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Old September 30, 2011, 11:56 AM   #1
Gone Shootin
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Advice on NY Handgun Application Please

Hello - i am a new member to the forum here. And i would very much appreciate a bit of advice from some of you more experienced folks.

I live in Westchester County NY and i'd like to apply for a handgun permit. As some of you may know, the application requires 4 notarized letters of reference from fellow Westchester county residents.

Now here's my dilema - all of my best buddies - the ones who i'd have no issue asking to do this for me - they all live outside of Westchester. I can think of at least 12 guys/girls who i'd have no problem at all asking - but again none live in Westchester. I know it sounds odd - but that's just the way life shakes out sometimes.

So the potential people i'd consider asking for references who actually do live in my county are mostly work associates, and friends who i may not have seen much in recent years. I have to say, i feel it may be an imposition to ask them.

Has anyone here been in a similar situation? Any advice on how to broach the topic with someone you want to ask for a reference - especially if that person isn't your best buddy in the world?

Many thanks in advance.
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Old September 30, 2011, 12:42 PM   #2
Stressfire
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Well, not from NY, but I'll ask: Do you have to tell them what you need it for? Or can they just be blanket letters stating that you are a good, honest person, like what you would submit for a job?
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Old September 30, 2011, 01:16 PM   #3
Gone Shootin
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Quote:
Do you have to tell them what you need it for? Or can they just be blanket letters stating that you are a good, honest person, like what you would submit for a job?
My understanding is that the references are mostly general character references type stuff. Basically - am i a solid citizen, how long have they known me, have i exhibited any violent behavior, etc... But they do definitely know it's a reference relating to a pistol permit - if that's what you're asking.

I'll be picking up the forms from my local shop next week - so i'll know more then.

I'd have no problem letting people know why i'd like one - target practice and home/self defense.
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Old September 30, 2011, 01:16 PM   #4
yourang?
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this is the toughest part of the process

who to ask?

you want to make sure that they are going to write you a good recommendation, so it has to be some one you know (and trust)

asking random people at work probably is not a good idea, especially in
a county like westchester, where probably a good portion of the people
are gun phobic

become a member of a local club and see if any of the members will
write for you...this could take some time, though

big reminder/suggestion: after you finally find people to write for you,
follow up with them to make sure that they do actually write the letter
(dont be a p.i.t.a. about it, but one of my writers took like 3 months before
he finally wrote the letter and slowed the whole process)

another writer, initially willing, withdrew himself, as he felt that he would
jeopardize my process since he had committed an indescression as a youth
(i think that they check the backgrounds of the writers)

good luck and hang in there!
it is worth the wait and the hassle
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Old September 30, 2011, 01:45 PM   #5
Gone Shootin
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Thanks for the advice there Yourang - good stuff. BTW i never thought i'd see a GD quote in this forum - but it is fitting :-)
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Old October 1, 2011, 08:26 AM   #6
l98ster
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I have lived in Westchester my whole life and have gone through the pistol permit process. You will be required to have 4 letters of reference. These people must live in Westchester, cannot be family members, law enforcement or someone who lives in the same house.

The county is going to give you the forms that you need to have your references fill out. There will be no mistaking what the reference form is to your references. They will be asked point blank if they feel the person they are reffering is of sound mind to possess a pistol.

Basically, your references will know that you will be applying for a permit. Those reference forms that they fill out will also have to be notorized.

NY sucks, and Westchester is the worst! Move out while you still can. If not....good luck with your permit!!!

-George
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Old October 1, 2011, 10:14 AM   #7
Stephanie B
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I'd think NYC would be even worse than Westchester.

If you can, move to Putnam County. You can get a full-carry permit and, when you want to buy a handgun, the turnaround time for getting the coupon is only a few days. (Westchester County, it can be on the order of several weeks.)
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Old October 1, 2011, 10:20 AM   #8
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" Must live in Westchester" that' a bummer and not IMO very reasonable .But where in NY is there reason ? The judge makes the rules also. The county I got my permit has changed from easy to get a full carry permit to very difficult.
In Sullivan Co they laid off a worker who handled the permits but the idiots laid him off without knowing what his jobs were !! The backlog created has been fixed now .
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Old October 1, 2011, 09:37 PM   #9
Gone Shootin
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Thanks for the comments everyone. Yeah Westchester is a pain. But for now, i just gotta suck it up.

If anyone has some additional advice or anecdotes about how you asked people for references, again, that would be most appreciated.

In the mean time, i have a Kel Tec Sub 2000 9mm on its way to me as i type this.

