INFORMATION ABOUT SPECIFIC
NEW YORK STATE REQUIREMENTS
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
PL 400.4-A "Except upon written
notice to the applicant specifically stating the reasons for any delay,
in each case the licensing officer shall act upon any application for a
license pursuant to this section within six months of the date of presentment
of such an application to the appropriate authority.
Such delay may only be for good cause and with respect to the
If you delay the application by failing to have your
proof of firearms training, or a deposit slip or letter showing a gun that
you will have added to your license, then you will not get your license
in the 6 months. Licenses can be done in 4 months or less. After
6 months call to see what the delay is. If a judge is busy and has
just not gotten around to it there is little that you can do. Your
only legal recourse will cost several thousand dollars, and may take several
months, and you will need a lawyer. If you cause a delay, your application
may expire when it is more than a year or so old.
HOW DO I BUY MY FIRST GUN?
First, read any gun articles that you can but do
not get hung up on the "WONDER GUN OF THE YEAR" or the "BEST CALIBER FOR
XXXXX." If you take your Firearms Training Class early, you will
have some idea of what to look for. Look over the list of the ranges
and stores in Orange County and start looking and talking to as many people
as you can. (You will have never met so many experts!) Make
sure that you look at "Do I have
to buy a gun?" and BUYING
YOUR FIRST GUN AND LEARNING HOW TO SHOOT for more discussion. ) (You
should buy a 22 Cal. as soon as you can.)
You can not legally handle a firearm without a license but most FFL's,
(Federal Firearms License holders,) will allow you to after you tell them
that you have put in your application. After you make a decision on what
gun you want to buy,
all you do is put down a deposit, normally no more than 10%, and then give
a copy of the receipt to the Sheriff's Department when you go for your final
interview. Stores are accustomed to holding the gun while the application is
almost a full
refunds if something happens, but you should check in advance with the
seller for their policy and to see if they charge a restocking fee.
If you are getting a gun to go on your original
license by any other method other than buying a gun from a NY State FFL, contact
the Sheriff's Department to see what paperwork they will require. Some of the
other ways you would get a gun to go on your original license would be for someone
on their NY license, a gun you obtain because of a death or if you are moving
into the NY State and need to transport your guns into the state.
Additional requirement exist other than the basic ones that are in PL 400
that I have listed. I have listed only the section that is of concern to
most people. It is up to the Judge alone to decide if you are eligible
and are "of good
WHAT ARE THE STATE REQUIREMENTS?
(Note that on Nov. 1st, 2000, new gun control
laws will require that you be 21 years old to get a license.)
1. Eligibility. No license shall
be issued or renewed pursuant to this section except by the licensing
officer, and then only after investigation and finding that all statements
in a proper application for a license are true. No
license shall be issued or renewed except for an applicant (a) twenty-one
years of age or older, provided, however, that where such applicant has been honorably discharged
from the United States army, navy, marine corps, air force or coast guard, or the
national guard of the state of New York, no such age restriction
shall apply; (b) of good moral character; (c) who has not been convicted
anywhere of a felony or a serious offense; (d) who has stated whether
he or she has ever suffered any mental
illness or been confined to any hospital or institution, public or
private, for mental illness; (e) who has not had a license
revoked or who is not under a suspension or ineligibility order issued
pursuant to the provisions of section 530.14 of the criminal procedure
law or section eight hundred forty-two-a of the family court act;(f) in the county of Westchester,
... , (i), ... (ii), ... (g) ...
3. Applications. (a) Applications shall be made and renewed, in the
case of a license to carry or possess
a pistol or revolver, to the licensing officer in the city or county, as
the case may be, where the applicant resides, is principally
employed or has his principal place of business as merchant or
storekeeper; and, in the case of a license as gunsmith or dealer in firearms,
to the licensing officer where such place of business is
located. ... An application shall state the full name, date of birth,
residence, present occupation of each person or individual signing the same,
whether or not he is a citizen of the United States, whether or not he
complies with each requirement for eligibility specified in subdivision
one of this section and such other facts as may be required to show the
good character, competency and integrity of each person
or individual signing the application. An application shall be signed and
verified by the applicant. Each individual signing an
application shall submit one photograph of himself and a duplicate for each required copy of the
application. Such photographs shall have been taken within thirty
days prior to filing the application.
