Guns & Firearms

Practices / Guns & Firearms

The Second Amendment in New York State

New York State permits qualifying residents to own handguns. More specifically, article 400 of New York Penal Law dictates pistol permits. These permits are divided into several types, including business pistol permits, premises permits, and sportsman permits.

In most cases, New York residents need the help of the lawyer to obtain a New York State pistol permit. A lawyer can also help if you encounter difficulty keeping a permit or issues like permit revocation or suspension. It also helps if New York residents understand some basic elements about permits.

Qualifying Criteria to Obtain a Firearm in New York

One of the first steps in obtaining a firearm permit in New York State is completing the Pistol/Revolver Application form. These forms examine an applicant’s background for various disqualifying factors.

With few exceptions, New York State law requires people to meet certain criteria before they can carry, possess, or dispose of a firearm. These qualifying factors include the following:


  • Be a citizen of the United States.
  • Be at least 21 years old, except for individuals who are honorably discharged from either the New York National Guard or the United States Military.
  • Be of good moral character.
  • Never had a guardian appointed based on incapacity, mental illness, subnormal intelligence, or other condition or disease.
  • Never had a handgun license revoked.
  • Never civilly confined in a secure treatment facility.
  • Never convinced in New York state or anywhere else of a felony or “serious offense.” The definition of “serious offense” includes acts like aiding in an escape from prison, child endangerment, disorderly conduct, illegally using a dangerous weapon, making burglar instruments, rape, receiving stolen property, sodomy, and unlawfully entering a building.
  • Never discharged from the military under dishonorable conditions.
  • Never involuntarily committed to a facility under the Department of Mental Hygiene’s jurisdiction.
  • Not be a fugitive from justice.
  • Not be an addicted or unlawful user of any controlled substance.
  • Not have a domestic violence restraining order filed against you.
  • Not illegally in the United States or admitted into the United States under a non-immigrant visa.
  • Not present any other “good cause” for denial of the license.


These are some of the most common reasons why people in New York are denied gun permits. Also, you will likley be required to complete a gun safety class before obtaining a firearm permit.

Remember that if any other state court revokes your firearm license, classifies you as ineligible for such a permit, or orders the immediate surrender of one or all firearms by an applicant even after you move to New York State, New York courts will be required to follow this action.

An Experienced New York State Attorney can Help

If you have been denied a pistol permit or had a permit taken away from you, it can be challenging to create a response strategy. Fortunately, an experienced attorney can examine the details and increase your chances of keeping or obtaining a permit.

In New York State, individuals who have been convicted of felonies or serious offenses or who have outstanding warrants for the alleged commission of felonies or serious offenses will automatically lose their firearm privileges. This applies to whether the firearm was an antique firearm, shotgun, or any other type of firearm.

If you were previously convicted of a misdemeanor offense or have no more than one felony conviction that is not either a Class A or “violent” violent, you can apply for a Certificate of Good Conduct or Certificate of Relief from Disabilities to restore your right to own a firearm. While these rights exist, they can be challenging to assert. If your case involves a hearing, an attorney can argue you for your rights.

Remember, you still can assert your rights if you have been convicted of a Class A or “violent felony” in the form of a gubernatorial pardon.

Even if you have not committed a felony or other criminal act, you may be incorrectly denied the right to purchase a firearm because the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NCIS) has identified you and incorrectly attributed a disqualifying factor to you. In these situations, an attorney can help.

Speak With a Knowledgeable Attorney

If you or a loved one has been charged with a Second Amendment-related offense in New York, contact Nave Law Firm today at 855-349-NAVE (6283) to schedule a free case evaluation.

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