Amendment right to bear arms in New York City, there’d be no need to bribe anyone. The more complex the regulation, the more likely it is that the market will find a way to circumvent it through illegality. That doesn’t excuse lawbreaking, but it is an argument — not the only argument, but one argument — for keeping regulations simple and minimal.

Stoll is correct. When a law governing a right becomes so cumbersome, burdensome and limiting, people are going to try and get around the law in order to assert and exercise their rights.

We aren’t condoning what Lichtenstein did, but it seems that the actions of the police who took the bribes means the law in New York is for sale, even if those selling are those who are tasked to uphold the law.

(h/t Walter Olson at

Comments are closed.