WHAT TYPE OF LICENSE SHOULD I APPLY FOR?
(Do not confuse this with restrictions.)
From the License Application:
I HEREBY APPLY FOR A PISTOL/REVOLVER LICENSE
TO: (Check one only)
 CARRY CONCEALED
 *POSSESS ON PREMISES
 * POSSESS/CARRY DURING EMPLOYMENT (*Premise
address or place of employment must be provided)
STREET ADDRESS OR OTHER
LOCATION, CITY, VILLAGE, TOWN, ZIP CODE
A LICENSE IS REQUIRED FOR THE FOLLOWING REASON:
 CARRY CONCEALED
Most people who apply for a license will apply under
PL 400.(2), Types of licenses. ... "(f) 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 the type of license that is used for target practice, fishing, hunting,
and other uses and contains the infamous "PROPER CAUSE EXISTS". This
is the type of license that allows you to carry your handgun concealed and
If your license is "UNRESTRICTED" then
you may carry your handgun loaded and concealed at any time or place where it
is legal to do so.
If your license is "RESTRICTED" then you can only carry your handgun
concealed and loaded as outlined by your restrictions such as "Permission
to carry restricted to going to, from and on bona fide target shooting,
hunting & fishing." or the so called "Business Restriction"; "While
carrying large amounts of money" or "While conducting
Everyone should always request an "UNRESTRICTED"
license. Your Judge will first decide if you get a license. Only after the Judge
approves your license will the Judge have to decide if your license is "RESTRICTED" or "UNRESTRICTED". If
an "UNRESTRICTED" license he
will still issue a "RESTRICTED" license.
 *POSSESS ON PREMISES
This is the type of license that
you will apply for if you only want to keep your gun at a single location.
You can choose one of two locations.:
- (a) have and
possess in his dwelling by a householder;
- (b) have and
possess in his place of business by a merchant or storekeeper;
With this license you are not legally able to
take your gun from the Premises for any reason. You do not have to show
any "Proper Cause" so in effect it is a shall issue license however I know
of no one in Orange County that has this type of license so I do not know
how the Judges handle it.
 * POSSESS/CARRY DURING EMPLOYMENT
This covers people who need to
carry as part of their employment. Normally a "CARRY CONCEALED"
is all anyone needs but if you need to go into NY City as part
of your job, this is the only type of license that will be valid after you
comply with NY City rules and regulations. I know
of no one in Orange County that has this type of license so I do not know
how the Judges handle it.
A LICENSE IS REQUIRED FOR THE FOLLOWING REASON:
No one can tell you what to put
on your application. You will have a meeting with your Judge and he/she
will decide if you have shown "PROPER CAUSE" to #1.
get a license and #2. get an unrestricted license. Again some Judges will
give unrestricted license
most of the time if you ask, some will almost never give an unrestricted
license and some are in the middle. No one can tell you what any one Judge
will do with your application. Again, even if you request an unrestricted
license and the Judge does not want to give you one, you will still get
a restricted license.
I would suggest putting down: "Request Unrestricted License for, FILL IN THE BLANK, and other lawful purposes." For most people it will look like: "Request unrestricted license for Hunting, Target Shooting,
Fishing, Camping, Hiking and other lawful purposes." Always add anything else that you need a license for such as "when carrying large sums of money."
2. Types of licenses. A license for gunsmith or dealer in
firearms shall be issued to engage in such business. A license for
a pistol or revolver, other than an
assault weapon or a disguised gun, shall be issued to (a) have and
possess in his dwelling by a householder; (b) have
and possess in his place of business by a merchant or storekeeper; (c)
have and carry concealed while so employed by a messenger employed
by a banking institution or express
company; (d) have and carry concealed by a 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; (e) have and carry concealed while
so employed by a regular employee of an institution of the state, or of
any county, city, town or village, under control
of a commissioner of correction of the city
or any warden, superintendent or head keeper of any state prison, penitentiary,
workhouse, county jail or other institution for the detention of persons
convicted or accused of crime or held as witnesses in criminal cases,
provided that application is made therefor by such commissioner,
warden, superintendent or head keeper; (f) have and carry concealed, without
regard to employment or place of possession,
by any person when proper cause exists for the
issuance thereof; and (g) have, possess, collect and carry antique pistols
which are defined as follows: ...
