What is a firearm?
PL 265.00 Definitions. 3. "Firearm"
means (a) any pistol or revolver;..." The rest
of the long guns that are listed as a "Firearm" are all
illegal in NY State because they are too short. Make
sure that you do not mix up the use of the words "Firearm"
and "gun" when you are reading the law or legal rulings.
What is a loaded firearm?
Just because you have no bullets in
the gun does not mean that it is unloaded. According
to PL265(15) "Loaded firearm" means any firearm
loaded with ammunition or any firearm which is possessed
by one who, at the same time, possesses a quantity of
ammunition which may be used to discharge such firearm."
When can I possess a firearm if I do not have a license?
(Remember, "Firearm" means (a) any pistol or revolver;...")
Can I take a friend with me to the range and let them shoot
my handgun if they do not have a license?
NEVER!!! (In 2006 the
law was expanded to allow 14 to 21 year olds to shoot
at a range after the law was changed
on Nov. 1st, 2000 when a new law will allow persons from
18 to 21 of age to shoot a handgun at a range under a
certified instructor without a license.) Sec
265.01. Criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth
A person is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon
in the fourth degree when: (1) He possesses
any firearm,... This total ban on possession
of a handgun is followed by § 265.20 Exemptions.
(to PL 265.01) . 3. Possession of a pistol
or revolver by a person to whom a license therefor has
been issued as provided under section 400.00.No wording
allows any unlicensed person to hold or fire any firearm
under any circumstances. Not even at a range, during
a safety class, while with a police officer or under any
other circumstances except those allowed under PL 265.20.
This also prevents you from
letting a friend go to the range with you and shoot your
handgun unless they have a Pistol License. This is also
why some gun stores will not let you hold a handgun until
you have a license. (It makes it a little hard to buy
your first handgun to get your license with when you can
not even hold the handgun that you are going to buy.)
How old do I have to be to get a Pistol license?
How can people younger than 21 years old shoot handguns?
As part of a change in the law in 2006, people between 14 and 21 can shoot AT A RANGE under certain conditions. This provision of the law was added in 2000 and originally only applied to people between
18 and 21 when the PL 400 was changed to require that you be 21 to get a handgun license.
7-e. Possession and use of a pistol or revolver, at an indoor or
outdoor pistol range located in or on premises owned or occupied by a
duly incorporated organization organized for conservation purposes or to
foster proficiency in small arms or at a target pistol shooting
competition under the auspices of or approved by an association or
organization described in paragraph 7-a of this subdivision for the
purpose of loading and firing the same by a person at least fourteen
years of age but under the age of twenty-one who has not been previously
convicted of a felony or serious offense, and who does not appear to be,
or pose a threat to be, a danger to himself or to others; provided
however, that such possession shall be of a pistol or revolver duly
licensed to and shall be used under the immediate supervision, guidance
and instruction of, a person specified in paragraph seven of this
next question for a list of people who are allowed to
supervise, guide or instruct you.
What if I am less than 16 and what about air guns?
PL§ 265.05 Unlawful possession of weapons
by persons under sixteen.
It shall be unlawful for
any person under the age of sixteen to possess any air-gun,
spring-gun or other instrument or weapon in
which the propelling force is a spring or air, or any
gun or any instrument or weapon in or upon which any
loaded or blank cartridges may be used, or
loaded or blank cartridges or ammunition therefor, or
any dangerous knife; provided that the possession of
rifle or shotgun or ammunition therefor
by the holder of a hunting license or permit issued
pursuant to article eleven of the environmental
conservation law and used in
accordance with said law shall not be governed by this
A person who violates the
provisions of this section shall be adjudged
a juvenile delinquent.
What if I am less than 12 years old?
You are limited to shooting an air gun at a range under
7-d. Possession, at an
indoor or outdoor shooting range for the purpose of
loading and firing, of a rifle, pistol or shotgun,
the propelling force of which may be either air, compressed
gas or springs, by a person under twelve years of age, under the
immediate supervision, guidance and instruction of (a)
a duly commissioned officer of the United States army,
navy, marine corps or coast guard, or of the national
guard of the state of New York; or (b) a duly qualified
adult citizen of the United States who has been granted
a certificate as an instructor in small arms practice
issued by the United States army, navy or marine corps,
or by the adjutant general of this state, or by the
national rifle association of America, a not-for-profit
corporation duly organized under the laws of this state;
or (c) a
parent, guardian, or a person over the age of eighteen
designated in writing by such parent or guardian who
shall have a certificate of qualification in responsible
hunting, including safety, ethics, and landowner relations-hunter
relations, issued or honored by the department of environmental
How long is a license good for?
A few counties and NYC have renewable licenses but Orange
County does not.
PL400.00 - 10. License:
expiration, certification and renewal. ... Elsewhere
than in the city of New York and the counties of Nassau,
Suffolk and Westchester, any license to carry or possess
a pistol or revolver, issued at any time pursuant
to this section or prior to the first day of July,
nineteen hundred sixty-three and not previously revoked
or cancelled, shall
be in force and effect until revoked as herein
Because of NY's SAFE Act you do have to recertify your handgun license every five years. You don't have to go before the Judge, you just have to verify your address and the handguns you own.
Is my license valid in New York City?
NO, NO, NO!!! Look
up all of the section to know the rules of transporting
a gun in or through NYC.
PL 400.00 (6.)
License: validity. ... A license to
carry or possess a pistol or revolver, not otherwise
limited as to place or time of possession, shall be
effective throughout the state, except that
the same 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. ... (d) the licensee is a retired police officer
... it must be marked "Retired Police Officer" ...
From the reverse of your LICENSE
TO CARRY PISTOL ...
If issued outside of New York City, not valid to carry
a weapon in New York City unless approved by the police
commissioner of that city.
If a carry license is issued, what town or county
can I carry the gun in?
I do know that the State carry permit does not apply to NYC.
Are there other places in the state that I would not be
able to carry?
issued under NY State law 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;" are good through out the state except NY City.
