Nick Rees Nov. 27, 2012, 6:49pm

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a major court victory in defense of the state's gun safety laws on Tuesday.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in a unanimous decision in the case of Kachalsky, et al. v. Cace, et al, rejected a constitutional challenge to New York's handgun licensing statute. The judges ruled that the law requiring that "proper cause" be demonstrated by individuals to obtain a license to carry concealed handguns in public is not a violation of the Constitutions Second Amendment.

A license application must show "a special need for self protection distinguishable from that of the general community or of persons engaged in the same profession" under the "proper cause" provision.

"Every day, my office fights to ensure all New Yorkers are safe and secure in their communities," Schneiderman said. "This means ensuring that our state's gun laws are protected and vigorously enforced. This unanimous decision is a victory for New York State law, the United States Constitution, and families across New York who are rightly concerned about the scourge of gun violence that all too often plagues our communities."

Five individual plaintiffs in Westchester County and one organization, the Second Amendment Foundation Inc., argued in Kachalsky, et al. v. Cacace, et al, that the "proper cause" provision was a violation of the Second Amendment as defined in the recent decisions by the United States Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago.

The court, however, held that the "proper cause" requirement is valid because it is substantially related to the state's strong interest in public safety and crime prevention.

Schniederman's office, which represented the defendants in the case - four State Court judges who serve as "licensing officers" under the statute - argued that the "proper cause" provision did not violate the Second Amendment as described by the Supreme Court in the Heller and McDonald cases.

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