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Pistol Licensing Bureau

Pistol Licensing Bureau will be closed before 2 PM on Thursday, May 23rd, and will also be closed for Memorial Day on Monday, May 27th. 

The Pistol License Bureau is responsible for the investigation, issuance, and maintenance of all pistol licenses for residents of the five eastern townships including East Hampton, Riverhead, Shelter Island, Southampton, and Southold. The Pistol License Bureau maintains over 6,000 active files and records, and records renewals, handgun transactions, and other correspondence for each active file. 

A firearms license is a state license issued under the authority of county licensing officers.  An applicant must decide what type of license will be sought.  The most common types of firearms license are:

  • Possess on Premises: Allows the holder to maintain handguns within his/her home. Valid for target shooting. Includes carrying handguns to/from the range.

  • Carry Concealed: Entitles a licensee to possess a carry concealed, without regard to employment or place of possession subject to the restrictions of state and federal law, by any person. You must have a certificate of completion from a DCJS authorized firearms training course that includes at least 16 hours of training with a live-fire portion.

  • Possess/Carry During Employment (for municipality): Entitles a licensee to possess and carry concealed while employed by an institution of the state, or any county, city, town or village. You must be working in an armed capacity for a town, village or municipality located within the five (5) eastern towns in Suffolk County.

Eligibility Requirements:

To be eligible to have a firearms license, you:

  • Must be a New York State resident.

  • Must be 21 years of age.

  • Disclose any history of mental illness.

  • Have no prior felony or other serious offense convictions, and have not been convicted of Assault 3rd, Misdemeanor DWI, or Menacing 3rd within the past five (5) years. (This may include a felony arrest that has been adjudicated to a lesser misdemeanor charge.) 

  • Must have the essential character, temperament and judgement necessary to be entrusted with a weapon and to use it only in a manner that does not endanger oneself or others. 

  • Legally reside or maintain a principal residence within the confines of the five (5) eastern towns of Suffolk County. 

  • Be an applicant wherein no good cause exists for the denial of a pistol license. 

  • Obtain four (4) Affidavit of Character References which must be filled out in full and notarized by the character reference. 

To apply:

Call or visit the Suffolk County Sheriff's Office to obtain a copy of the pistol license application, instructions, and all necessary forms or documentation you may need to apply.

 

Pistol License Bureau - Riverhead Correctional Facility

100 Center Drive South

Riverhead, NY 11901

(631) 852-2233

Hours: 9:00am-4:30pm

Fingerprinting Hours: 9:00am-12:00pm

To complete the New York State Pistol/Revolver License Application, you will need to complete the application and  provide the following information:

  • Full Name

  • Date of Birth

  • Social Security Number

  • Address

  • Physical Description

  • Criminal History

  • Mental Health History

  • Character References

  • Identification: Current New York Driver's License or a New York Non-Driver's I.D. from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

  • Note: all applications must be filled out in BLACK INK ONLY.

Once your application is filled out in full and you have received all necessary paperwork/documentation, return your packet in person to the Pistol License Bureau. You must have the following in hand:

  • Application Fee: $10.00 (cash or check)

  • Application filled out in full/notarized where necessary

  • Four (4) Character of Affidavit References filled out in full by the character reference and notarized.

  • New York State Fingerprint Processing Fee: $88.25 (money order only made out the Suffolk County Sheriff's Office)

  • Two Passport-style Photos taken within 30 days (no polaroid's or home photos will be accepted)

  • NYS Drivers License showing address in the five (5) eastern towns

  • Birth Certificate or Current U.S. Passport

Please note: All applications are received between the hours of 9:00am-12:00pm Monday-Friday so that we can conduct your NYS Fingerprinting. 

Please note: The Suffolk County Sheriff's Office Pistol Licensing Bureau issues pistol permits for the five eastern towns of Suffolk County including Riverhead, East Hampton, Shelter Island, Southampton or Southold. If you live in one of the five western towns of Suffolk County including Babylon, Brookhaven, Huntington, Islip, or Smithtown, please call the Suffolk County Police Department at (631) 852-6311 or visit their website linked here

Important Safety Notice

In case of DEATH, SERIOUS ILLNESS, or MENTAL DISABILITY of a Pistol License Holder, please contact the Suffolk County Sheriff's Office Pistol License Bureau as soon as possible. DO NOT handle any firearms; leave all handguns and long guns where they are and contact the Pistol License Bureau first for assistance.

