How to Buy a Gun in New York: Your Complete Guide

buy a gun in New York

New York State has some of the country’s strictest gun laws, and it gets even more challenging for residents of New York City to legally purchase a firearm. Figuring out how to buy a gun in New York means first learning the laws in your part of the state. 

The laws also vary based on the type of firearm you’re purchasing. Long guns don’t require a license outside of New York City, while handgun permits are necessary everywhere. 

The gun laws in New York can cause confusion, but it’s still possible to purchase most firearms if you don’t have a criminal record that prohibits it. This guide will take you through the process of buying a gun in New York.

How Gun Permits Work in New York

The most important aspect of buying a gun in New York is getting the necessary permit. There are some hoops to jump through along the way, but it’s the only way to buy a gun in the state legally.

important gun laws

Different Applications

There are separate licenses for handguns and rifles/shotguns. You’ll have to determine the gun type you’re looking to purchase to ensure you end up with the proper permit. A handgun license is necessary everywhere in the state, while only New York City requires a shotgun/rifle license. 

Various Licenses

New York also has multiple license types. You can apply for a premises, carry business, limited carry business, special carry, or carry guard license, depending on your reason for needing to carry your firearm. It’s possible to obtain a concealed carry permit in the state, but it usually takes months to see any progress on your application. 

Filling Out the Application

Your gun permit application form will require information like your name, address, Social Security number, employment records, and criminal history. You’ll also need to fill out a letter of necessity if you’re looking to use your firearm at your place of business and sign the documents in the presence of a notary public. 

Supporting Documents

You’ll have to provide documentation to support your application when purchasing a handgun anywhere in New York State or a long gun in New York City. This documentation includes two recent photographs, a certified copy of your birth certificate, proof of citizenship, your Social Security card, and proof of residence. 

Attend an Interview

Attending an interview with a local officer is necessary before receiving your permit, and it could take one to three months to schedule this meeting. You might need to provide notarized reference letters at this meeting too. The interview will include questions on why you want a gun, where you’ll store it, and your past experience with firearms. 

Getting your New York gun license could take six months or more because there are so many steps you’ll have to take before approval. It’s best to begin the process as soon as possible because you won’t be able to buy a gun in New York legally without getting past this first hurdle.

6 Steps to Buying a Gun in New York

Having your New York gun license approved is only part of the process. You’ll still have to go through the steps of buying your gun, which will take more time to complete in the state.

1. Get Your Authorization

Obtaining a purchase authorization form is necessary before buying a gun in New York. Anyone with a license can get one of these forms by heading to a local license division office with their approval letter and asking for one. It could still take some time to receive the letter after requesting it.

2. Find a Dealer

You have 30 days to make a purchase after receiving your authorization letter. You can head to any dealer with a federal firearms license to look at the available guns and initiate the transaction. Keep in mind that the state prohibits selling assault-style weapons and magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

3. Complete a Background Check

You’ll have to go through a background check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System before finalizing your purchase. The law applies to both private sales and acquisitions through a federally licensed dealer. Background checks in New York generally take about three days but can extend up to a month.

4. Have the Weapon Inspected

inspecting a gun

An inspection of your new gun is necessary within 72 hours of purchase. You’ll have to return to your local License Division with the firearm unloaded, locked, and in a case for inspection. The officer will update your license with the firearm’s information during this visit.

5. Buying Additional Firearms

You can only buy a new gun in New York once every 90 days. A fresh purchase authorization form is necessary whenever you wish to purchase another firearm, and you’ll have to go through with an inspection each time, too. 

6. Apply for a Concealed Carry Permit

Concealed carry permits are scarce in New York, and you’ll have to go through an entire process to have yours approved. It’s likely best to begin as early as possible because there’s no telling how long it will take to complete it. It’s recommended that you obtain your concealed carry permit in New York because the state’s gun laws could leave you in trouble if you leave your home with your firearm. 

New York makes buying a gun challenging, and you can expect the process to carry on for months. Getting started as soon as possible puts you on the right track in a state that prioritizes tight gun controls.

Get the Concealed Carry Training You Need

Carry a handgun

New York is strict about who receives concealed carry certification, as it’s reserved mainly for individuals who require a firearm for their job. It is possible to obtain this licensing, though, and going ahead with the proper training and education is an excellent first step. 

Concealed Coalition can provide the training you need before applying for a concealed carry license in New York. Our trainers will provide all the essential classroom teaching, which is the first step in securing your permit in the state. Contact Concealed Coalition today to go over your gun safety educational needs.

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