@Stephanie B: Thanks for that info about Putnam Cnty - i didn't know. And the taxes are a lot better too! Mahopac - here i come!
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Old October 3, 2011, 02:57 PM   #10
Stephanie B
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GS, if you do opt to move to Putnam Cty., PM me and I'll tell you what I know about the process.
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Old October 5, 2011, 10:41 AM   #11
batjka
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Hey, Gone Shootin! Welcome to the forum! Nice to have fellow Westchester residents here.

I have just finished filling out my PP application. The references are the biggest pain. Not only do you have to find 4 Westchester residents to vouch for you, they must also take their time and go notarize the forms. Don't forget, the actual PP application form must also be filled out in triplicate and each one of your references has to sign each form. And, those forms have to to notarized as well. So all together they have to fill out and sign 4 forms. This of course is done as to limit the amount of people eligible for the permit.

Luckily for me, a couple of friends that I've known for years just moved to Westchester and agreed to fill the forms out. I also made friends with some neighbors and they did me this favor.

Keep in mind that after you have completed the application package you have to schedule an appointment with Westchester County Clerk. I called them to schedule mine and guess what the waiting time is for an interview? THREE MONTHS!!! And, one has to wait minimum another three months to get the actual permit. So, this year doesn't look good for me.

Another retarded thing is that you have to purchase a pistol in order to get a permit. But, according to NYS, one can't even touch a pistol without a permit. So I now have to buy a pistol that I have no idea how it shoots, how it feels in my hand etc etc. Then it must stay at the dealer until the the County issues the permit.

I decided to spend as little as possible on my first handgun and then will take my time picking the "real deal" after the permit is issued.

You will also need complete a Pistol Safety Course as required by Westchester. The best place for it is at Blue Mountain Shooting Center. It is run by the County and the class is only $20. At a private range the course will cost you arnd $150-200.

As far as finding references, strike conversations with people you know, co-workers and such. There are more pro-2nd Amendment people in the County than you can imagine. See who holds pro-gun views. Then tell them you're going for your PP and are looking for references. I'm sure people will be willing to help you.

Good luck, and don't give up!

BTW, where did you get that sub2000 and at what price? I was also looking at getting one so I can go shooting to a local pistol range while the whole PP thing is being processed.
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Old October 12, 2011, 08:57 AM   #12
Gone Shootin
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@ batjka - Thanks for the response and the info, Dude. I recently got the paperwork for the application. Just FYI - i called up the county clerk at the number listed on the form - and was told that the references do not need to be Westchester residents. As long as they are NY residents, it's okay.

Also the triplicate forms that the references must sign... i don't see anything about those needing to be notarized - or even a space where that would go. Were you specifically told that those triplicate forms need to be notarized? I know the actual referral forms do.

Regarding the referral questionnaire - it's not so bad really. Just 6 short question. No real creative writing required. I don't feel like i'm imposing too badly. The notary thing is the biggest pain. I'm trying to ask people who might have access to a notary at their job. Just asked my first guy yesterday - but haven't heard back yet.

Blue Mountain is where i've been going to shoot - so i'd be happy to take the pistol class there. I like Blue Mountain a lot. It's beautiful. It's affordable. But i do have to say, i'm chaffing a bit at the restrictions. For instance, i can't take my .22 over to the large bore range and shoot at 100 yd targets.

As for the Kel Tec Sub 2K - i got that because i knew the pistol application was going to take forever - so i wanted a surrogate pistol of sorts. I found it online from Old English Outfitters - very reasonably priced. They are hard to come by and even harder to find for less than four bills.

I actually shot it at Blue Mountain this past weekend and it was a lot of fun. The front sight seems out of whack though. I have it cranked almost as far as it will go to the right - and i was still shooting to the right of where i was aiming. Also had a nearly 10% failure to eject occurrence. I do think that will iron itself out though as the mag springs and bolt spring get broken in.

Congrats on getting your application completed! That's big. Hopefully you'll be shooting by spring.
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Old October 13, 2011, 08:26 PM   #13
Garybock
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NY

I live in Monroe County (Rochester) NY. I was told my references needed to be from my county. Good luck - my application took 6 months almost to the day.
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Old October 15, 2011, 08:58 AM   #14
batjka
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Gone Shootin,

Funny thing, when I got the application I called the Clerk's office as well and was told that the references must be from Westchester. Although nowhere on the application does it say so. So they're giving conflicting information and I don't like it. Hope not having Westchester references won't delay your application.

The form in triplicate needs to be notarized on the bottom where it says "Jurat". Where it says "officer of State", the notary should write "Notary Public". And I actually was told by the Clerk that the form needs to be notarized.

You can go to a local TD Bank and they do notary there for free.