WHAT ABOUT RESTRICTION ON MY LICENSE?
Restrictions on licenses under PL 400.(2),(f) are a great
source of argument. Nothing in PL-400 requires that restrictions be
placed on a license but New York State's highest court, the Appeals Court,
has ruled that judges do have the "power to restrict" a handgun license
when it ruled on O'Connor
v. Scarpino, 83 N.Y.2d 919 (1994). The court has also ruled
v. Keegan, 1996 N.Y. Int 26, that "the licensing officer is statutorily
invested with the power to sua sponte revoke or cancel a license." Sua
sponte means "Of his or its own will or motion, voluntarily; without prompting
or suggestion." Look at #4 on the bottom of the application next to
where you put your photograph, "ANY LICENSE ISSUED AS A RESULT
OF THIS APPLICATION IS SUBJECT TO REVOCATION AT ANY TIME BY THE LICENSING
OFFICER OR ANY JUDGE OR JUSTICE OF A COURT OF RECORD."
"Permission to carry restricted to going to, from and on
bona fide target shooting, hunting & fishing." is a popular wording of
a common restriction. This restriction would allow you to carry a loaded
firearm on your person while driving to a practice range but might not allow
you to carry it while you get out of the car to get gas. Ask your judge
what you should do. Other additions can be things like hiking, camping
and any other time you might want to have your handgun with you.
Each judge makes up his or her personal rules and requirements
and interpretations. You will not be penalized for asking for an unrestricted
license and you can request an unrestricted license at any time. Some judges
do issue unrestricted licenses while others will almost never issue one for any
reason. You must talk to your judge to find out what they are willing to do. Don't
be surprised if your judge refuses to tell you anything, because they are not
required to give any information except for a written reason for rejecting an
amendment. (I support everyone applying for an unrestricted license because
I think that everyone who qualifies for a New York State license has been ruled
by a judge to be of "of good moral character" and that is all that should be
required. Also, the judges will not give it to you if you do not ask for
it. You have nothing to loose by asking for an unrestricted license even
if it is rejected except for the $3 application fee.)
If you are arrested or have some court proceeding
against you, your judge will probably know within 24 hours and can take any action
that he or she wants including taking your license and requiring that you turn
in all of your guns, (or having the Sheriff's Department pick up your guns in
extreme cases.) Also, if you are stopped by the police and they think that
you are carrying outside of your restriction, or the police see or find out that
you have a license and think that your judge should be aware of your actions or attitude,
then they will inform your judge giving relevant information. Your judge
then may take any action that he or she wants to take, (remember Sua sponte.) PL
400 also contains the following seldom used Section 15. "Any violation
by any person of any provision of this section is a class A misdemeanor." (I
have been told by many people who have been stopped, that the police only asked
if they had a license. Most of time they did not even look at the license
much less at the restrictions. I have had police persons tell me that all
they care about is if the person has a license. That is not to say that
you will not get an anti-gun police person or that you will not be doing something
that will make the officer ask!)