  • How much does it cost to obtain a Pistol License?
    The cost varies by county. In Suffolk County, we charge a $88.25 New York State Processing Fee made payable by a United States Money Order only, plus a $10.00 Application Fee made out to the Suffolk County Sheriff's Office.
  • How long does the process take to obtain a pistol license?
    You should expect it to take a minimum of six (6) to seven (7) months from the time of application until a license is either granted or denied.
  • Where do I apply for Pistol License in Suffolk County, NY?
    If you live in the five (5) eastern towns of Suffolk County, including East Hampton, Riverhead, Shelter Island, Southampton or Southhold, you must apply for your license in person at the Suffolk County Sheriff's Office Pistol License Bureau located inside the Riverhead Correctional Facility at 100 Center Drive South, Riverhead, NY 11901. If you live in the five (5) western towns of Suffolk County including Babylon, Brookhaven, Huntington, Islip or Smithtown, you must apply for your pistol license at the Suffolk County Police Department Pistol Licensing Bureau located at 30 Yaphank Avenue, Yaphank, NY 11980.
  • Do I need a license to possess a pistol or revolver in New York State?
    Yes. You are required to have a license to possess a pistol or revolver.
  • What are the most common types of licenses for a pistol or revolver?
    The three most common licenses are: Carry Concealed which entitles a licensee to possess and carry concealed, without regard to employment or place of possession subject to the restrictions of state and federal law, by any person. Possess on Premises which allows the holder to maintain handguns within his/her home, and includes being allowed to carry handguns to/from the range or hunting areas. Possess/Carry During Employment which entitles a licensee to possess and carry concealed while employed by an institution of the state, or any county, city, town or village.
  • Are the terms "license" and "permit" the same?
    Yes. The terms "license" and "permit" are used interchangeably.
  • What are the requirements to obtain a concealed carry license?
    - Proof of completion of state-approved 18-hour firearms safety training course. - Four (4) character references. - List of former and current social media accounts for the last three (3) years. - Disclosure of applicant's spouse or domestic partner and any other adults residing in the applicant's home, including any adult children of the applicant. - An in-person interview of the applicant with the licensing officer/designee. For more information, please visit the the New York State Police Firearms page linked here, or visit your local county/licensing office.
  • Am I required to show a need for self-defense to get a pistol license?
    No. You are not required to show a need for self-defense to get a pistol license.
  • Are retired law enforcement officers required to apply for a concealed carry license?
    Yes. Retired law enforcement officials will need to apply for a concealed carry pistol license.
  • What is the difference between a renewal and recertification of my pistol/revolver license?
    A pistol/revolver license issued by New York City, Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk Counties expire and need to be renewed every three (3) years for a concealed carry license and every five (5) years for all other types of pistol/revolver licenses. A pistol/revolver license issued outside of those areas does not expire, but the license holder must recertify with the New York State Police every three (3) years for a concealed carry license and every five (5) years for other types of pistol/revolver licenses.
  • Who is required to take a firearms safety training course?
    Any individual who is seeking to obtain a concealed carry pistol/revolver license will be required to take a 16-hour classroom and 2-hour live-fire firearms safety training course. This is required for all concealed carry licenses issued on or after September 1, 2022. Any individuals renewing their licenses in New York City, Westchester, Nassau or Suffolk Counties must complete the training course.
  • Where can I take the required firearms safety training course? How much does it cost?
    The firearms safety training course is provided by authorized instructors in accordance with training standards published by the New York State Police and the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). See the training standards guide here:
  • When will I need to take the firearm safety training course?
    Proof of completion of the firearm safety training course is required to obtain a concealed carry license on or after September 1, 2022. Local licensing officers have the discretion to determine whether a portion or all of the firearms training requirement is satisfied for those applicants who completed a firearm safety course in the previous 5 years.
  • Do I need to take the firearm safety training course if I already have a concealed carry license that was issued outside of New York City or Westchester, Nassau, or Suffolk counties?
