Nov 2, 2009

Line crossing, part II

As anyone who knows NY's maze of gun laws knows, pistol permits are a pain in the butt.

For those outside NY, here's the basic gist:
Each county appoints a "licensing agent". It's typically a judge or the sheriff, although some have civil employees for the purpose. In order to receive your permit, you go to the licensing agent and apply. Fingerprints, pictures, references, background check, etc. Wait for it all to clear and come back and wait for the licensing agent to sign the permit. This can take anywhere from 3-6 months, although longer is not uncommon. The licensing agent has non-statutory authority to put restrictions on the permit. The most common is "Hunting/Target only", and mine is so stamped. The permit is still valid as a concealed carry permit, and there is no crime you can be charged with for carrying on such a permit, but the licensing agent could theoretically use that as cause to revoke the permit.

Now, before you ask - a pistol permit is valid everywhere in New York State, except the five boroughs of NYC. So you end up with a patchwork of restrictions, but no real way to enforce them. There is nothing in law authorizing the restrictions, but court challenges have upheld the authority of the judges to place those restrictions. (Fox guarding the hen house much?)

Each pistol you purchase is registered with the licensing agent and listed on the permit. In order to do so, the receipt for the pistol is taken to the licensing agent and then a coupon is issued to actually pick up the pistol. This can take anywhere from four days (my shortest ever) to four weeks (longest yet).

I called the Sheriff's department in my new county the other day to ask about procedures for transferring my permit over. They told me that (A) they don't do restricted permits, everything is concealed carry; and (B) I needed to talk to the County Clerk's office.

I stopped in to the county clerk this morning, who explained how it actually works. I need to apply in the licensing county to have my permit transferred to the new county of residence. It'll cost me ten bucks for the transfer and fifteen bucks for new permit. When I get the permit they'll give me a coupon then and there to carry around for any purchase - meaning no back-and-forth to the gun store, and gun shows now are a practical option!

So I went to my original licensing agent (Sheriff's department) who pointed me to the county clerk in my old county. Called them, and they pointed me to a form online to print and bring in.

So that is printed and done, and I'll be dropping it off tomorrow... and hopefully I'll have a new unrestricted permit in a couple weeks!

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