Firearms acquisition and ownership questions

How do I get a pistol license?

Pistol licensing is handled through your county’s police department. Here in Suffolk, the five western towns are licensed through Suffolk County Police Department. The eastern towns are licensed through Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office.

More handgun licensing information from SCPD

More handgun licensing information from SCSO

Nassau County license information can be seen here

What do I need to purchase a rifle or shotgun?

You must possess and present the proper, required identification. We must have it in hand. We cannot accept photographs or other copies.

When you are purchasing a firearm there is a Federal background check that is performed. This background check required that the address on your state issued ID or Drivers License matches the address where you reside. You may not have a PO BOX for an address on your ID or Drivers License. If you have an ID or Drivers License issued by New York State it must be a “Real ID” or “Enhanced” marked drivers license. If the upper RH corner of your drivers license is marked “Not for Federal Purposes” it cannot be used to identify you for a background check and will prevent you from buying a firearm.

If you are not a US Citizen you must present your “Green Card”. We must have it, and any other IDs in hand. We cannot accept photographs or copies.

How does the background check work?

The background check is handled by a branch of the FBI called the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Section. When you decide on the firearm you wish to purchase the next step is the background check. We will present a form that is filled out and then that data is submitted to government via the Internet. Then NICS will proved one of three responses.

  1. Proceed – Proceed means you have passed the background check and may leave with the gun that same day.
  2. Delay – Delay means they need to complete some more research before they will allow you to possess the gun. Delays can be anywhere from an hour to thirty days.
  3. Deny – Deny means they believe you are a prohibited person and you cannot obtain a firearm. If you believe this was made in error there is an appeal process you can start with NICS. I can get you pointed in the right direction.

Here are some general observations and information about the background check process:

  1. We have no idea what information they research and why you may be delayed or denied.
  2. If you are purchasing your first firearm and are new to the system it is not unusual to get a “Delay” response.
  3. If you are not a citizen of the United States of America it is not unusual to get a “Delay” response.
  4. If you are a felon it is not unusual to get a “Deny” response.

I received my pistol license, how do I purchase a pistol?

Each licensing agency is a bit different.

Suffolk County Police Department Licensees: You proceed to the shop first to select a handgun. Once selected you pay for the firearm and complete the background check. Your background check must have a “Proceed” status before proceeding to the next step. After you have a proceed you will take the receipt for your firearm, a blank check or money order, and a 782 Custom Gunworks drafted handgun verification. You then take those to Yaphank (where you had your interview) and secure a purchase document. The Pistol Licensing Division will sell you the needed purchase document while adding the handgun to your license. You then return to 782 with the purchase document and we can release the handgun to you.

Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office Licensees: You may proceed to