The NYPD hasn’t processed thousands of applications for gun permits partly because cops tasked with the job were reassigned amid the protests, riots and looting that helped spur the deluge, The Post has learned.
Meanwhile, a leading gun-rights group on Thursday called the inaction by the department’s License Division “very suspicious.”
The Post exclusively revealed Wednesday that while 8,088 applications for gun permits had been filed since March 22 — when COVID-19 restrictions went into effect — only 1,087 were granted, a rate of around 14 percent.
During the same time period last year, the NYPD approved 1,778 of 2,562 applications, a rate of nearly 70 percent.
A source familiar with the situation said would-be gun owners began flooding the department with permit applications shortly after the May 25 police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which sparked widespread protests, including in the Big Apple.
Some of the local demonstrations led to riots and looting, including the ransacking of Macy’s famed flagship store in Manhattan’s Herald Square.
”Many cops in police headquarters, including the License Division, were put in uniform to police those protests,” the source said.
In addition, applicants are being subjected to heightened scrutiny due to the corruption scandal that rocked the License Division in 2017, the source said.
Ed Mullins, head of the NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association said, “I know a lot of people have complained about not getting their licenses.”
“I know some big league business people who have been having trouble getting their licenses — a lot of jewelry people,” he said.
“Because of the bribery scandal, the department stopped processing them the way they normally did.”
A Post reader said he applied for a permit in July but had yet to receive a response, adding that the emails he’s sent since then “all bounce back.”
An official with the Gun Owners of America, a Virginia-based lobbying organization, called the situation troubling.
“The steep drop in the approval rate for firearms permits in New York City is very suspicious,” GOA senior vice president Erich Pratt said.
“And this underscores the problem with forcing law-abiding citizens to get permission from bureaucrats before exercising their rights.”
The NYPD declined to comment.
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