Who's Packing? NY

New York Penal Law § 400.00(5)
5. Filing of approved applications. The application for any license, if granted, shall be filed by the licensing officer with the clerk of the county of issuance, except that in the city of New York and, in the counties of Nassau and Suffolk, the licensing officer shall designate the place of filing in the appropriate division, bureau or unit of the police department thereof, and in the county of Suffolk the county clerk is hereby authorized to transfer all records or applications relating to firearms to the licensing authority of that county. The name and address of any person to whom an application for any license has been granted shall be a public record. Upon application by a licensee who has changed his place of residence such records or applications shall be transferred to the appropriate officer at the licensee's new place of residence. A duplicate copy of such application shall be filed by the licensing officer in the executive department, division of state police, Albany, within ten days after the issuance of the license. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to change the expiration date or term of such licenses if otherwise provided by law.

This site provides public access to certain fields from the master pistol permit database maintained by the Pistol Permit Bureau of the New York State Police.

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What is this?

These records consist of certain fields from the pistol permit master database as of April 5, 2010. Despite the term "master database," the pistol permit bureau actually maintains two databases, labeled "old system" and "new system." It appears that all new pistol permits have gone into the "new system" database. Importantly, it seems that the "old system" lacks locational identifying data on permit-holders, and individuals remain in the "old system" despite permit renewals/amendments. All that is provided for the old database is a list of names. There are almost 900,000 names in the old database versus just over 300,000 entries in the new database.

To understand the master database, a little background on pistol licensing in the state of New York is necessary. With a few exceptions (broadly, for peace officers, military, and temporary presence for transit or certain special events), possession of a pistol is illegal in New York without a pistol permit, which must be carried with the pistol. Pistol permits are issued locally by the designated licensing officers of the counties/cities. Licensing will involve a background check by local and state police, but the application is made to local authorities, the permit is issued by local authorities at their discretion, and the record of the permit is kept by local authorities. However, when a permit is granted or amended, the local authorities must promptly transmit this information to the state police to be recorded in the master database.

Although the definitive records of pistol permits are kept by dozens of local agencies that are only easily available locally, the master database is available to law enforcement across the state. In theory, the master database should be kept consistent with all these local records. In fact, the database is riddled with errors, omissions, and some outright garbage, and in some cases may not match local records.

DISCLAIMER

The pistol permit database records are provided as disclosed by the State of New York. No representations are made as to the quality or accuracy of this information. Pistol permits are issued, revoked, and amended on a daily basis; the records on this website were extracted on or about April 5, 2010. Nothing on this page is to be construed as legal advice. Criminal possession of a firearm is a very serious matter and you should consult with an attorney if you have any questions about the legality of any action.

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This website, with the exception of the graphic, is in the public domain. Copy freely.

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