If you are stopped and you have you handgun outside
of your restrictions and the police person wants to give you a hard
time, (even if you are really not doing anything wrong,) he should
not arrest you for criminal possession of a firearm 2nd but
he should inform your judge. SEE: PEOPLE v. PARKER 52 ny2d 935
(1981) (However you can not be sure that the police person knows of
PLEASE NOTE: Most of the judges
in Orange County are reasonable. Some are gun owners and are
very knowledgeable about firearm ownership. The following
information is to show what can happen if anti-gun judges are elected
and how the law supports anti-gun judges and their rulings. Each
judge is elected for 10 years and they have to retire
at age 70. Of all of the votes that anyone can make that has
a direct impact on handgun licenses in Orange County, THIS IS
IT! You might have a pro-gun judge now but an anti-gun
judge replacement years from now can change your license Sua
If your request for a change in the restrictions on your license is rejected,
your only recourse is with a CPLR Article 78 proceeding, and you will have
to have a lawyer. It will probably end up costing you several thousand
dollars and many months of your time. In order to win you must show
that your judge's decision was "arbitrary and capricious or an abuse of
discretion." (It is OK if the judge is irrational or anti-gun as long
as they are that way with everyone, not just you.") It is very hard
to get judges to rule that another judge's ruling was "arbitrary and capricious
or an abuse of discretion." The other common ruling is that the judge
did not offer an explanation or a good enough explanation of a rejection. Even
if you win, you can expect something like the ruling in Davis v. Clyne: "...
Decision withheld, and matter remitted for articulation of the reason for
the restriction prohibiting petitioner use of the license for..." (It
was for hunting in that case.) By the time a ruling in your favor
is handed down, your judge will have have had more than enough time and
motivation to come up with an even better reason why your request should
be rejected. The judge can also grant you your request but add new
creative restrictions that severely limit you in ways that you never thought
of. (Such as allowing you to target practice but only at events sponsored
by a specific group such as the NRA, Davis v. Clyne again.) You
don't like the ruling, start another article 78.
This is only a partial listing. You are not required to know all of it to
get a license. Most of it is just common sense but some is not.
See OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION
for examples. I would suggest that everyone read all of the sections
of the law at least one time.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE STATE LAWS THAT I SHOULD KNOW ABOUT?
CLICK ON TO LINK TO THE SECTION OF NEW YORK LAW
|Part 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS
C - DEFENSES
35 - (35.00 - 35.30) DEFENSE OF JUSTIFICATION
Justifiable use of Deadly Force
| Part 3 - SPECIFIC OFFENSES
P - OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC SAFETY
265 - (265.00 - 265.40) FIREARMS AND OTHER DANGEROUS WEAPONS
Weapons Crimes, Firearms and Other Dangerous Weapons (Also
|Part 4 - ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS
Title W - PROVISIONS RELATING TO FIREARMS, FIREWORKS, ...
Article 400 - (400.00 - 400.10) LICENSING AND OTHER PROVISIONS RELATING
Licenses to Carry, Possess, Repair and Dispose of Firearms.
This site is not a legal reference so look it up
yourself, ask a lawyer or buy a book. "The Book", (the 2002 editions
is over 440 pages long,) that you will see on the bookshelf of most
lawyers, Judges and Police stations is:
You may purchase the book for $29.95 + S&H, (yearly automatic updates
"GUN CONTROL IN NEW YORK"
NEW YORK'S FIREARMS AND WEAPONS LAWS
Lt. Lee O. Thomas, NY State Police, Ret. & Jeffrey Chamberlain,
Attorney at Law
LOOSELEAF LAW PUBLICATIONS, INC.
43-08 162nd Street
Flushing, NY 11358
(718)-359-5559 or 24-hour FAX: (718)-539-0941
WHEN DO I HAVE TO CARRY MY LICENSE AND AMENDMENTS?
This question is covered by PL 400.00 (8)
8. License: exhibition and display. Every licensee
while carrying a pistol or revolver shall have on his person a license
to carry the same. Every person license to possess a pistol or revolver
on particular premises shall have the license for the same on such premises.
Upon demand, the license shall be exhibited for inspection to any peace
officer, who is acting pursuant to his special duties, or police officer.
. . Failure of any licensee to so exhibit or display his license,
as the case may be, shall be presumptive evidence that he is not duly licensed.
You must have your license and amendment, if applicable,
on you at all times when you carry your firearm. (I always carry
a copy of my license in each box I carry my guns in.) You are only
allowed to have one license. You are not allowed to apply for a DUPLICATE
LICENSE so that you can keep one license at home and carry the other one.
See: AMENDMENTS for more information on DUPLICATE
I HAVE A GUN BUT NO LICENSE.
