How to Buy a Gun in New York (2022 UPDATED) Read This

How To Buy A Gun In New York
Alfred Mendoza

Buying a gun in New York can be nerve-wrecking because it involves a lot of paperwork and intense interviews. 

To get you started on the right foot, our team created a guide to demystify the process on how to buy a gun in New York.

5 Steps In Buying A Gun In New York

1. Secure A Handgun License Permit

When buying a gun, you must secure a handgun license or rifle/shotgun permit issued by the New York City License Division [1]. In NY City, people can apply in Nassau County or Suffolk County. On the other hand, you can apply in a licensing authority at the County Court in Upstate New York. 

The license for handguns and the permit for rifle/shotgun cannot work for another. You must secure separate permits on that. While other states in the country do not need a license when possessing a firearm, New York City needs a license to buy a gun. 

2. Meet The Necessary Requirements

There are requirements you need to submit to buy a firearm. For licensing applications, you should secure two photographs, proof of being a New York State resident, an original copy of your Social Security Card, and a New York State driver’s license. For NY State, it has to be passed on Nassau and Suffolk Counties. 

In case you need the firearm because of your job, a letter from your employer is necessary. However, if the applicant has any history of arrest or the charges were dismissed, you must show supporting documents pertinent to it.

3. Undergo An Interview

After applying for a gun license or gun permit, you will be scheduled for an interview.

Interviews can be long or short, depending on how long you answer the questions asked.

You should know the New York City gun laws and the rules for using and storing the firearm as well as the gun safe act. 

You will also be asked questions regarding your application if you own any other guns or have been assaulted or robbed.

Undergo An Interview

4. Pass The Background Check

After passing the interview, you must undergo a background check to see your eligibility to buy a firearm. The FBI will run your name in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to check if you have a past criminal history or mental health issue.

The NY License Division will decide since the criminal record, and mental health issue varies.    

5. Pay & Wait For Your Gun

After passing the background check, you can now pay and wait for your gun. The application for a handgun costs roughly $340 and $140 for a rifle, and the fingerprints in both cases start at about $90. 

The application fee and the waiting time vary since your answers’ inconsistency can make the process longer and be disapproved. Some applications may take nine months or longer, especially if you appeal to the County Court.

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Who Can Own A Gun?

Who Can Own A Gun?
  • A NY citizen at least 21 years old can own a firearm unless honorably discharged from the Armed Forces 
  • Applicants without prior felony charges or serious offense convictions, including child endangerment and certain kind of drug offenses, can own a gun
  • Applicants with good moral character and good conduct certificate
  • An applicant with a legally recognized reason to own a firearm

Who Is Restricted To Own A Gun?

  • Applicants under 21 years old and had any dishonorable dismissal from the Military Service
  • Applicants convicted of criminal and serious offenses against Federal Law
  • Applicants who unlawfully use drugs or are addicted to any controlled substance
  • Applicants that are not US citizens, without an alien registration card, or immigrants without a visa
  • An applicant with a pistol license suspended or revoked
  • Applicants who lack the mental capacity to manage their affairs

New York City vs New York State Gun Laws: What's Their Difference?

New York State and New York City both maintain and strictly regulate firearm policies, but the two locations have differences in gun laws.

For instance, in NY State, you are not allowed to carry a gun openly.  

On the other hand, New York City requires you to update the License division regarding interaction with law enforcement.

The NY City also does not honor gun permits issued outside the City, including the New York State, and can be counter-checked by the New York State Police.

New York City vs New York State Gun Laws: What's Their Difference

5 Types of Licenses in New York

5 Types of Licenses

1. Premise License

The Premise license is applied and issued to firearm owner who uses their weapon exclusively on the premises of the address and for home and self-defense only. 

2. Carry Business License

The Carry Business License allows the firearm owners to conceal-carry their firearm for employment purposes. If you buy a firearm for work purposes, you must secure the license to carry the firearm from home to the workplace. 

3. Limited Carry License

The Limited Carry license is a business license that restricts gun owners from using the firearm on the business address on the license. 

4. Special Carry License

The Special Carry license allows the gun owners to use the gun for business purposes and take it anywhere as long as the license is valid. 

5. Carry Guard License

The Carry Guard license is intended for Security Guards and people with similar jobs. However, it needs support documents issued by the employer.


Yes. The process of buying a handgun in NY can be difficult, based on the National Rifle Association. Your application form can be denied even if you own a firearm, especially if there are inconsistencies in your application and interview.

It will take three to six months for your application to get approved in NY. The city license division, Nassau, and Suffolk County police commissioner said that the application process might take time depending on the type of pistol licenses issued and the inconsistencies.

Yes, you can carry a gun in your car in New York unless it belongs to the assault weapons category. Make sure you possess a valid NY gun permit to carry and the purchase document. In addition, the firearm must have a trigger lock, and the ammunitions are in separate storage.

Purchasing a Gun in New York

New York established their standards regarding individuals’ eligibility to acquire and possess firearms. The state law, in effect, helps to regulate buying and acquiring firearms and allow law-abiding citizen to have their protection.

The entire state may have different gun laws but maintains strict gun laws to prevent gun violence. Unlike other states, NY is strict and requires a license or permit when buying a gun. Ensure to acquire your firearm legally by submitting all the necessary paperwork and passing the good character interview and background checks.



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