I still haven't purchased a pistol. The only time I can go is on a Saturday and so far all Saturdays have been busy with family stuff. I hope to make it to the shop in the next couple of weeks. Regardless, my interview is scheduled for the end of December, so I have time.

As far as Kel-Tec goes, I have read that it's recommended to shoot heavier bullets in them during a break-in period. So if your ammo is 115 gr, that might have been the problem. After 200 rds or so the gun should smooth out and then you can use any ammo desired.

Who did your transfer? How much did they charge? I wanted to buy a gun online, but the dealers are asking $75 for a transfer and that makes it more expensive than if I had bought the same gun in the shop.

Keep us posted on the progress, and I will as well. Good luck!
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Old October 15, 2011, 10:22 AM   #15
Gone Shootin
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@ batjka:

I actually did call the clerk's office a second time, spoke to a different person, and was told that while they prefer it if the references are from Westchester, it's fine if they are NY residents. And yeah, she told that the triplicate forms do need to be notarized when i sign them. Talk about vague instructions.

So far i have 2 Westchester residents who've agreed to do the references - so off to a good start.

Thanks for that tip on TD bank - nice to know.

And, i have recently read similar info about the Sub 2K needing heavier ammo to break in. Of course, i still have 3 boxes of 115 gr rounds. I've been storing the gun with the bolt 'open' hoping that will decrease the tension a bit. I'm sure it'll smooth out soon. That front sight may be another story. Red Lion makes a well-reviewed replacement sight - but that's another $100.

I've had 2 rifles transfered through Blue Line Tactical in Elmsford. They're new - but they have a decent inventory of merchandise. More law enforcement oriented, not so much hunting, sport shooting. But they are polite and knowledgeable, and they charge $35 +tx for a transfer. I'd recommend them.

Definitely keep us posted - i'm curious to hear how your interview goes. Take care.
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Old October 15, 2011, 12:23 PM   #16
hogdogs
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Is this place in the United States of America?

You have to have folks tell someone, on yer behalf, that you are solid?

Then you ask permission to buy a new gun? And the answer in the affirmative is a "coupon"?

Brent
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Old October 15, 2011, 01:36 PM   #17
Gone Shootin
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@hogdogs:

Yeah it's ridiculous. Especially when you consider how illogical it all is.

The thing that gets me the most is that you have to actually buy the handgun, have it held at an FFL and submit the serial # on the application.

What if your application gets rejected for some reason?
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Old October 23, 2011, 08:23 AM   #18
Kentucky-75
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There is a good site (in addition to this one), but it this is concentrated on NY State and they have a permit sub-section forum and they discuss waiting times for permits and the process.

What is also interesting is that they have stickies of a permit map (full carry vs. restricted carry) including permit information by county in addition to regular posts about the issues of applying for a pistol permit. http://www.nyfirearms.com/forums/pistol-permits/

Even if someone is not from NY State, it makes for interesting reading for those studying the laws and the permit process of the various states. As expected the further one goes from NY City into other upstate counties, the chances of getting an unrestricted permit increases.
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Old October 23, 2011, 11:29 AM   #19
hermannr
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My inlaws are all from NYS. My first pistol came from NYS, gift from FIL (pre-GCA68).

At one time we considered retiring out that way...until I read NYS gun law...I would already be in jail for too many pistols (can't have over 5), can't bring any into the state unless you have a permit..bla-bla.

It took me a total of one week to get my CPL in hand out here in WA, and I could (and did) OC for years prior to getting that CPL. Something is really wrong with NYS law.
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Old October 24, 2011, 07:29 AM   #20
batjka
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There's no limit to number of handguns one's allowed in NY. They all have to be on the permit, though. So there are people that carry 2 or 3 permits because they've ran out of space on the original card. Some counties do require a safe after 5 handguns, however.
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Old October 24, 2011, 08:54 AM   #21
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gone Shootin
The thing that gets me the most is that you have to actually buy the handgun, have it held at an FFL and submit the serial # on the application.
It won't be unless there's a reason. I agree, that's a stupid requirement and one not followed by most counties but where it is required the counties generally approve all permits unless there is good cause not to... after you jump through the hoops.

The most maddening thing about NY is that even though permits are available in almost all counties, it is EXACTLY county specific. If I had lived 2 miles up the road when I got my permit it would have taken 3 weeks instead of 5 months and been issued by DEFAULT as unrestricted. Same thing with my uncle. He's like 1/2 mile from the county line but he lives in a county that DOES NOT issue unrestricted permits (tompkins). If he were 1/2 mile north, he'd be in cortland county and unrestricted is the default. Stupid part is that it's not like you can't carry in tompkins county on a cortland permit, so what are they accomplishing?

