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Types of Gun Licenses in New York

New York State gun laws are restrictive and complex. Even those that have a New York State Gun License are still subject to a hodgepodge of different rules and types of licenses. The New York Penal law (Article 400) defines seven types of licenses. Most of those types are never issued or do not pertain to the average person. They are: a premise license of a home, a premise license for a business, a license for those employed by an armored car company, a license issued to certain types of judges, a license for corrections officers, a carry license for civilians, and a license to carry and collect antique pistols.

Despite the fact that the law only defines seven types of licenses, many more than that are issued based upon local custom and local rules. For example, some jurisdictions issue “Target” licenses which are licenses that allow you to take your gun to and from the range but do not allow you to carry your gun outside your home. These types of licenses generally require that gun be locked and unloaded when travelling to the range. Some jurisdictions issue “Sportsman” licenses which are similar to Target licenses but also permit carrying of the firearm when hunting or fishing. Some jurisdictions issue Carry Licenses to civilians that are limited to being carried for business. Other jurisdictions label the same type of license as employment. There are also licenses issued in some jurisdictions for security guards that are labeled security, security guard or carry guard depending on the specific jurisdiction. In New York City, and I am not making a joke. It is not uncommon for the New York City Licensing Division to issue carry licenses to civilians that limit the days of the week the licensee may carry a gun. It is important to note that none of these types of licenses are defined anywhere in the law and rather are inventions of the local licensing authority.

Besides all the varying local types of gun licenses, most jurisdictions have special rules if not a special type of license for retired law enforcement, including retired police officers, federal law enforcement officers, retired corrections officers and retired peace officers. These rules generally result in faster processing times and less restrictions depending on the jurisdiction.

The rules that apply to the various types of license can change from jurisdiction to jurisdiction with some jurisdictions not even publishing any explanation of what the restrictions mean. In addition, the rules for qualifying for each different type of license can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and even sometimes within the same jurisdiction. For example, in jurisdictions where County Court Judges make the licensing decisions you may have a pro-gun judge and an anti-gun judge and which judge is assigned your application may make the difference between being granted a license and not.

Before applying for a gun license it is important to understand the requirements for obtaining the license and the rights that a particular type of license will confer on the holder. No one wants to be denied a gun license. For those that already have a license it is essential to understand what rights that license confers and not violate the restrictions of that license.

In the event that an application for a gun license is denied, the applicant may appeal that denial. Depending on where the application is made the appeal may be administrative or may require the filing of a Court action. Usually, the time to appeal is very short and if the deadline is not met you may not be able to appeal any denial.

If you have any questions about the types of gun licenses, the requirements to obtain that license or the benefits conferred by a particular type of license, you may contact one of our experienced Second Amendment Attorneys.

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