How to Get a Gun License in NYC

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Acquiring a gun license in New York City requires several visits to the NYPD licensing division and the payment of a sizable license and fingerprinting fee. If you follow all the directions carefully and you are fully eligible for the license you desire, the process is not terribly difficult, but simply time consuming. Properly and completely preparing your application ahead of time is critical to successfully acquiring a gun license.

Things You'll Need

  • Two 1.5 x 1.5-inch color photographs of you from within the past 30 days
  • Birth certificate
  • Proof of citizenship or alien registration card
  • Military discharge if you served in the armed forces
  • Proof of residence
  • Arrest information if applicable
  • Proof of business ownership for carrying on the premises
  • Letter of necessity
  • Social Security card
  • Money
  • New York City offers several different types of firearms permits. A rifle/shotgun permit and a handgun permit have different applications, with the rifle/shotgun permit generally being easier to acquire. There are also multiple types of handgun permits. If you want a handgun simply for home defense, then you will apply for a Residence Permit. If you want a handgun for something relating to your business or career, there are multiple available permits and the NYPD will advise you on which one is best for you.

  • Acquire the proper application for the permit you desire. These are available as pdf files on the NYPD website. The application must be typed and notarized.

  • For a license you must appear in person at the NYPD Licensing Division with the application, money for the fees and proper supplementary materials.

    The required materials are:

    • Two 1.5 x 1.5 inch photographs of yourself from within the last 30 days.

    • A birth certificate or other proof of your birth date such as a military record.

    • Your proof of citizenship or alien registration information.

    • Your military discharge papers if you ever served in the US armed forces.

    • Proof of residence such as a real estate tax bill or a lease.

    • Arrest information if you were ever arrested, indicted or summoned for any reason not including parking violations. You must submit a certificate of disposition that includes the offense and the disposition. You will also need a notarized statement describing the circumstances of the arrest or summons. There are no exceptions; you must do this even if the record was sealed or the case nullified. If you have ever been convicted of a felony or serious offense you will also need an original Certificate of Relief of Disabilities signed by a judge. If you have ever had an Order of Protection issued against you, you will also need to submit detailed information about the order.

    • If you want to apply for a business gun license, you will need either proof of business ownership or proper corporate information. A recent utility bill can function as proof of ownership. If the business requires a special license, you must submit that as well.

    • You must complete the Letter of Necessity section of the handgun application if applying for a handgun permit.

    • Your Social Security card.
  • When you present your application and materials, you will be fingerprinted and will need to pay a fingerprinting and application fee. In 2009, the fingerprinting fee was $94.25. The handgun application fee is $340 and the rifle/shotgun application fee is $140. These fees must be paid by credit card or money order.

  • If you are applying for a handgun license, you will be called back for an interview and the NYPD may require additional documentation.

Tips & Warnings

  • Remember that you must license all guns you possess individually. Forms are available at the licensing division.

References

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