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What to Know About Concealed Carry in New York

New York concealed carry laws differ at the state, county and city levels, making it a complicated maze for gun owners to navigate, with multiple types of permits one can apply for.

With national concealed carry reciprocity measures like HR 38 being proposed, the state’s restrictive permitting system may be a messy affair. HR 38 has been a major push in early 2017 with a Republican controlled White House and Congress, and if passed would amend the federal code to allow a permit-holder to legally travel with their concealed weapon to any state in the U.S.

Among other arguments, some opposing the measure say that New York state residents may leave and apply for an out-of-state permit in a relatively relaxed area and return with gun in hand. As it stands, New York’s may-issue permitting system requires more of its applicants than many other shall-issue states.

National reciprocity has been presented before, however, like with S. 2188 and S. 2213 in the 112th Congress, which of course was opposed by attorney generals from highly restrictive states like New York, Maryland, California and Hawaii.

It remains to be seen how this legislation will ultimately pan out, both in Congressional votes and in application, but as it stands this state’s permitting system is already a handful to deal with for those looking to legally carry a concealed handgun.

How To Begin Applying For A New York Concealed Carry Permit

concealed carry in new york
One of the first things to consider with the New York concealed carry permit application system is geographic location.

Three of the most common types of firearms licenses: carry concealed, possess on premises and possess/carry during employment.

When applying, generally one will do so by turning in a New York State pistol/revolver license application (PPB3) in their respective county they live in or do business within. However, New York City has its own permitting system, with one applying to the police commissioner. Nassau county and a decent portion of Suffolk county also require their applicants to apply with their respective police commissioner, many also applying to their sheriffs in eastern Suffolk.

The permit is valid statewide, except in New York City, according to NY Penal Law S. 400, unless there is a special permit granting validity from the New York City police commissioner.

One’s state license (not the previously mentioned city license) covers firearms in New York City only under a few circumstances, such as if the firearm registered on the license was purchased from a licensed New York city dealer and is being transported out of the city in a locked container, as well as if it’s stored in a locked container within a motor vehicle traveling through the city without interruption, according to NY Penal Law S. 400(6).

The license application itself will require information on identity, address, criminal history, mental health history and character references. The firearms the licensee will carry also need to be noted on the application, specifically the manufacturer, type (pistol, revolver, single shot), model, caliber, serial number and to whom it belongs.

A 2x2 inch photograph will be required and fingerprints will be taken and stored on file in multiple locations. A background check will be conducted.

Certain information on applications will be public record, according to NY Penal Law S. 400 (5) (a), however section (b) now mandates residents be allowed to apply to be waived of that with a NYS Firearms License Request for Public Records Exemption Form.

As with laws and procedures, fees will vary heavily from county to county, so be sure to check with your licensing authority on that — and note that this is just a brief informational source, not formal legal advice of any kind.

new york concealed carry laws
Applicants’ eligibility is based on a few factors:
  • New York state residency: when one lives out of state, but does business within the state, they may still apply for that respective permit type. Additionally, the New York Court of Appeals case Osterweil v. Bartlett held that owning a part-time residence in state, but having a permanent residence out of state, allows one to be eligible to apply for a handgun license within the jurisdiction of that part-time residence. It may take up to six months to get residency in state.
  • Being at least 21 years old, unless the applicant was honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Not having prior felony or serious offense convictions
  • Not being a fugitive from justice
  • Not having misdemeanor domestic violence offenses
  • Not having a prior firearms license revoked
  • Not being an unlawful user of controlled substances
  • Citizenship status
  • Not being dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces
  • Mental health involuntary commitments, adjudications, illnesses, incapacities, diseases, etc.
  • In Westchester county, the applicant must also take a firearms safety course and present that certificate to the licensing authority, but there are a few exceptions
  • Being of “good moral character,” judged partially through those previously mentioned character references
  • Having a legally recognized reason for wanting to possess or carry a firearm
  • Being ready to open the business for which the license is being applied

According to the New York State firearms licensing site, if the applicant meets all the requirements and the licensing official deems they have a worth reason to carry, then the application will be acted upon within a minimum of four months, but it may and most likely will take longer. If it’s denied, it has to be done in specific, detailed writing, and it may be appealed, though there are narrow parameters on that and one should seek legal counsel on the right course of action.

For licenses that were issued on or after January 15, 2013, the deadline to recertify is five years after the issue date. For licenses issued prior to that date, the deadline to recertify is January 31, 2018. New York may or may not send a letter to remind the permit holder to recertify, but it is still the license holder’s responsibility to do so even without a reminder.

License holders in New York City, Nassau County, Suffolk County and Westchester County must recertify with their own county or city’s system instead of the New York State recertification system, according to the New York State Police.

If there are any changes to the information on the license, this must be reflected with a PPB-5 amendment form.
Again, local laws will vary, so be sure to check with county officials on any specific, unlisted information.

New York Concealed Carry Reciprocity And Location Restrictions

new york ccw reciprocity

Aside from the previously mentioned proposed national concealed carry reciprocity legislation, New York concealed carry reciprocity is pretty dismal.

New York currently does not recognize any other state permits or licenses, and traveling through the state with a firearm should be done with caution, with unloaded firearms in separate, inaccessible containers from unloaded magazines, which do have a certain capacity requirement.

When traveling with firearms, refer to 18 U.S. Code § 926A which concerns interstate transportation of firearms, but given that the state severely restricts out-of-state handguns, contact local authorities on this one.

Just over 20 states recognize the New York firearms license, but reciprocity changes. CCW reciprocity maps often keep track of updated numbers.

Firearms are restricted within a handful of locations throughout the state.

As per New York Penal Law § 265.01-a, firearms are restricted on school grounds and school buses, but not in forestry lands owned by the State University of New York college of environmental science and forestry.

According to N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 14, § 45.1, firearms are prohibited at New York Department of Mental Hygiene facilities. And according to N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 14, § 542.5(a), they’re prohibited on any premises owned by the Office of Mental Health of the Department of Mental Hygiene.

Firearms may not be brought onto the premises of any residential child care facilities, according to N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 18, § 441.19(f).

State parks will generally prohibit firearms, according to N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. .9, § 375.1(p), unless one has applied for a specific permit under 9 CRR-NY 372.

Public campgrounds restrict firearms to only spring and fall hunting seasons, according to N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 6, § 190.7 (3), and according to section (c) (1) of that same code, possessing firearms on any portion of the Lake George Battlefield Park is prohibited at all times.

There are also firearms restrictions in the Zoar Valley Multiple Use Area, as per N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 6, § 190.25 (e), unless during small and big game hunting seasons, and firearms are prohibited in Trails 2, 4, 5, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20 and 21 of the foot trail easements in the Adirondack Mountain Reserve, according to N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 6, § 190.28 (c) (2), with the other previously unlisted trails up to 24 allowing firearms only during big game and small game seasons. At all other times, the firearm must be unloaded.

Firearms and weapons are prohibited at rest stops, parking areas or scenic overlooks off of highways, according to 17 CRR-NY 156.12.

Additionally, in the New York Constitution Art. IX, § 2(c), there is substantial leeway given to local governments to regulate and create laws within reason for the “protection, order, conduct, safety, health and well-being of persons or property.” People v. Stagnitto touched on the fact that local police may regulate firearms.

Consider any and all federal prohibitors in addition to all of that legalese, which is perhaps only the tip of the iceberg with this state’s regulations on firearms.

Again, please look further into local case studies, issuing authorities and application procedures for more precise information.

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gun blog writer jake smith

About The Author

Jake Smith (@notjakesmith) is a copywriter in his final year of studying public relations and apparel at the University of Idaho.