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Gun rights group vows to defend Trump’s firearm permit

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(The Center Square) — A Second Amendment group is vowing to sue to defend former President Donald Trump with the New York Police Department seeking to revoke his concealed carry license following his felony conviction in the hush money trial.

Trump was convicted by a Manhattan jury last Thursday of 34 felony charges of falsifying business documents to cover up alleged hush money payments to porn actor Stormy Daniels. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee plans to appeal the verdict and denies any wrongdoing, claiming the prosecution is politically motivated.

Under New York law, convicted felons are not allowed to have firearm permits. Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is also a federal crime. Trump’s concealed carry license was suspended last year after he was indicted on the charges, and several media outlets are reporting that the NYPD could permanently revoke his gun rights.

But the Second Amendment Foundation, a Washington-based gun rights group, said it will take New York officials to court if they try to permanently take the former president’s concealed carry permit and his guns.

“If Donald Trump is further prosecuted for owning firearms, we will offer to defend him and challenge the law,” Alan M. Gottlieb, SAF’s founder and executive vice president, said in a statement.

Gottlieb said under the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 ruling in N.Y. State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen case, which requires gun laws to have an analogous connection to “historical regulation” when the Second Amendment was ratified, Trump should not have his right to carry taken away.

“Donald Trump has no history of violent crime,” he said. “There is no historical nexus to deny someone, including Trump, of their gun rights over such a conviction.”

Trump could also keep his firearms if a state appeals court ends up overturning his felony convictions from the hush money trial.

He could keep them by applying for a certificate of relief from civil disabilities, but it’s unclear if the former president’s legal team has filed a petition.

Two of the three pistols Trump was licensed to carry were turned over to the NYPD in March 2023, according to published news reports, while a third gun listed on Trump’s New York license was lawfully moved to Florida, now his primary residence.

Gottlieb said the SAF — whose motto is “Winning Gun Rights One Lawsuit at a Time” — has successfully litigated many legal challenges in the past to restore gun rights for people convicted of non-violent crimes and expects to prevail in a challenge on behalf of the former president.

“The attack on Trump’s gun rights emphasizes the need to revisit existing gun control laws and change them to protect an individual’s gun rights,” he said. “Until that happens, we will be more than happy to meet New York State or the federal government in court.”

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