    No. Existing concealed carry pistol or revolver license holders with licenses that were issued outside of New York City or Westchester, Nassau, or Suffolk counties are not required to take the firearm safety training course.
  • If I am renewing my concealed carry license in a jurisdiction where it has an expiration date, (i.e., New York City, and Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk counties) will I need to take the firearm safety training course before renewing?
    Yes. An individual seeking to renew a concealed carry license on or after September 1, 2022, will need to complete the firearm safety training course.
  • If I have an existing concealed carry license that was issued outside of New York City or Westchester, Nassau, or Suffolk counties and I am recertifying it with the New York State Police, will I need to take the firearm safety training course before recertifying?
    No. The firearm safety training course is not required to recertify your concealed carry license with the State Police.
  • Are active or retired law enforcement or former military personnel exempt from having to take the firearm safety training course?
    The firearm safety training requirements apply to all applicants for a concealed carry license. This includes retired law enforcement and former military personnel. Further, local licensing officers may satisfy the training requirement for active or retired military personnel or law enforcement officers who received firearm training, in excess of the standards set forth for the firearm safety training course, as a component of their service or profession (e.g., the New York State Basic Course for Police Officers).
  • If I only want a firearm in my residence and do not want to carry concealed, do I still have to take the firearm safety training?
    No. Premises license holders are not required to take the firearm safety training course. The firearm safety training course requirement applies to concealed carry licenses.
  • How do I apply for a Semi-Automatic Rifle License?
    Starting September 4, 2022, you may apply for a Semi-Automatic Rifle License through your county/local licensing officer. Existing firearm license holders can add a Semi-Automatic Rifle to their firearm license through their local licensing officer. A Semi-Automatic Rifle License is required to purchase or take ownership of a semiautomatic rifle on or after September 4, 2022.
  • Do I need a Semi-Automatic Rifle License to keep a semi-automatic rifle I currently own?
    Any person that lawfully possesses a semi-automatic rifle prior to September 4, 2022, will not be required to obtain the Semi-Automatic Rifle License. The Semi-Automatic Rifle License is only required for persons acquiring a semiautomatic rifle on or after September 4, 2022.
  • Has the age requirement changed to acquire and/or possess a semiautomatic rifle?
    Yes. Starting on September 4, 2022, the minimum age to purchase or take ownership of a semi-automatic rifle is 21 years old. If you are younger than 21 years old, and lawfully acquired a semi-automatic rifle prior to September 4, 2022, you may continue to possess that rifle.
  • Are individuals who have a premises license now able to carry a concealed pistol or revolver outside their home?
    No. You would need to obtain a concealed carry license. You cannot legally carry a concealed pistol or revolver outside of your home in New York State if you only have a premises license, which only allows you to possess a pistol or revolver in your home or place of business.
  • What are the places, under the new law, where I cannot bring a firearm, rifle, or shotgun?
    Effective September 1, 2022, the possession of a firearm, rifle, or shotgun is prohibited in sensitive locations. Under the law, the following are considered sensitive locations: Any location owned or under control of federal, state, or local government for the purpose of government administration, including courts; Any location providing health, behavioral health, or chemical dependence care or services; Places of worship or religious observation; Libraries, public playgrounds, public parks, and zoos; NYS Office of Children and Family Service licensed or funded facilities (childcare facilities); Nursery schools, preschools, summer camps; NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities licensed or funded facilities; NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports licensed or funded facilities; NYS Office of Mental Health licensed or funded facilities; NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance licensed or funded facilities; Homeless shelters, family shelters, domestic violence shelters; NYS Department of Health licensed or funded residential facilities; Colleges, universities, private schools, public schools, and other educational institutions; Public transportation and transit facilities; Bars and restaurants serving alcohol, and on-premises cannabis consumption locations; Theaters, stadiums, racetracks, museums, amusement parks, performance venues, concert halls, exhibit halls, conference centers, banquet halls, gaming facilities, video lottery terminal facilities as licensed by the gaming commission; Polling places; Public sidewalks and other public areas that are restricted from general public access for a limited time or special event; Gatherings of people to collectively express their constitutional rights to assemble or protest; and Times Square (with boundaries determined by New York City).