That does not mean that a few cities, like Rochester,
that have local gun laws might not have some law that
would make your gun illegal under local law. Rochester
has an AW ban that includes shotguns with pistol grips
and any Center Fire Semi-Autos Rifles that hold over
5 rounds. Buffalo also has it's own gun laws,
check first. (Any town with a population over 100,000
can set some of their on laws under home rule.) Some of the local gun laws don't matter any more because the SAFE Act applies across the state and includes many of the restrictions that are the local laws.
Is there a general list of places not to carry your firearms? NO but I did put together some, (but I can't say all,) the places that you can't carry.
- Federal Buildings: Call, you might be able to check your firearm.
- Post Office: No guns in Post Office owned parking lot. Common lots in malls OK.
- Courts: Call, you might be able to check your firearm.
- Schools; even parking lots (Fed and State law. You can ask for permission. (Good luck with that.))
- Secure Areas like Airports, (Metal Detectors) (Don’t ask at the Metal Detector, you are already on the property.)
- State Property – without permission
- State Parks – except where permitted for hunting …
- Mental Hygiene Facilities & Department of Mental health
- Highways “rest or parking area or scenic overlook” (OK in car?)
- Parkways (same as above but is unclear)
- Social Service Facilities including residential child care facilities.
- Canal System Lands.
- Video Gaming Facilities
- If you put your gun in the glove compartment take out your registration and insurance.
- Malls and stores can ban guns and they only have to post a sign in their office. It is trespassing not state law so you can get arrested for trespassing.
This is part of a sign from a local mall in Middletown, NY. It is posted as part of a larger sheet close to the entrance.
Where in the NY Penal Law and Federal law can I find some of this?
NY State Law; PL 265.01 (3) covers schools, colleges
PL265.06 covers BB & Pellet Guns by those under 16.
Both sections have an exemption that does allow possession
if you have "the written authorization of such educational
institution;". Other state and federal laws apply
and are subject to change at any time. No "one
states where you can and can not carry you handgun. Here are the relevant sections of the federal law:Title
18, United State Code, Sec. 930. - Possession of firearms
and dangerous weapons in Federal facilities
The Concealed Carry in the Post Office
Analysis by Robert P. Firriolo, Esq. usually at this URL has been removed pending a review in light of recently revised U.S.P.S. regulations, specifically a new introductory clause to 232.1.
CLICK HERE FOR THE 10/14, 2009 USA v DOROSAN, 5th CIRCUIT CASE LAW
What do I do if I am moving into Orange County and I
have a license?
When you move from one county to another
you must transfer your license to your new county.
If you are moving to Orange County from a county that has
a license that must be renewed, call the Pistol Department
to see what you are required to do. Do not wait.
You do not want your license to expire while you are completing
the requirements to obtain an Orange County Issued license.
How long do I have to
change my address?
PL400.00 (9) Notification of any change of
residence shall be made in writing by any licensee
within ten days after such change occurs, and a record
of such change shall be inscribed by such licensee
on the reverse side of his license . ...
They will not really know how
long you have been at your new address. You will
have to fill out the AMENDMENT
form and pay the $3.00 fee. (Unless it is from renumbering
because of 911. Call)
What happens if I move out of state?
PL 400 only states that
when you apply for a license that you have to apply in
the county that you live in. It also only states that
you have to notify the Pistol Department of your new address
if you move and if you are moving to another county in
NY then you have to transfer your license to that county.
It does not cover what you have to do if you move out
of state. As always, each county can do what they want
to do so the county where you lived live can set their
own rules. You will have to call them up and find out.
(Please let me know what they tell you). As far as I can
tell, if you have a license with the correct address on
it, where ever that is, you have a valid NY license.
What happens when I die? (To your handguns,
The administrator of an estate is given
15 days to transfer firearms, (handguns,) to an FFL or
to the Sheriff's Department. (Under normal
circumstances, the police will not know and will not come
to your house 16 days after a death to collect the firearms. Everyone
knows that it is unrealistic to even expect that an administrator
for an estate will be appointed in the allowed 15 days.
Having the firearms listed on another license is the easiest
way to go if that is possible. Do make sure that
the firearms are safe and secure.) CALL AN FFL AND
YOUR LAWYER! (See 265.20 (1)(f))
You can turn any handguns into the
Orange County Sheriff's Office. This is done
all of the time and you will be given a Receipt for the
firearms that you turn in. (CLICK
HERE TO SEE A COPY OF THE FORM) You
have to call up the Sheriff's department first and give
them the make, model and serial number of all the guns
that you are turning in. DO NOT JUST SHOW UP
AT THE FRONT DOOR CARRYING ANY GUNS OR WITH A BAG WITH
GUNS IN IT. IT IS CONSIDERED VERY, VERY BAD ETIQUETTE.
Do I have to register barrels of different caliber that
fit the same gun?
Yes Several gun manufactures
make guns that can have different calibers. Each barrel
of a different caliber must be registered. You do
not have to register barrels of the same caliber but
How many handguns can I own?
Orange County does not have
a formal specific limit on the number of handguns that
you can own. (Some Judges in some counties do impose
a restriction as low as 3 handguns.) Not to repeat
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 sponte.
Can I lend a handgun to another license holder?
Can a neighbor keep my handgun(s) for me while I am out
A license only allows a person who has
a gun listed by make, model and serial number on his or
her license to actually have the listed gun. The
only exception is that a person with a license is allowed
to handel and shoot someone else's handgun at a range
or competition but the person who has the gun listed
on his or her license must be present.
PL 265.20 Exemptions (7-a) Possession and
use, at an indoor or outdoor pistol range located
in or on premises owned or occupied by a duly incorporated
organization organized for conservation purposes or
to foster proficiency in small arms or at a target
pistol shooting competition under the auspices of
or approved by the national rifle association for
the purpose of loading and firing the same, by a person
duly licensed to possess a pistol or revolver pursuant
to section 400.00 or 400.01 of this chapter of a pistol
or revolver duly so licensed to another person who
is present at the time.
Do not let a neighbor, licensed or
unlicensed, keep your handguns while you are out of town. You
can let them keep the un serialized parts
like the clips, bolts, barrels or any other parts that
would make the gun unusable and lock up the rest of the
NOTE Some gun makers, like GLOCK, do serialize their barrels.