You do not have to be a criminal to end up with an
unlicensed gun. A dead relative might leave you a gun, or you might
have moved into the state without realizing that you need a license even
for a gun that you have locked and stored away, and I have known someone
who, while doing renovations, discovered several old guns hidden in the
wall of a house they had lived in for several years. New York State
law does allow you an easy way to turn in a firearm so that you can sell
it, or get a license and have it returned to you after you have the license,
but you must follow the rules or the fact that you have the firearm can
be grounds for refusing your license (or even get you arrested).
FFLs, (gun stores), can put the firearm on their books and hold it while
you take care of the license requirements. CLICK HERE TO SEE MY SECTION
TO TURN IN A GUN'. IF
CALL YOUR LAWYER! [See: PL 400.05 (6) & 265.20 (1) (f)]
I'VE BEEN A BAD PERSON.
From the license application: "HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ARRESTED
OR INDICTED ANYWHERE FOR ANY OFFENSE, INCLUDING DWI (EXCEPT TRAFFIC INFRACTIONS)?
Look at the bottom of the application, "ANY OMISSION OF FACT OR ANY FALSE
STATEMENT WILL BE SUFFICIENT CAUSE TO DENY THIS APPLICATION AND CONSTITUTES
A CRIME PUNISHABLE BY FINE, IMPRISONMENT, OR BOTH."
No matter how long ago, where or what the outcome
was, you must report every time that you have been arrested. Failure
to do so will be grounds to not issue you a license. If it was something
minor that happened a long time ago, it might not be a problem, but you
will have to talk to the Sheriff's Department on how to handle it.
It is better to list something and be wrong than not to list what might
turn out to be an arrest. Just because the charges were dropped,
dismissed, or you were found not guilty, or you had some other outcome,
or the charges were sealed, that does not erase the fact that you were
arrested. If you were arrested for anything, in any state, the
Sheriff's Department will find out. If you were arrested you
might have to supply a letter of disposition from the court where you were
arrested. It is the court where you were arrested that will have
to give you the letter of disposition and you will have to contact
them. Your issuing judge will have the final and only say in issuing
the license. The Judge is ruling on your "GOOD MORAL CHARACTER,"
on the day the Judge issues you your license.
If you have had a major problem there is still hope,
but you will have to talk to a lawyer. OPINIONS OF THE STATE ATTORNEY
GENERAL: "October 18, 1971 (formal No. 71-8): A "certificate
of relief from disabilities" allows a convicted felon to apply for a pistol
license. If such a license is issued, the licensee may possess registered
firearms without committing an offense. PL 265.20 (3), PL 400.00(1):
Corrections Law 701. Similarly, November 24, 1975 (informal No. 75-306)
Attempts are being made to disallow this solution
and the State Attorney General could change his opinion. Talk to
your lawyer for current information.
SHOULD I DO IF MY GUN IS STOLEN
FROM BATF WEB PAGE: http://www.atf.treas.gov/firearms/faq/faq2.htm#b3(A10)
Q. How can a person convicted of a felony have his or her gun privileges
A. Under the provisions of the Gun Control Act of 1968
(GCA), convicted felons and certain other persons are prohibited from possessing
firearms. (See 18 U.S.C. section 922(g).) The GCA provides the Secretary
of the Treasury with the authority to grant relief from this disability
where the Secretary determines that the person is not likely to act in
a manner dangerous to the public safety. (See 18 U.S.C. section 925(c).)
The Secretary delegated this authority to ATF.
Since October 1992, however, ATF's
annual appropriation has continuously prohibited the expending of any funds
to investigate or act upon applications for relief from Federal firearms
disabilities. This restriction is located in Pub. L. No. 106-554, 114 Stat.
2763, which contains ATF appropriations for fiscal year 2001. As long as
this provision is included in current ATF appropriations, the Bureau cannot
act upon applications for restoration of Federal firearms privileges submitted
by individuals. Consequently, we cannot entertain any individual's request
for firearms restoration while this prohibition on the processing of such
applications remains in place.
Furthermore, the restriction contained
in Pub. L. No. 106-554 does not change the status of prohibited persons.