  • If I have a concealed carry license, can I carry my pistol or revolver to sensitive locations?
    No. Subject to exceptions for certain individuals (see next FAQ), Penal Law §265.01-e prohibits bringing any pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun or any other firearm to a sensitive location – even if you have a concealed carry license.
  • Are there any exceptions to this rule? Is anyone exempt from the prohibition of possession of firearms, rifles, or shotguns in sensitive locations?
    Yes, the law exempts the following persons: Police officers in New York State, as defined in Criminal Procedure Law § 1.20(34), and those who were employed as police officers in New York State but are retired; Retired law enforcement officers who qualify under 18 U.S.C. 926(C)(the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act, or LEOSA); Peace officers in New York State, as defined in Criminal Procedure Law § 2.10; Armed security guards registered by the NYS Department of State while working; Active-duty military personnel; Persons licensed under paragraph c, d, or e subdivision 2 of § 400.00 of the Penal Law while in the course of official duties; Persons lawfully engaged in hunting activity, including hunter education training; Persons operating a program in their home that would otherwise be considered a sensitive location, however, such possession must comply with any rules or regulations (e.g., safe storage); and Government employees with agency consent, for the purpose of natural resource protection.
  • Is it a crime to enter another person’s property, also known as a “restricted location” under the law, with a firearm, rifle, or shotgun without the owner’s or lessee’s consent?
    Subject to exemptions for certain individuals, you can only enter another person’s property with a firearm, rifle, or shotgun when the owner or lessee has specifically posted that it allowed, or the owner or lessee has expressly consented. Consent to carry must be reflected by clear and conspicuous signage or express verbal consent from the owner or lessee. (Penal Law § 265.01-d).
  • Is anyone exempt from the prohibition of possession of firearms, rifles, or shotguns in restricted locations?
    Yes, the law exempts the following persons: Police officers in New York State, as defined in Criminal Procedure Law § 1.20(34), and those who were employed as police officers in New York State but are retired; New York peace officers, as defined in Criminal Procedure Law § 2.10; Armed security guards registered by the Department of State while working; Active-duty military personnel; Persons licensed under paragraph c, d, or e subdivision 2 of § 400.00 of the Penal Law while in the course of their official duties; and Persons lawfully engaged in hunting activity, including hunter education training.
  • Can I possess a firearm, rifle or shotgun in the Adirondack and Catskill Parks?
    Certain areas of the parks are not considered “sensitive locations” under the law, as the state- owned or managed lands are legally classified as state forest preserve or are generally private lands. There are areas inside the Adirondack and Catskill Parks, however, that are classified as sensitive locations or restricted locations under the new gun law (e.g., libraries and government administrative facilities) and these specific locations are subject to the sensitive and restricted location restrictions under the law, which are detailed in Question 23. Please review the Department of Environmental Conservation’s FAQs for more information.
  • How can I safely transport guns in a vehicle?
    Effective September 1, 2022, if you leave your gun unattended in a vehicle, it must be unloaded and locked in a fire, impact, and tamper resistant storage depository that is hidden from view. Glove compartments and glove boxes are not appropriate safe storage depositories. A plastic or aluminum, lockable, hard-sided, gun case or safe will suffice for this purpose. If an adult remains with the vehicle to ensure security, a case or safe is not required. To prevent theft and ensure safety, it is always recommended that firearms be secured during transport. Local rules for traveling with firearms also apply and may be more restrictive. For example, New York City requires that all guns be unloaded, in a case, and out of sight, even when you are with the vehicle (Penal Law § 265.45). All ammunition must be stored securely separately from the firearm.
  • How am I required to store my guns in my home?
    If anyone younger than 18 years old or anyone who is prohibited from possessing a gun resides in the home, all firearms, rifles, and shotguns not in your immediate control must either be: secured with a gun locking device (trigger lock or cable lock) that makes them incapable of being accessed or fired by the prohibited individual, or locked securely in a safe or secure container that is fire, impact, and tamper resistant and which is locked using a key, keypad, or combination.
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