Do I have to
buy a gun?
NO BUT.... PL 400 does not require
that you buy a gun to get a license and in 2016 the Judges finally quit requiring that you buy a gun before they would issue you a license. (Some other counties give you a limited time
after you get your license, like 30 days, to buy a handgun.) After you get your license you can go to gun stores and handle all the handguns you want. When you pick the one you want you can fill out an amendment and have the gun added to your license.
Does listing on my license of someone else's handgun
NO. Any number of people could
have the same handgun listed on their license and never
see or hold the gun. Listing a gun on a license
does not imply ownership, it only allows you to have
and carry the listed firearm. A license holder
might have his or her guns listed on a spouse's or relative's
license just in case something happened to the owner. The
guns then could still could be held by the other license
If you want your spouse to meet you at the range with your
gun, then your spouse will have to have the gun on his
or her license to transport it. If you are listiing someone elses gun on your license as part of your initial application check with the Sheriff's Department because they have a form that you need to use.
Do I need to get a license for a black powder muzzle
Depends. OPINIONS OF THE STATE
ATTORNEY GENERAL: "December 19, 1977 (informal No.
77-300): Unloaded replica muzzle loading percussion pistols
may be sold, purchased and possessed without a license.
Simultaneous possession of these pistols and the necessary
ammunition to discharge them requires a license. PL 265.00
(14) & (15)." Contact the Pistol Department
for current rulings.
Do I need to show my pistol license to buy Ammo?
PL ARTICLE 270, OTHER OFFENSES RELATING
TO PUBLIC SAFETY, Section 270.00 Unlawfully dealing
with fireworks and dangerous fireworks. contains
the provisions of subdivision
four of this section, it shall be unlawful for
any dealer in firearms to sell any
ammunition designed exclusively for use
in a pistol or revolver to any person, not authorized
to possess a pistol or revolver. The violation
of this section shall constitute a class B misdemeanor.
Most of the time the dealer will not
ask you to show your license if it is a common rifle round
such as a 22 cal. but if you ask for 9 mm, 45 cal. or
the other calibers that are normally considered "Pistol
they might ask. Some rifle maker has made a rifle
in all of the calibers of what are normally considered "Pistol
Ammo" so in fact their is no "ammunition designed
exclusively for use in a pistol or revolver."
The selling point for some Carbines is that they are in
a caliber used in a handgun. If your handgun and carbine
are in the same caliber and are from the same maker, then
you can switch magazines to the one that is most appropriate
for the situation that you are in. Many police departments
buy matching handguns and carbines or rifles so that a
Police officer can take a mag. with 9 mm and fire it out
of a 9 mm Carbine. If they ask, show them your license
if you have one.
I can't find the specific
law that says you must
"carry concealed". Can I open carry?
When most people apply for a license they apply under
(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 ...
As you can see by the first four words, your license
is for concealed carry only. That would include going to
and from the range or any other time you allowed to have
your handgun if your license is restricted. If someone
can see your gun and they call the police your judge can
suspend or revoke your license. The only time that you
can open carry is at the gun range. Some people have told
me that when you are hunting open carry is OK but I can
not find that exemption anywhere in the law. If you want
to open carry, you can apply for a "Premise License" under
sections (a) or (b) of PL 400.
What is a "Premise License?"
You can apply for a license under PL 400 sections:
have and possess in his dwelling by a householder;
(b) have and possess in his place of business by a merchant
These types of licenses are called "Premise
as you can see by their wording, they do not contain the
"have and carry concealed" provision or the "when
proper cause exist." They limit where and how you can "possess" your
handgun. A "Premise Permit" issued in NY City was only good in NY City and because of NY State law your were not allowed to carry your handgun in the rest of NY State however NY City changed their rules in 2002 so that you could take your handgun unloaded and locked ONLY to a range in NY City but if they found out you took your handgun outside of NYC they would pull your permit. If you were caught with a NYC "Premise Permit" somewhere in the rest of the NY State you could be arrested for having an unlicensed handgun because your "Premise Permit" was only good in NYC so "outside of NYC" really was another state. (Just call the
state police if you want to check.). The NY State Rifle and Pistol Association brought a law suite against the new NY City Rule and in 2019 it made its way to the Supreme Court of the United States, SCOTUS, and they decided to take the case. NY City and NY State immediately caved and NYC changed the rule and NY State changed the law so that if you have a "Premise License" you can take your handgun to a range and some other places in NY and another state. (As of 7/24/2019: #1. NY City has now asked SCOTUS to drop the case because it is MOOT because the plaintiffs can now do what they said they wanted to do when they brought the lawsuit. #2 NY City has not implemented the new rule and Gov. Cuomo has still not signed the new State law so we are still waiting to see what will happen. It is possible that if the SCOTUS declines the attempt to Moot the case, Cuomo could veto the new law and NYC could change the rule back.)
Each license is a different license so
you have to apply for each so if you want to have a handgun
at home and where you work you will have to get two licenses
and buy two guns because you can not take one handgun from one
location to another but this might change when the new rule is implemented.. The "premise license" is
the only type of license issued by NY City to mere mortals. (This all started because when NYC issued a "target license" under
section (f) and the person ignored the restrictions and
carried their handgun, when the police caught them they
could not arrest them because they did have a license.
The only thing that the police could do is report it and
then the person's license would be revoked.) Because it
is NY City, they got to ignore the law and make up their
own "interpretations" of NY law so they can say
that say that: "A licensee may transport
his licensed handgun unloaded, in a locked container with
the ammunition carried separately while traveling to or
from an authorized range or shooting club in New
How do I take my gun on a trip when I fly?
What are the regulations that cover where I can
shoot and how close I can shoot to a building?
Conservation Laws: TITLE 9, HUNTING;
11-0931. Prohibitions on the use and possession
4. a. No person shall:
(1) discharge a firearm or long bow in such a way as
will result in the load or arrow thereof passing
over a public highway or any part thereof;
(2) discharge a firearm or long bow within five
hundred feet from a dwelling house, farm building
or farm structure actually occupied or used, school
building, school playground, or occupied factory or
b. The prohibitions contained in subparagraph
2 of paragraph a above shall not apply to:
(1) The owner or lessee of the dwelling house,
or members of his immediate family actually residing
therein, or a person in his employ, or the guest of
the owner or lessee of the dwelling house acting with
the consent of said owner or lessee, provided however,
that nothing herein shall be deemed to authorize such
persons to discharge a firearm or longbow within five
hundred feet of any other dwelling house, or a farm
building or farm structure actually occupied or used,
or a school building or playground or occupied factory
(2) Programs conducted by public schools offering instruction
and training in the use of firearms or long bow;
(3) The authorized use of a pistol, rifle or target range
regularly operated and maintained by a police department
or other law enforcement agency or by any duly organized
This section also covers many other aspects of carrying
a gun around, both handguns and long guns including how
many rounds your gun can hold in the field hunting and:
2. No firearm except a pistol or revolver shall
be carried or possessed in or on a motor vehicle unless
it is unloaded in both the chamber and the magazine,
NOTE: The DEC Definition of "Firearms"
is not the same as the Definition under Criminal Law, PL265.
NYCRR Part 180, Miscellaneous Regulations, §180.3
Definition of firearms
§180.3 Definition of firearms.
For the purposes of the Fish and Wildlife Law and this
(a) The word firearm shall mean any gun or other instrument
which by force of gunpowder or other explosive, or which
by the force of a spring, air or other gas, expels a
missile or projectile capable of killing, wounding or
otherwise inflicting physical damage upon fish, wildlife
or other animals.
(b) The term taken down shall mean:
(1) separating the action from the barrel of a long
gun which is designed to be dismantled without the
use of tools; and
(2) rendering inoperable a long gun which is not designed
to be dismantled without tools, so as to require tools
to restore such long gun to an operable condition.
A bolt action firearm with the bolt removed shall
not be considered "taken down" unless it
is otherwise dismantled as provided in this subdivision.
(c) "Pistol" means a firearm intended to be
aimed and fired with one hand, and having a barrel length
not exceeding sixteen inches.
Are PISTOL LICENSE RECORDS public information?
Yes, but only part of the record.
... The name and address of any person
to whom an application for any license has been granted
shall be a public record. ...
You can ask for a list
of everyone with a pistol permit at you county Clerk's
Office but when the unSAFE act passed they did add a provision that you could request that your name not be made public by filling out a form and many people did that. What a county will give you varies. Some counties only
have a list that they will let you look at and you must
copy down the names and addresses while other counties
can give you the information on a computer disk. Some
counties do charge a nominal fee for the service. Just
remember that the list contains information for every
license issued starting around 1936. While some counties
have updated their list, many counties have not, so, if
someone died or moved out of state and never notified
the County Clerk then their name is still on the list and if someone submitted the new form their name and address willl not be on the list either.
The list will not contain any other information like if
the license is restricted, when it was issued and by whom
and why, how many guns are on it or anything else.
This issue has been settled by the courts for a long
time. (NY City has lost many court cases over this
issue but they still refuse to issue their list unless
you take them to court.) CLICK
HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION
[ I know that some people go nuts when they find
out that this information is public record. If it was
not public record then newspapers would not be able to
get the information in NYC to show how the selected few
get permits when others don't. The idea that some criminal
is going to get the list so that they know who owns guns
and can target their house is more than STUPID! They
do not hand these list out without finding out who you
are and most will ask you what you want the list for.
(Some reasons are not a valid reason to get the list.)
In order for your fear to be correct then that would be
saying that a criminal would be willing to go to a County
Clerk and request in writing the list and provide their,
(the criminals,) name and address to get a list that contains
the names of many people who are dead or have moved away
so that the criminal can break into a house that they
think of a gun owner to steal guns that might only be
a single shot flint lock black powder gun or a 38 special
or a 22 plinking pistol. I have never known of anything
like this happening. What about the names of gun owners
that end up in the newspaper because they won an award
or some contest or the names that are listed on a clubs
As part of the NY SAFE Act the Pistol License Department now has a form that allows you to take your name off of the public list. If you already have your license you can call up the Pistol License Department and ask how to get the form or on Orange County's website. If you are applying for a license they give you the form. I don't know of anyone in Orange County who has ever gotten the list of all of the pistol license holders other than myself and that was for a political race.
- WHAT DOES IT MEAN IF A CASE IS SEALED?
When a case is sealed, your
fingerprints, palm prints and mug shots are destroyed,
and information about the sealed arrest is removed from
the version of your rap sheet that will be sent to employers
and others. However, you should understand that the record
of a sealed arrest is never completely destroyed. A record
of all your arrests will still remain in a confidential
file in the DCJS computer. Only in very limited circumstances
can sealed information be released.
- WHAT KINDS OF CASES CAN BE SEALED?
Information about cases that
were terminated in your favor and cases in which you were
convicted of a "violation" rather than a "criminal
offense" can be sealed.
- WHO GETS TO SEE SEALED CASES?
Sealed information for arrests
that were terminated in your favor (pursuant to CPL §160.50)
is released by DCJS in only a few situations.
- If you make a request to see your own rap sheet,
sealed information will appear on it (see page 34, "How
do I know that my case has been sealed?").
- If you apply for a license to carry a gun, the agency
which issues the license or permit (usually the local
law enforcement agency) will get sealed information
- If you apply for a job as a law enforcement or peace
officer, or any other job which requires you to carry
a gun, the employer will have access to sealed and
confidential information from DCJS.
BRADY BILL AND THE NICS SYSTEM
National Instant Criminal Background Check System or NICS.
This new system contains information from a much larger
database than the National Crime Information Center or
NCIC that we are familiar with. The NICS systems includes
database information from:
- The NCIC or National Crime Information Center.
- The Interstate Identification Index or III that
contains automated criminal history records.
- The NICS Index that contains records on individuals
in other firearms prohibited categories such as dishonorable
The required check started Nov. 30th 1998 for all long guns
and handguns, as part of the Brady Bill.
5/2/2006 - NY Handgun License Holders no
longer exempt from NICS check
When the Brady/NICS check
started in Nov. 1998, anyone with a handgun license in NY
State that was less than 5 years old was exempt from the
required NICS check when they bought a long gun or handgun.
Also, if your license was over 5 years old, if you added
a handgun to your license, most County Pistol License Department
would send your Amendment through the Sheriff's Department
where they would do their required check and you would be
issued a NICS Certificate that was good for five years of
exemption for NICS checks on handgun and long guns.
The special NY exemption ended
on May 2, 2006 because of the failure of NY DCJS to meet
the requirements of the FBI. For more information see the
OPEN LETTER TO ALL NEW YORK FIREARMS LICENSEES
From the FBI letter:
"In 1998, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms
and Explosives (ATF) sent an Open Letter to all New York
FFLs advising them that New York Licenses to carry and
possess handguns would qualify as alternatives to background
check required under the Brady Law. In March 2004, ATF
began a review of all States that had permits that qualified
as NICS check alternatives to determine if they still
qualified. In May 2005, we informed New York’s Division
of Criminal Justice that New York no longer met the qualifications.
We gave them until September 30, 2005, and then an extension
until April 30, 2006, to address our concerns. New York
was not able to meet our concerns during this time frame.
Accordingly, New York licenses to carry and possess handguns
can no longer qualify as a NICS check alternative."
THIS IS NO LONGER VALID
In ORANGE COUNTY: A
NICS check is done by the FBI when it checks your
fingerprints for your original license. That check
is good for 5 years for both handguns and long guns
but you must show your license when buying a long
gun to avoid the NICS check.
If your license is over 5 years old,
when you add a handgun to a license you will have
to supply some additional information and the Sheriff's
Department will run a NICS check. The Pistol Permit
Department of the County Clerk's office will issue
you the green purchase slip and the new NICS certificate,
(or PPB-7 form,) to show when your NICS check was
done signed by the Sheriff's Department. When you
go to pick up your handgun, you will have to show
both items but
you keep the NICS Certificate.
If you are buying a long gun, the
store will not have to run a NICS check if you show
your pistol license or NICS Certificate, (or PPB-7
form,) and it is less than 5 years old.
FBI/NICS Web Site
The FBI maintains information
about the NICS program on it's web site titled: National
Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Information.
They also have another page, National
Instant Criminal Background Check System, that
contains an outline of the program, Definitions of Prohibiting
Categories, and what to do and who to contact after receiving
a denial. They also have another page, A
NICS DELAY..., that outlines what happens
if you are given a DELAY.
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT BRADY/NICS
This law first took effect in 1993, (passed
by a Democratic controlled Congress and signed by Pres.
Clinton,) and was made up of two parts. Both are very
complicated in detail but because the holder of a New York
State Pistol License is, for the most part, exempt if they
meet the 5 year rule, we normally do not have to deal with
this requirement. The 5 year rule is that you must have
had a NICS Check done in the last 5 years at the time of
your handgun or long gun purchase, and you have proof by
having a license that is less than 5 years old or a certificate
issued to you that is less than 5 years old. The New
York State Department of Criminal Justice Service proved
to the FBI's satisfaction that NY State law is more restrictive
than what the federal law requires in order for us to have
the exemption. (SEE: AMENDMENTS)
BRADY I PART A
The first part of the Brady Bill set the
national standard for background checks for the sell by
FFLs of all handguns, (not long guns.) Many states,
including NY, were exempt because of higher state requirements.
It included a three day waiting period and a requirement
for a check by the local county sheriffs department of local,
state and federal records. Normally this check included
a NCIC check. The provision of the law that required
that the Sheriff's Departments do the check was ruled
unconstitutional by the Supreme Court and after that ruling
the check was done on a voluntary basis. This part
of the law expired on the day that Brady II took effect
on Nov. 28, 1998 with it went the three day waiting period.
BRADY I PART B
At that time the original bill passed
it contained the provisions that called for the NICS check
to start in 1998 thus allowing adequate time for the system
to be set up. When the "Instant Check System" came
on line the 3 day wait for handgun sales ended but the requirement
that all guns sold by an FFL, including all long guns be
checked, started. Most people thought that the BATF
would do the check because they are prohibited by law from
keeping any list of gun owners. However, the FBI was
given that responsibility and originally they found a way
to keep the names, address, social security numbers and
the date and seller of the firearm for at least 8 months.
(Under changes made by A.G. Ashcroft in the Bush administration,
names are only being kept for a minimum amount of time as
stated in the original bill.) The FBI had also proposed
that a fee of around $14 be charged for the NICS check but
that fee was dropped.
BRADY PART II
This bill is still being written and has
not passed but provisions are being pushed by the anti-gunners.
In a classic bait and switch, what was agreed to under Brady
I, the ending of the 7 day waiting period, is now the most
important thing in the world. Also proposed for inclusion
in the bill are, an Arsenal License, (good for 3 years
with BATF inspection, if you owned 20 guns or parts or
have 1,000 rounds of ammo or primers,) one gun a month,
ban on all magazines over 6 rounds, increased taxes (50%
on ammo, 30% on handgun), no mail sales of ammo, required
license, valid for 2 years, for all handguns and more. Other
things that the anti-gunners want to be added are requirements
to lock up all guns, allow lawsuit against gun owners,
small handgun ban, and anything else that can pass.
|It is too hard to get a license.
||State law allows you to get a license and,
while it is not as easy as it should be, it is not so
hard that a normal citizens should not be able to get
a license if you are willing to put up with the paper
work and pay the money.
|It takes too long to get a license.
||State law limits the time it takes to 6 months.
After that they are required to tell you why it is taking
so long. Recent changes in the way the Sheriff
Department process the licenses allows new licenses
to be issued in as little as 2 months. Most
licenses are issued in between 2 and 3 months
|The Sheriff's Department, Judges and the
Pistol Permit Department do not want me to get
||Nothing could be further that the truth. They
are all required to follow the law but I have never
known of them going out of their way to prevent someone
from getting a license. They will do everything
that they can to answer your question but it is not
their fault if you do not like the answer. They
can not change the laws on their own. Some Judges
had a pistol license before they became Judges and support
|I can shoot a handgun after I put
in my application.
|This is not allowed under state law.
The only exemption that state law allows requires you
to do more than what is required to get a regular
license and it could actually increase the amount
of time that it takes to get your license. No
one, however, is out to arrest people who do shoot
a handgun while taking a class and I know of no one
who has ever been arrested for it. That is not
to say that something might not happen if someone
had an accident.
|I do not have a license but I can shoot
with my friends or spouses licensed handgun as long
as they are with me and I am at a range.
|This has two answers.
FOR THOSE 21 OR OVER.
NOT ALLOWED UNDER ANY STATE LAW!!
PL 265.01 makes it illegal for anyone to
possess a handgun. PL 265.20 then states exemptions
to the law and having a license issued pre PL 400 is
one of them. NO OTHER WORDING ALLOWS EXEMPTIONS
JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE AT A RANGE OR EVEN IF YOU ARE
WITH A POLICEMAN OR TAKING A GUN SAFETY CLASS.
FOR THOSE 14 TO 21
As of Nov. 1, 2000 if you are between 14 and 21 and are
at a facility and under supervision that meets the requirements
outlined under the new law you are allowed to use and
shoot a handgun.
|I can never get an unrestricted license.
||This has gotten much better in the last few years and
several Judges do issue "UNRESTRICTED" licenses if
you ask on initial applications and amendments.
(But no Judge issues "UNRESTRICTED" 100% of the time.)
While some Judges do not issue unrestricted licenses
others will allow you to request just about anything
but just will not put "UNRESTRICTED" on your license. It
only cost $5.00 to ask and you have nothing to loose.
You will never get an unrestricted license if you do
not ask for it.
|I do not know any Peace Officer, Judge or
other important person that can sign for my references.
||At one time that was a requirement to get a license
but that is not true today. It does not hurt if
you know someone who can sign for you but your next
door neighbor, postman/woman, or banker will work fine.
(I would not get someone who is a convicted felon but
nothing in the law would covers this.)
|If I have a restricted license, I
have to carry my gun locked in the trunk of my
car going to and from the range.
||You can carry you handgun loaded on your person as
long as you are engaged in activity allowed by your
Carrying Concealed going to and from the target range
is allowed but you might not want to buy gas or go into
the store to get milk. Just because you have some
targets in the trunk might not convince a police person
or your Judge that you are going to a range to shoot.
Just apply for an unrestricted license.
|You can have your gun with you as long as
it is unloaded and locked in the trunk of your car.
||Nothing in PL 400 talks about this option. The
only time it is brought up is in relation to driving
through New York City. Your Judge might tell you
this but I would get it in writing. If you have
bullets the gun is "LOADED" under PL265.00(15).
|You have to be 21 to get a license.
NOTE: AS OF NOV. 1ST 2000 THIS IS NO LONGER A
| This changed on Nov. 1st, 2000 when a new law
require that you be 21 to get a license but allows persons
from 18 to 21 of age to shoot a handgun at a range under
a certified instructor without a license. In 2006 the
age was expanded to 14 to 21 year olds. (Under
old law some counties would issue license to people as
young as 16, in Orange County along with most other
counties the age was 18 and state law did not set an
|You can not go into a bar with your firearm.
||No state or federal law prevents you from
being in a bar with a legal firearm. Some states
that have Concealed Carry Laws do prohibit the practice
but New York law does not address the issue. That
is not to say that your issuing Judge will not frown
on the practice if you are found out.
|Judges have to put restrictions on my license.
||Nothing in NY Law even mentions "restrictions".
It is new law that was found by the courts. The
State Appeals Court ruling that allows restrictions
was decided on June 9, 1994. See:
O'Connor v. Scarpino
- You have to be at least 18 years old, (See: 14. (b)
- You can not be a convicted felon, (See: 14. (b) (ii)
- A "WARNING" label is required. (If
you purchase it in another state it might not have the
correct label.) (See: 14. (c))
- You have to buy it from a licensed pharmacist, or firearms
dealer, (See: 15)
- You will have to show ID and fill out a form, (See:
See law below for some of the other regulations:
LAWS REGULATING PEPPER SPRAY
14. Possession in accordance with the provisions
of this paragraph of a self-defense spray device
as defined herein for the protection of a person
or property and use of such self-defense spray device
under circumstances which would justify the use
of physical force pursuant to article thirty-five
of this chapter.
(a) As used in this section "self-defense spray
device" shall mean a pocket sized spray device
which contains and releases a chemical or organic
substance which is intended to produce temporary
physical discomfort or disability through being vaporized
or otherwise dispensed in the air or any like device
containing tear gas, pepper or similar disabling
(b) The exemption under this paragraph shall not apply
to a person who:
(i) is less than eighteen years of age; or
(ii) has been previously convicted in this state of
a felony or any assault; or
(iii) has been convicted of a crime outside the state
of New York which if committed in New York would constitute
a felony or any assault crime.
(c) The department of health, with the cooperation
of the division of criminal justice services and the
superintendent of state police, shall develop standards
and promulgate regulations regarding the type of self-defense
spray device which may lawfully be purchased, possessed
and used pursuant to this paragraph. The regulations
shall include a requirement that every self-defense
spray device which may be lawfully purchased, possessed
or used pursuant to this paragraph have a label which
"WARNING: The use of this substance or device
for any purpose other than self-defense is a criminal
offense under the law. The contents are dangerous
- use with care. This device shall not be sold by
anyone other than a licensed or authorized dealer.
Possession of this device by any person under the
age of eighteen or by anyone who has been convicted
of a felony or assault is illegal. Violators may be
prosecuted under the law."
15. Possession and sale of a self-defense spray device
as defined in paragraph fourteen of this subdivision
by a dealer in firearms licensed pursuant to section
400.00 of this chapter, a pharmacist licensed pursuant
to article one hundred thirty-seven of the education
law or by such other vendor as may be authorized and
approved by the superintendent of state police.
(a) Every self-defense spray device shall be accompanied
by an insert or inserts which include directions for
use, first aid information, safety and storage information
and which shall also contain a toll free telephone
number for the purpose of allowing any purchaser to
call and receive additional information regarding
the availability of local courses in self-defense
training and safety in the use of a self-defense spray
(b) Before delivering a self-defense spray device to
any person, the licensed or authorized dealer shall
require proof of age and a sworn statement on a form
approved by the superintendent of state police that
such person has not been convicted of a felony or
any crime involving an assault. Such forms shall be
forwarded to the division of state police at such
intervals as directed by the superintendent of state
police. Absent any such direction the forms shall
be maintained on the premises of the vendor and shall
be open at all reasonable hours for inspection by
any peace officer or police officer, acting pursuant
to his or her special duties. No more than two self-defense
spray devices may be sold at any one time to a single
Handgun carry information
for out of staters coming to NY and NY City
HR 218 allows active duty police officers
and with certain requirements, retired police officers
to Carry any where in the US. I have talked to Anne
Stone of the NYPD Legal, 646-610-5400, and she said
that they follow Federal law.
I keep getting e-mails
from out of state people who want to know what they have
to do to get a carry license in
NY State or NY City or if their state license is valid in
NY State or NY City. My only reply, (just kidding,) is,
know that this might come as a shock to you but NY
in general is really, really, really anti-gun and triple
that for concealed carry. (Fortunately, the way NY
State law is set up, many "Up State" counties
are more reasonable especially when the local gun owners
are politically active and carry some weight.) NY City
is really, really, really, really, really, really,
really, really, really, really, really, really, really,
really, really, really, anti-gun and that to a power
of 100 for concealed carry. Just to have a 38 in your
night stand takes a year to get a license many requirements
just to make it hard like you have to pick up the application
in person and your application has to be typed plus
many other requirements. You have to pay $99 for the
license plus $340 every 3 years for a license.
My NY State handgun license is not even valid in NYC.
NY City does not even issue
handgun licenses to people who do not live in NY City.
NY City does not issue
anything except for a "Premise license" that
only allows you to keep a handgun in your home or where
you work and you can take it unloaded in a locked container
to an approved NY City range to practice. You are not
even legally allowed to take it outside of NY City. NOTE: THIS WILL CHANGE SOMETIME IN 2019. SEE "PREMISE LICENSE" ABOVE.
The following are past Newsletter articles
New York City
made some major changes to the handgun license
rules effective June 30th. They raised the
fee for a license from $170 to $255 but they increased
the license from 2 years to 3 years so the fee
is still $85 a year. They also changed the
types of licenses. They dropped the target
license and replaced it with a redesigned "PREMISES
In the past the Premises License only allowed you
to keep a loaded gun at home or in a business
and you were very limited in when you could take
the gun to a range. They also required anyone
with a Target License to be a member of a range.
According to what I was told when I called them,
a premise license now allows you to take a gun
to the range any time that you want to, you do
not have to belong to an approved range and you
can keep the gun loaded at home. (I think
would be considered an improvement.) However
you still can not have a combined license for
AND Business so you will have to have two
guns and pay the fees for two licenses.
One additional change was if
you had a license from another NY county and wanted
to take your gun into NYC, in the past, you
were required to get a target license. Now
however, because they do not have a target license
anymore, they have no way to validate your license
so that you can carry your gun into NYC to target
From the NYC web site:
PREMISES LICENSE: IS A RESTRICTED
TYPE OF LICENSE. It is issued for your RESIDENCE
BUSINESS. The Licensee may possess a handgun
ONLY on the premises of the address indicated
on the front of the
license. Licensees may also transport their handguns
and ammunition in SEPARATE LOCKED CONTAINERS,
DIRECTLY to and from an authorized range, or
hunting location. HANDGUNS MUST BE UNLOADED
On 11/4/02 I sent the following
Cpt. Roy Richter
One Police Plaza
New York, NY 10038
Dear Cpt. Richter:
I have two question.
New York City has started only issuing a PREMISES
LICENSE and your web site states:
Licensees may also transport their handguns
and ammunition in SEPARATE LOCKED CONTAINERS,
DIRECTLY to and from an authorized range, or
hunting location. HANDGUNS MUST BE UNLOADED
QUESTION 1: Is the new PREMISES LICENSE valid
throughout New York State so that a person with
a new PREMISES LICENSE can legally travel to
public ranges or private clubs or land within
the rest of New York State without being arrested
or having his/her guns confiscated because they
do not hold a valid license?
NY State Penal Law Section 400 contains the following:
6. License: validity. ... A license to carry
or possess a pistol or revolver, not otherwise
limited as to place or time of possession, shall
be effective throughout the state, except that
the same 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.
QUESTION 2: How can someone from
another county in New York State get a special
permit that would allow them to carry a handgun
to a range in NY City for practice or competition?
On 12/5/02 I got the following
The City of New York Police Department
One Police Plaza, Room 110
New York, NY 10038
George W. Rogero
P .0. Box 340
Washingtonville, NY 10992
Dear Mr. Rogero:
letter to Captain Richter concerning premise
handgun licenses has been referred to me for
reply. In response to your first question regarding
the validity of New York City premise licenses
outside the City, please note that a premise
license issued by the New York City Police Department
is limited as to place of possession, and therefore
would not be valid outside the licensed premises.
There are two exceptions to this rule, however.
A licensee may transport his licensed handgun
unloaded, in a locked container with the ammunition
carried separately while traveling to or from
an authorized range or shooting club in New
York City. The other exception covers New York
City premise licenses with a hunting authorization.
Those licensees may transport their licensed
handgun to an authorized area designated by
the New York State Fish and Wildlife law. Again,
the handgun must be transported unloaded, in
a locked container with the ammunition carried
second question, the New York City Police Department
only issues special validations for business
carry and carry guard/security licenses issued
by counties outside of the City of New York.
As the New York City Police Department no longer
issues target licenses, it will not validate
a target license issued by another county.
If you would like
further information regarding this matter, you
may contact either Sergeant Michael Marten or
Sergeant Christopher Montagna of my staff. They
can be reached at 646-610-5551.
Yours truly yours
Thomas M. Prasso
July 2004 Newsletter
New York City gun fees to increase
Friday, July 16, 2004
expected, this week Mayor Bloomberg (R) approved
the fee hikes for gun licenses. The City Council
overwhelmingly agreed to the increases on a vote
of 47-3. This increases pistol licenses to $340
and long gun licenses to $140 for three years.
2009 NYC Web site info
Can I go target shooting outside NYC?
A NYC carry business license is valid throughout NYS. Premise residence and premise business licenses are only valid in NYC except as indicated in the next section.
Can I go hunting if I have a premises residence license?
You must obtain a hunting authorization from the License Division to hunt in an authorized area designated by the NYS Fish and Wildlife law. Your handgun must be transported
The AG of NY state issued
an opinion in 1997: " 97-F4,
With limited exceptions, New York law does not recognize
or give effect to licenses to carry firearms issued by the
State of Georgia or any other state."
The law suite of Bach
v. Pataki, et al was filed on 11/29/02 in Federal Court
to try to force NY to allow non-residents to apply for a pistol
license but because the court had said that NY had to be the applicant's state of PRIMARY RESIDENCE. he lost BUT in 2013 in the OSTERWEIL, v. BARTLET case in federal court NY caved and the NY Court of Appeals was force to rule, (because they didn't want to address the 2nd Amendment,) that someone from out of NY could get a NY handgun license if they lived in NY part of the year or owned a resident in NY. It is up to the Judge to determine how long is long enough.
Background: Osterweild had moved from NY but still owned a house in NY. He applied for a handgun license but was turned down by the local Judge, Bartlet, because NY was not his Primary Residence as ruled in Bach
v. Pataki. Osterweild took his case directly to the 2nd Circuit so NY lawyers caved and requested that instead of ruling in the case that the 2nd Circuit allow the state court to re-rule on the "Primary Residence" requirement that was held in Mahoney v Lewis, and change their ruling. (I attended the 2nd Circuit oral arguments and one of the Judges was retired United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor,)
From OSTERWEIL, v. BARTLET: The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, by certified question, asks us to decide whether an applicant who owns a part-time residence in New York but makes his permanent domicile elsewhere is eligible for a New York handgun license in the city or county where his part-time residence is located. We answer the certified question in the affirmative, on the basis of the relevant statute. As we explain below, it is therefore unnecessary for us to decide the constitutional issues raised by appellant.
265 also contains the following exceptions that allows out of state
residents to have a handgun in NY state under very specific
and restricted conditions:
| 12. Possession of
a pistol or revolver by a person who is a member or
coach of an accredited college or university target
pistol team while transporting the pistol or revolver
into or through New York state to participate in a
collegiate, olympic or target pistol shooting competition
under the auspices of or approved by the national
rifle association, provided such pistol or revolver
is unloaded and carried in a locked carrying case
and the ammunition therefor is carried in a separate
13. Possession of pistols
and revolvers by a person who is a nonresident of this
state while attending or traveling to or from, an organized
competitive pistol match or league competition under
auspices of, or approved by, the National Rifle Association
and in which he is a competitor, within forty-eight
hours of such event or by a person who is a non-resident
of the state while attending or traveling to or from
an organized match sanctioned by the International Handgun
Metallic Silhouette Association and in which he is a
competitor, within forty-eight hours of such event,
provided that he has not been previously convicted of
a felony or a crime which, if committed in New York,
would constitute a felony, and further provided that
the pistols or revolvers are transported unloaded in
a locked opaque container together with a copy of the
match program, match schedule or match registration
card. Such documentation shall constitute prima facie
evidence of exemption, providing that such person also
has in his possession a pistol license or firearms registration
card issued in accordance with the laws of his place
of residence. For purposes of this subdivision, a person
licensed in a jurisdiction which does not authorize
such license by a person who has been previously convicted
of a felony shall be presumed to have no prior conviction.
The superintendent of state police shall annually review
the laws of jurisdictions within the United States and
Canada with respect to the applicable requirements
for licensing or registration of firearms and shall
publish a list of those jurisdictions which prohibit
possession of a firearm by a person previously convicted
of a felony or crimes which if committed in New York
state would constitute a felony.
So as it stands right now, in 2005,
"the New York City Police Department only issues special
validations for business carry and carry guard/security
licenses issued by" (NY State,) "counties outside
of the City of New York." Forget about getting a "business
carry" because if you normally carry enough money or
valuables to qualify, you can afford to have armed security
or retired NY City police officers. (That is one racket
the retired police have, they have full carry in NYC so
they can rent themselves out to do anything and still carry.
Many out of town rich people hire them as drivers or escorts.)
So don't even think about bringing
your handgun for concealed carry into NY State, much less
THIS SECTION RELATES TO RIFLE AND SHOTGUNS
ONLY IN NY CITY
10-305 Exemptions. The sections requiring rifle and
shotgun permits and certificates and prohibiting the
possession or disposition of assault weapons shall not
apply as follows:
| i. (1) Non-residents in transit. Any other provision
of this chapter to the contrary notwithstanding, a non-resident
of the city of New York who, without a rifle and shotgun
permit issued hereunder, enters the city of New York
possessing a rifle or shotgun in the course of transit
to a destination outside the city of New York, or a
non-resident of the city of New York who enters the
city of New York possessing an assault weapon in the
course of transit to a destination outside the city
of New York, shall have a period of twenty-four hours
subsequent to such entering to be exempt from penalty
under this chapter for the unlawful possession of a
rifle, shotgun or assault weapon, provided that such
rifle, shotgun or assault weapon shall at all times
be unloaded and in a locked case, or locked automobile
trunk, and that said non-resident is lawfully in possession
of said rifle, shotgun or assault weapon according to
the laws of his or her place of residence.
I hope that this is enough information
but not too much. If you have any more questions or
question the answer to something, please e-mail me.