February 26, 2020

Retired police officer seeking a special pistol carrying permit denied “retiree service letter”

Petitioner in this CPLR Article 78 action had asked his former employer [Respondent] for a “retiree service letter” that would assist Petitioner in obtaining a special pistol carrying permit. His former employer denied Petitioner’s request.

Supreme Court found that Respondent’s denial of Petitioner’s request for a retiree service letter was neither arbitrary or capricious, which ruling was unanimously  affirmed by the Appellate Division, which noted that Petitioner “had no right to issuance of" the retiree service letter "since his authority to carry firearms had been revoked … and had not been restored at the time he retired."*

Petitioner concedes that he was not authorized to carry a firearm under Respondent's policy at the time of his separation from employment, as he surrendered his firearm beforehand due to an injury and he failed to seek  reinstatement of such authorization. 

Further, opined the Appellate Division, Petitioner cannot demonstrate a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act based on Defendant's refusal to issue the retiree service letter as Petitioner concedes that his injury rendered him unable to perform his duties as a law enforcement officer and there is no factual basis to conclude that Defendant’s decision was made in bad faith rather than as part of an across-the-board policy.

Nor, said the court, did Respondent’s denial of Petitioner’s request violate Petitioner's Second Amendment rights as such denial did not preclude him from applying for a permit under normal legal procedures.

* The Appellate Division’s decision notes that even assuming Petitioner had a private right of action under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004, Public Law 108-277, Petitioner cannot demonstrate that he met the qualification standards within one year of Petitioner’s retirement.

The decision is posted on the Internet at: