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Nys Pistol Permit

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Nys Pistol Permit

Postby Bowden » Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:02 pm

I have some minor arrest records including a disorderly conduct ACD in 1996, a DWAI(violation; fine paid 90 license suspension) in 2001. I also have a misdemeanor unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in 2001(wasn't aware I had to pay a $25 reinstatement fee at the DMV after the 90 day suspension), a Profane swearing and public intoxication class 4 misdemeanor in Virgina 2007(no violation class in VA)and a disorderly  conduct in Kentucky in 2006(which I was entered the Fayette County deterrence program completed community service and the records including fingerprints and mugshots were destroyed and the final records are destroyed in 2016). I was told I do not have to ever admit to the Kentucky incident, and it is as if it never happened.

Basically my questions is this: I wish to apply for pistol permit in NYS. What is the best type and way I should go about applying for the permit? I have a valid hunting license in NYS and have purchased and own several long guns over the years with immediate approval by the FBI at time of purchase. I hunt and hobby shoot and would like to be able expand into pistol hunting and shooting. Also in 2007 our house was robbed and since then we still get spooked with noises at night. I know I will have to answer for some of the criminal history, but again what would be the best approach to applying for NYS? I live upstate so I understand the process may not be as rigid as downstate NY or NYC but I want to be prepared for the worst. Please advise and Thank you for your time.

ANSWER: As you know from your long gun purchases, you are not a "prohibited person" under federal law. Also, none of your convictions necessarily make you ineligible for a pistol license under New York State law. However, the penal law states that a firearm license shall not be issued to one who is not of "good moral character." That term is not defined, and courts have vested licensing officers in New York State with very broad discretion in issuing licenses. So if a licensing officer(which, upstate, is a judge of a court of record) believes your arrest record means you are not of "good moral character," that determination could survive an appeal if your application is denied.

Your arrest record will come up in the investigation that is made in connection with your application. Every upstate county does things somewhat differently. Some use the county sheriff to do investigations and interviews with an applicant. In some counties, the judge interviews the applicants. Ultimately, the judge will evaluate whether he or she feels that your arrest record makes you unsuitable for a license. There is no way for me, or anybody, to tell you more without knowing which county you're in, and how the licensing officer there operates. Even with that information, it is hard to say what the ultimate outcome will be since the evaluation is subjective. There is no "best way" to apply other than to follow your county's procedures. You may try to speak with somebody knowledgeable in the county clerk's office or sheriff's office to see if there are any known disqualifiers(such as a certain number of misdemeanor convictions within a given time period) that the licensing officer usually imposes upon applicants. Making some phone calls to try to "feel out" how the judge operates, and speaking with other applicants in similar circumstances, are probably the only ways to try to glean some insight into whether your record will be an impediment to getting a license.

The only real downside to applying and being rejected is the loss of the fingerprint fee and the application fee, and having to disclose on other, future applications that you were once denied a license. However, if one is denied and wishes to appeal, it is advisable to involve an attorney at the administrative appeal stage. If it is ultimately decided to file a proceeding to overturn the licensing officer's denial of the application, the reviewing court will only consider evidence in the record at the time of the administrative appeal. That means that the record in the administrative appeal stage needs to be made carefully.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


Thank you very much for time and your insight. I wish there were these type of Q&A sites as concise for more topics. A few quick follow ups: First I reside in Onondaga County if this helps. Second on an application in NYS what are the differences in an arrest record and a conviction record? Are the any? How can I obtain the background information the NCIS uses? Finally the Kentucky incident, am I required put it on the application? According to my lawyer in that case and according to Kentucky law it did not happen and no record should appear even at the Federal level.  
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Nys Pistol Permit

Postby Gifuhard » Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:28 pm

In Onondaga, the Sheriff's Office Pistol License Unit handles the paperwork. Here is a link to the application, instructions, and supplemental arrest information form you will need to complete:http://www.ongov.net/sheriff/documents/PPB-3.pdfhttp://www.ongov.net/sheriff/documents/PLAPPLICATION.pdfhttp://www.ongov.net/sheriff/documents/MISCADDLARRESTFORM.pdf

As you can see, the state application form requires you to disclose all arrests, and their disposition(convicted, dismissed, etc.). Whether or not you are convicted, your arrest record will likely be found in the background search, even if the arrests are "sealed." If you want to see your full arrest history in New York, you may obtain it by sending fingerprints to the Division of Criminal Justice Services(DCJS).

DCJS sends arrest records to a database called the Interstate Identification Index(III). When running a NICS check, NCIS checks III, as well as the National Crime Information Center and NICS Index files. So-called "sealed" arrest records will often show up in these records, although their dispositions may not.(This can cause problems since NICS may find a felony arrest but not know the charges were dismissed, resulting in a "delay" or erroneous denial of an application.)

As you will see in the Onondaga application packet, you are required to sign a statement that:

"I UNDERSTAND THAT I MUST DISCLOSE, AS PART OF MY CRIMINAL HISTORY CHECK, all previous arrests including arrests which never resulted in the filing of a charge, arrests which resulted in a dismissal, adjournment in contemplation of dismissal and all sealed records, including arrests which resulted in a “Certificate of Relief from Disabilities”and DWI arrests."

Failure to disclose an arrest, even a sealed one, is grounds for denial of a license. Even if an applicant believes a record will not show up in a database because it was sealed, the arrest record may well reside in a federal database and its discovery will result in immediate disapproval of the license for making a false statement or omitting required information.
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