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Moving from PA to NY - need advice on handguns

3384 Views 15 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  JazzDoc
Hope I'm posting this in the correct Forum discussion area.

My wife and I live in Pennsylvania. Between us we own eight handguns (revolvers and pistols).

We have licenses to carry here in PA. We are thinking of moving to New York State (Buffalo) and are very interested in finding out what the procedure is so that we can have our guns registered and ourselves licensed to carry in NYS so that we can continue to enjoy our guns.

Can anybody clue me in as to what I need to know, and is it even do-able?

Thanks in advance for any light you can shed on this.
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You cannot legally retain possesion of those handguns in NY until you get a NY pistol permit. That gives you 2 legal options. 1. Surrender the handguns at the local PD in the community you move in to and retrieve them when you get your NY permit or 2. Leave the handguns in PA until you've waded through the paperwork and get your NY pistol permit. Then you can register them in NY and possess them.

As long as your criminal background is clean you should have no trouble getting a pistol permit issued in Erie County (Buffalo). But.... it will take awhile. First off, you will need 3 character references that live in the community you reside in. Seeing as that you are just coming in from PA that is probably going to be your biggest hurdle. The permit process itself takes about 6 months once you have all of the paperwork submitted. I am not sure what the current permit processing fee in Erie County is but it is surely >$100 and you'll add a fee for fingerprint processing and a passport quality photo too. And you'll need to take a pistol permit class too (for a fee of course).

Pistol permits are handled through the County Clerks office. I suppose it is possible that they may waive some of the normal process seeing as you are coming into NY with a valid permit from PA. I would definitely give the Pistol Permit office at the Erie County Clerk a call and explain your situation to them.

NY pistol permits are administered by the individual counties and each county has its own set of rules for issuance. In Erie County they generally have 4 different permit "restrictions"; Hunting and Taget Use, Business Use, Home Protection, Unrestricted. Yes, that means different counties can and do have different restrictions (or in some cases no restrictions at all). Generally speaking nearly everyone in Erie County that applies for a permit gets one for hunting and target use. Hunting and Target Use is easy to get and it is usually recommended that you apply initially at this level. You can always try to get it upgraded at a later date. Unrestricted permits are rarely issued but it does happen (mine is unrestricted). The restrictions that an individual county put on your permit are recognized by all of the other counties in the state.

FWIW, about 20 years ago an out-of-state family member sent me my grandfathers service arm from WWII. I wanted to have it legit so I could shoot it without worry. I had to surrender it at the local PD so they could run a serial nimber check on it. It was nerve wracking to surrender that gun to the PD but everything turned out OK. They ran the serial # through the FBI database and it came up clean so I was able to register the gun and take posession of it about a week after I surrendered it. I will admit that I was worried that I might surrender it only to never see it again but everything turned out OK and I now have legal possession of my grandfathers WWII 1911A1. (long story as to how it stayed in the family)

Good luck.

An afterthought - you might be able to send those guns to an FFL in NY and have the dealer hold them until you get your permit. I am not sure about this though. You would have to inquire with an FFL in NY maybe.
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Jazzdoc, I grew up in the Buffalo suburbs and moved a couple counties away about 8-9 years ago. If you have references you should be in good shape. Your only issue is what to do with your hoglegs while you are waiting for your NY permit. Like I mentioned, call the Eire County pistol permit office. You may luck out seeing as you already have a permit from PA.

Keep in mind, your local PD will do the reference checking. Some of those towns require that your references be from the same township. If I remember correctly, you may be able to submit through the county sherrif's office so jurisdiction of your references is less of a hassle.

Good luck !!
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