|This page only gives general information. For more specific information,
New York Handgun Laws and how a NY handgun License is issued in
Orange County N.Y. please click on HANDGUN LICENSE
in the above menu.
GETTING A PISTOL LICENSE IN NY STATE
To get a license for a handgun in
New York State you must meet local County, NY State and Federal regulations.
These requirements can be meet by the average lawabiding citizen who does
not have any legal problems or other bars to owning a gun, is willing to
wait, is willing to fill in the paperwork and is willing to spend a small
amount of money to get a license. The requirements, in some cases,
do nothing to prevent crime or improve safety but they are based on laws
that originated in the early 1900's that were passed to "reduce crime".
After 100 years it would appear that many of the laws do not work but that
is what everyone wanting to own a handgun in NY State must deal with.
As a responsible and safe gun owner it is up to you to stay informed and
join with others to support local, state and national groups and clubs that
are working for your benefit.
here for the DISCLAIMER
You will have to deal with rules and
regulation on three levels, your local county, NY State and Federal.
Most of the rules on the local level are based on, or are a requirement
in State or Federal law but some counties do have additional special requirements
that should be easy to comply with. Please use this guide as a general
reference. It impossible to cover every minor rule or circumstance.
Laws can change quickly or court rulings can change the current interpretation
of a law. It is important that you stay informed. If you can
not find the information that you require or have any other questions
please contact your local gun store, club, police, a lawyer, or the NYSRPA.
Pistol license application follow the
* Items in Italic are copied from Penal
Law or Court Rulings.
- Obtain an application from your local licensing agent,
either the local police or county clerk.
- Fill in the application and obtain any required character
references signatures and have your application Notarized.
- Be fingerprinted and submit your application.
- Wait while you are being investigated and your fingerprints
are sent to the FBI.
- After your fingerprints are returned from the FBI and
the investigation is completed your application is normally sent to
your county's Pistol License office and then forwarded to licensing
officer for review and decision. (Depending on what the county that
you live in requires, you may have to take a safety class and you may
have to meet with the licensing officer. Some counties also have additional
- The paperwork will be returned to the Pistol License
office and they will send you a letter informing you of the outcome.
- If approved, you will have to go to the required location
to have your license validated by putting your thumbprint on the back
of your license. You will also be given a slip to give to
the owner of the handgun that your are transferring to your license.
- Using your new license you can go to the store an pick
up your first handgun. Give them the Purchase Slip and they will
retain the slip for their records.
- You are now a legal handgun owner in New York State.
NY STATE REQUIREMENTS
Each county in the state decides how
to implement the state licensing system as outlined under NY State
Law 400. All counties will do a background check and investigation
you. You must meet the following requirement in all
of the counties. You must:
Some counties might have additional requirements
such as the character references must be residents of the county or might
have to fill out an additional questionnaire. In some counties you
might also have to meet with your investigator and/or licensing officer.
- be a resident of the county that you apply in.
- be 21 years old to be issued a license.
- have people willing to be character references.
- not be barred from owning a gun under federal or state
- be able to provide a set of fingerprints.
- provide 3 recent passport photos.
- answer all questions on an application.
- provide honest answers to all questions. (Supplying
false information constitutes sufficient reason for denial of the application.
YOU MUST LIST EVERY TIME YOU HAVE BEEN ARRESTED NO MATTER WHAT THE
OUTCOME OR IF THE RECORDS ARE SEALED.)
- pay the required fees to the NYSDCJS and your local
- sign your application in front of a Notary Public who
must fill in the bottom right section.
- have all handguns that you own listed on your license.
OTHER GENERAL INFORMATION
- In almost all cases the licensing officer is a local
county Judge with some counties having many Judges sharing the workload.
- You can get information about where to get an application
from your local County Clerk's Office.
- State Law requires that you be issued a license within
six month or be given a reason why it is taking longer. (PL 400.4-A)
- You can apply for several types of licenses.
Among them are;
- The most popular license used is: "have and carry
concealed, without regard to employment or
place of possession, by any person when
proper cause exists for the issuance thereof". This is used
for general carry, sporting, target shooting and can be unrestricted,
(preferred) or restricted. (Restrictions are determined by your
Judge or other licensing officer.)
- The sometimes used: "(a) have and possess in his
dwelling by a householder; (b) have
and possess in his place of business by a merchant or storekeeper;".
(This license is very limited. The gun is licensed for a
specific location and can be legally transported only under very specific
conditions. This type of license does not require "Proper Cause"
but you are required to keep the gun at the licensed location. You
are not allowed to take the handgun anywhere else except under very
limited circumstances. This is the only type of license NYC now issues.)
- The law allows for several other rarely used or very
specific types of licenses such as, "justice of the supreme court
in the first or second judicial departments, or by a judge of the
New York city civil court or the New York city criminal
court", employment by state or local governments in specific jobs.
- You do not have to have a "spotless" record to get
a license. The law allows you to explain any arrest or other problem
that you might have in your background. Your licensing officer
is the one who will determine if you get a license, let them decide
if you are "of good moral character".
- Licenses in most counties are good for a lifetime,
they are not renewed. Some counties do have renewable licenses
such as NY City, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester.
- If you are between 14 and 21 you can still shoot a
handgun without a license at a range under the supervision if you follow
the simple requirement outlined under NY State law. See
PL 265.20, (7-e)
- If your licensing agent denies your license they, "
... shall ... deny the application for reasons specifically and
concisely stated in writing ...".
AFTER YOU GET YOUR LICENSE
- A license issued outside of NY City "shall not be
valid within the city of New York unless a special permit granting validity
is issued by the police commissioner of that city." NY City no longer
validates out of NY City licenses unless you are a retired NYC police
- You must submit an AMENDMENT to:
- add or remove guns to your license. ($3) You
must submit your amendment and be approved BEFORE you purchase
a handgun. You will be given a slip to give to the FFL or owner
of the handgun before you can take possession of the added handgun.
- change your restrictions. ($3)
- if you move to another county. "Notification of
any change of residence shall be made in writing
by any licensee within ten days after such change occurs, ... ".($3)
- to request a duplicate license. ($5 plus list of
guns, 1 new photo and other minor requirement.)
- register different barrels that fit on the same handgun.
- AMENDMENTS must be approved by your licensing officer
and take from the same day to a month or more depending on the county.
- "Every licensee while carrying a pistol or revolver
shall have on his or her person a license to carry the same." (The
gun you are carrying must be on the license that you are carrying.)
- Your licensing officer is statutorily invested with
the power to sua sponte, (at any time,) revoke or cancel a license.
- PL 400.10 1. "(a) Any owner or other person
lawfully in possession of a firearm, rifle or shotgun who suffers the
loss or theft of said weapon shall within
twenty-four hours of the discovery of the loss or theft
report the facts and circumstances of the loss or theft to a police
department or sheriff's office."
CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL
INFORMATION IF YOU LIVE IN
NEW YORK CITY, THE COUNTIES OF WESTCHESTER, AND SUFFOLK AND A FEW CITIES
HAVE SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS OR ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS NOT COVERED
BY THIS WEB PAGE AT THIS TIME.
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