Besides, what is the logic in their reasoning? "We trust you enough to let you own a handgun but we DON'T trust you enough to let you carry it concealed but we DO trust you enough to NOT carry it concealed just because we tell you so."

Perfect logic chain, right there.

The good thing about NY is that, once you get a permit, most of the laws are AT LEAST as "gun friendly" as the traditional "gun friendly" states, and even more so in many cases.

Quote:
At one time we considered retiring out that way...until I read NYS gun law...I would already be in jail for too many pistols (can't have over 5), can't bring any into the state unless you have a permit..bla-bla.
The 5 handgun part is not actually true. There is something in the law that reads along those lines but it's not actually true. I know many people with FAR more than 5 handguns.
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Old October 24, 2011, 12:59 PM   #22
batjka
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You are exactly right. They issue you a "carry concealed" permit, but hope you won't carry concealed unless going hunting or target shooting.

It is totally legal to carry on a "restricted" permit as there's no such animal in the PL400. The only two types defined in PL400 are "carry concealed" and "premises" permits. So they can't charge someone criminally for carrying on a "restricted" CC permit. They can, however, suspend or revoke your permit if you are caught carrying outside of restrictions. This system is ridiculous.

And yes, someone in Putnam gets an unrestricted permit while a person with the same credentials in Westchester gets a restricted one. Everything is up to the judge and is completely arbitrary. Whatever happened to equal protection?

I can't wait for a Kachasky case to get to the Supreme Court. I'm positive the "just cause" clause will be struck down and we will become a shall-issue state. Just a couple of more years, just a couple of years...
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Old October 24, 2011, 01:01 PM   #23
hermannr
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I saw the 5 handgun thing when reading the NYS penal code. That there may be exemptions is not surprising.

I am sure that I would have checked it out before moving to NYS if we had decided to do that. One of my wife's brothers is married to a NY county prosecuter, I'm sure she would know the ins and outs.
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Old October 24, 2011, 01:59 PM   #24
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hermannr View Post
I saw the 5 handgun thing when reading the NYS penal code. That there may be exemptions is not surprising.
The crime is the exemption. Possessing THREE or more firearms is a crime (Criminal Possession 3rd Dg) if the person is ALREADY committing the crime of 4th degree possession AND has 3 or more firearms in their possession. The code is as follows:

265.02 Criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree.
A person is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree when:
(1) Such person commits the crime of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree
as defined in subdivision one, two, three or five of section 265.01, and has been previously convicted of any crime; or
(2) Such person possesses any explosive or incendiary bomb, bombshell, firearm silencer, machine-gun or any other firearm or weapon simulating a machine-gun and which is adaptable for such use; or
(3) Such person knowingly possesses a machine-gun, firearm, rifle or shotgun which has been defaced for the purpose of concealment or prevention of the detection of a crime or misrepresenting the identity of such machine-gun, firearm, rifle or shotgun; or
(5) (i) Such person possesses three or more firearms; or (ii) such person possesses a firearm and has been previously convicted of a felony or a class A misdemeanor defined in this chapter within the five years immediately preceding the commission of the offense and such possession did not take place in the person's home or place of business; or
(6) Such person knowingly possesses any disguised gun; or
(7) Such person possesses an assault weapon; or
(8) Such person possesses a large capacity ammunition feeding device.
Criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree is a class D felony.

Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; October 24, 2011 at 02:07 PM.
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Old October 26, 2011, 11:59 AM   #25
jhudock
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Quote:
The form in triplicate needs to be notarized on the bottom where it says "Jurat". Where it says "officer of State", the notary should write "Notary Public". And I actually was told by the Clerk that the form needs to be notarized.
I'm glad I read this post this week. My wife and I have an appointment to submit our permit in Westchester Cty, NY tomorrow. We got all the references, took the course, had everything notarized except the form in triplicate, which we assumed, because it said "officer of State" that someone at the clerk's office would do it after taking fingerprints. After reading this and confirming with the clerk's office that we do indeed need a notary to do this, we have gotten a neighbor who is a notary to do it for us tonight.

I will be glad after the paperwork is finally submitted. This forum and others (especially the NYFirearms forum for NY) have been invaluable in getting info about the permit process that the state and county DO NOT PROVIDE, and one has to assume that it is on purpose, as is the whole convoluted process to make it as difficult as possible to obtain a permit. My wife and I live very close to Blue Mountain range and have been talking about going to shoot there for 10+ years and have been put off by the permit process until now. I'm sure that is the only purpose of many of the arbitrary and useless rules required to submit the permit (like buying a gun which you can't handle).

End rant. Thanks again to the great info from these forums.
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