Whether you’re new to owning a firearm or have had a gun for home defense for years, getting a concealed carry license may seem daunting. It doesn’t have to be. There are many reasons and ways to carry a concealed weapon, but the first step is knowing the laws. Applying for a CCW varies by state. Read about the process for getting a New York Pistol License (NYPL) below.

Similar to license requirements, states vary greatly in their processes for how an applicant obtains a concealed carry license, what their licenses/licenses are called, whether licenses include photographs, whether fingerprinting is required, license duration, license costs and turnaround times. Some states allow an applicant to complete an application online, while others require an in-person visit to the office of the respective issuing authority.

New York Pistol License Basics

New York is a may-issue state with concealed carry licenses issued at the local level by the county sheriff or court system. May issue means applicants must pass basic requirements, and the issuing authority is allowed to use their own discretion in either issuing or denying a license. The application process differs depending on the type of license and the issuing county. NYPL applicants must provide four character references and the reason for the application for a carry license. New York State has seven types of restricted pistol licenses available.

The minimum age for a NYPL is 21, with the exception of honorably discharged members of the military, who can be any age. NY doesn’t recognize permits/licenses from any other states and only residents, part-time residents or anyone who is principally employed or has his or her principal place of business in New York can obtain NYPLs. The one exception are pistol licenses from New York City, which are valid statewide. However, a New York Pistol License is not valid in the five counties that make up New York City.

No handguns can be taken into the city unless New York City has validated your license. No training is required to obtain a NYPL, except for residents of Westchester County. NYPLs never expire. But there is a recertification process that must be completed every five years.

Federally Prohibited Persons

The Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Federal Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 make it illegal for a person who fits into any of the prohibited categories to ship, transport, receive or possess firearms or ammunition. These laws prevent a state from issuing a concealed carry license/license as it would be illegal for people who fit in these categories, by federal law, to own or possess a gun.

What Are the License Requirements in New York?

An applicant must:

  • Be 21 years of age or older, except there is no minimum age for honorably discharged members of the U.S. military
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • Not have been admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant visa
  • Be of good moral character
  • Show proper cause exists for the issuance of a carry license, including, for example, target shooting, hunting or self-defense
  • Reside or maintain a principal place of business within the county in which the application is filed
  • Some counties may require successful completion of a firearms safety course
  • Not have been convicted anywhere of a felony or a serious offense
  • Not be a fugitive from justice
  • Not be subject to a protective court order
  • Not be an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance as defined in section 21 U.S.C. 802
  • Be free from any mental disorders, defects or diseases that would impair his or her ability to safely possess or use a firearm
  • Not have had a license revoked or not be under a suspension or ineligibility order
  • Not have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence
  • Not have been involuntarily committed to a facility under the jurisdiction of an office of the department of mental hygiene
  • In the county of Westchester, have successfully completed a firearms safety course and test as evidenced by a certificate of completion issued in his or her name and endorsed and affirmed under the penalties of perjury by a duly authorized instructor
  • Not have had a guardian appointed for him or her pursuant to any provision of state law, based on a determination that as a result of marked subnormal intelligence, mental illness, incapacity, condition or disease, he or she lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage his or her own affairs
  • Not have good cause that exists for the denial of the license
  • Meet federal law requirements

Do I Need Firearms Training in New York?

New York does not generally require applicants for a license to carry a handgun to undergo firearms safety training. However, some counties may have requirements. The USCCA recommends that anyone who makes the choice to carry a concealed firearm obtain as much training as possible in order to be a responsibly armed American.

How Do I Get a Concealed Carry License in New York?

Step 1: Take a handgun safety course, if required.

Step 2: Download the state application and the form for your county.

Step 3: Complete the forms. You will need four character references.

Step 4: Have passport-style photographs taken. You will need two photos.

Step 5: Go to your county sheriff or courthouse to submit your application. You will be fingerprinted.

Step 6: You will undergo various background checks by New York State and the FBI and will be interviewed by local police.

Step 7: Your application is then submitted to one of the licensing judges, police commissioner or sheriff for consideration.

Step 8: You will be notified of your approval or denial.

For more information, visit the USCCA New York gun laws page now…


The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.