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Old January 16, 2012, 08:11 PM   #1
GunXpatriot
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Minimum age to own a Handgun? (NY)

I know that you need to be 21 to get a CCW permit, but what about a regular pistol permit to own one (In the states that apply). I live in NY. Thanks guys!
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Old January 16, 2012, 10:29 PM   #2
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I grew up in NY, and at age 18 was granted a pistol permit. This was in 1975.

In those days, it was entirely up to the judge who approved the permit. And each judge was different. I knew of one case where a boy was approved at age 14. Apparently the judge in his county was ok with letting him have a pistol to manage the trapline he ran near the Canadian border.

The Judge in Saratoga county would only approve a permit if the stated reason was "Hunting & sporting purposes". He would deny it if it was for "self protection. The Judge in Albany county would only approve permits for self protection, and would deny permits for hunting & sporting use.

It was extrememly uncommon for anyone under 21 to be approved, but if the judge allowed it, you could be.

Thats the way it was back then. I left NY for good in 78. Sorry I don't know the current state of the law in NY.
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Old January 16, 2012, 11:59 PM   #3
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That sure is an interesting story! Well it's alright, thanks for sharing that though!
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Old January 17, 2012, 07:10 AM   #4
mikejonestkd
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IIRC you can't even touch a handgun in NYS without a permit, even at a range. Since you have to be 21 to get a permit, then the minimum age for ownership must be 21.

i have attended several ccw permit classes in my county- I went to support friends that were applying for their permits, and it was stressed each time that possession of a handgun without a permit, even at the range or hunting, was a felony.
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Old January 17, 2012, 10:12 AM   #5
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You must be 21 and have a permit to touch a handgun in NY. Dealers will not let you handle one without a permit.
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Old January 17, 2012, 11:57 AM   #6
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Alright, but I can still use the gun under the owner's supervision, correct? I'm almost 16 btw, although I don't think that makes any difference.
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Old January 17, 2012, 12:08 PM   #7
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Alright, but I can still use the gun under the owner's supervision, correct? I'm almost 16 btw, although I don't think that makes any difference.
No, you can not.

Technically, NY law does not allow any person who does not have a permit AND THE GUN LISTED ON IT to even HANDLE a handgun.

In other words, even if you had a permit, you can't use the gun unless it's ON YOUR permit.

The only exception is if you are enrolled in an approved class and under the supervision of the instructor.

I say the following for information purposes only and am not suggesting any behavior or action on anyone's part...

Just so you know, this is a law that NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE, enforces. Everyone I know with handguns shoots all of their buddies handguns, and their buddies buddies handguns and NO ONE cares. I have fired the duty weapon of police officers. NO ONE cares.

The preceding information was for informational purposes only and not a suggestion for action on anyone's part.
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Old January 17, 2012, 01:57 PM   #8
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OK, thank you very much for the information, it's good to know.
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Old January 17, 2012, 03:56 PM   #9
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A little more back story on my experience with pistol permits in NY "back in the day".

As a result of a car accident where both my father and mother were injured (thank fully only slightly) we got to thinking about what would happen if Dad was lost to us, as he was the only permit holder in the household. So we checked into it. What we found was, that without a permit holder in the house (and who's permit listed dad's handguns) they would have to be surrendered to the police.

The State police would hold them for a set period of time (and I no longer recall if it was 30 or 60 or 90 days), and then, if no one was permitted for them, destroy them. The county Sherriff would hold them, and if a permit was applied for, hold them until the permit process was complete (destroying them onely if the permit application was denied).

SO, Mom immediately applied for her permit, listing Dad's guns (he had 6 IIRC). She got it. And both my brother and I applied when we turned 18, listing all the handguns in the house on our applications. 18 was the lowest age our local judge would approve a permit for, and then, only under special circumstances, like the ones we were in, where existing permitted guns would be lost without a permit holder for them.

If you didn't already have a pistol, he wouldn't approve a permit unless you were 21 or older.

Federal law is that you cannot buy a handgun from a dealer unless you are 21, and I think it is NY state law as well.

In those days, the application required 5 sets of fingerprints, 4 photographs, and 3 character references, and after the investigation(s) were complete, then the application went before a judge for approval, or denial, entirely at the judge's discretion. And that was for a permit to posess, and for open carry (when and where allowed).

There was no state law that required you to be 21 to have a permit, it was up to the issuing judge. Also, at that time, there was no concealed carry permit for regular folks, you had to be police or security guard, again, up to the judge. I understand that has changed in the years since, and ordinary folks can get CCW permits now days (again, I assume, up to the issuing judge).

Peetzakiller is entirely correct, under the NY law, no one who does not have a specific pistol listed on their permit is allowed to even handle the specific gun (and the guns are listed on the permit by make, caliber and serial number - and back in the 70s, also by barrel length - although I could never understand the reason behind that particular requirement).

And, while this is the letter of the law, I have never heard of anyone being prosecuted for swapping guns to shoot on the range. CARRYING a friends pistol (that you do not have listed on your permit) is another matter entirely!

Getting someone else's pistol listed on your permit was a simple matter, all you had to do was get the permit amendment form, fill it out with the details of the gun (ser# etc.), pay the small fee and wait a couple weeks (in those days) for it to be processed. You got a form in the mail listing the new gun (same process for adding a new gun you were buying from a dealer) and you just carried the amendment form with you along with your permit.

One fellow I knew, a collector, had several pages of amendments as he owned over 50 handguns.

At 16, with no "permitted guns in the house" you you might inherit, no judge in likely to approve your permit application. Sorry.

Quite probably the NY laws have changed a bit since I left, but I don't think they have changed enought to allow you a permit at 16, unless you have some very influential friends and a better reason than just wanting it.

Also, interestingly, in 2002, after I had been living on the other side of the country for over a quarter century, Saratoga county contacted me (via letter) and "since I was no longer a NY resident" they wanted their permit back!!!!
They also wanted to know what happened to the guns listed on the permit!

Needless to say they didn't get their permit back (as I hadn't seen it in over a decade, at least) and I didn't tell them about the listed guns, either (as I had no idea if my father still had them, or not).
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Old January 17, 2012, 06:18 PM   #10
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Well, not much has changed except that most places outside NYC and a couple of troublesome counties, most notably Westchester County, are effectively "shall issue". Some places won't even issue "non" carry permits, they'll change the application to concealed carry even if the applicant applies for "sport/hunting" (or whatever it says).

Unfortunately, it's a very fragmented system, held at the whim of the county judge and can change from "shall issue" to "no issue" and back again every time the county judge changes.

Quite correct on the carry of an unlisted handgun... that would NOT go over well.

Attitudes "upstate" are generally pretty good amongst the "powers that be". I've been told by state police officers that they consider restrictions on permits to be illegal and will not enforce them. Even though we technically have no constitutional provision for firearms rights, we do have Article 2, Section 4 of the New York Civil Rights Law, which reads: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms cannot be infringed.” For all the good it does us, I guess...
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