They are still prohibited from possessing, receiving, transporting, or
shipping firearms under Federal law.
(A11) Q. Are there any alternatives for restoration of
firearms privileges? [Back]
A. Current alternatives for restoration of Federal firearms
privileges are as follows:
Persons convicted of a Federal offense
may apply for a Presidential pardon for restoration of Federal firearms
privileges. Sections 1.1 through 1.10 of the Code of Federal Regulations,
Title 28, specify the rules governing petitions for obtaining Presidential
pardons. You may contact the Pardon Attorney's Office at the U.S. Department
of Justice, 500 First Street, NW., Washington, DC 20530, to inquire about
the procedures for obtaining a Presidential pardon.
Persons convicted of a State offense
may contact the State Attorney General's Office within the State in which
they reside for information concerning any alternatives that may be available.
If I have additional questions, what section should I
Please address your questions, in writing, to the ATF
Restoration Section at the following address:
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
P.O. Box 50220
Tech World Post Office
Washington, DC 20091
ATTN: Restoration Section
The Supreme Court blocked felons from going
straight to court to get their gun rights restored, rejecting arguments
yesterday that those people
have nowhere else to go. Justices didn't get into the constitutional
arguments about limitations on the right to keep and bear arms. In
a brief decision, they ruled unanimously
that courts can intervene only after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms (ATF) has rejected a request. However, Congress already has barred the ATF from considering such requests.
The high court's message for a Texas man who
wanted to get around the ban: too bad. The case had the backing of gun-rights
supporters, who contend that Thomas Bean and others convicted of nonviolent crimes
should not permanently lose
their gun rights. The Bush administration argued against Mr. Bean, despite
the Justice Department's position that the Constitution guarantees an individual
right to gun ownership. Justice Clarence Thomas, one of the court's conservative members, wrote
the decision. He said the ATF, not a judge, was best prepared to look into
whether an applicant could be a danger to public safety. The ruling mentions
the ATF ban, but offers no opinion of it.
Mr. Bean, a gun dealer, was convicted of violating
Mexican law after officers found 200 rounds of ammunition in his car during
a dinner trip across the
border four years ago. Mr. Bean can return to lower courts to argue that
the Mexican conviction does not classify him as a felon in the United States. Felons
are prohibited by federal law from carrying guns, but they can ask the government
for exceptions. When Mr. Bean tried to get back his gun rights, and
his livelihood, he was supported by two police chiefs, a sheriff, a judge,
a prosecutor and a Baptist
preacher. Because the ATF wouldn't review his case, he sued. A lower court restored Mr. Bean's firearms license, but yesterday's decision
Each year since 1992, Congress has included
in the ATF's budget a ban on using money to do background checks for felons,
which cost an estimated
$3,700 each. Nelson Lund, a law professor at George Mason University,
said the court's decision moves the debate to the Capitol."Congress created this situation, and they can fix it, which they may do
when the Republicans have control of both houses and the presidency," Mr.
Mathew Nosanchuk, litigation director for
the Violence Policy Center, a gun-control group, predicted the court's decision
will end the effort to
give felons gun rights."I don't think any member of Congress wants to be standing up in favor of
restoring gun privileges to convicted felons," he said.
The National Rifle Association did not file arguments in the case, but other
gun-rights supporters backed Mr. Bean.
"If courts can make decisions about whether someone can be executed, it
seems to me that they ought to be competent to make a decision about whether
somebody can have their rights restored," said William Gustavson, a lawyer
for the Second Amendment Foundation.
S 400.10 Report of theft or loss of a firearm, rifle or
Note that it is 24 hour after "the discovery of the
loss or theft".
Also note that this only
covers legally owned guns so if you are a criminal or you own the gun illegally
then you do not have to report
1. (a) Any owner or other person lawfully in possession of a firearm,
shotgun who suffers the loss or theft of said weapon
twenty-four hours of the discovery of the loss or theft report the
and circumstances of the loss or theft to a police department or sheriff`s
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a violation of
paragraph (a) of
subdivision one of this section shall be punishable only by
a fine not to exceed one hundred dollars.