How can I legally own a firearm in NYC? are there any legal alternatives?


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AJAX22
August 20, 2008, 11:17 PM
I'd like to apologize in advance in case this has been covered in another thread and my search-fu is just not up to par.

I'm a California Native who just moved to NYC to go to school. (Columbia university)

I had to leave my entire (rather decent) collection behind when i moved.

I would like to get a firearm for home defense or (if possible) a concealed cary permit which would allow me to own/cary a defensive sidearm.

What is the permitting process and how do I go about it?

Is there any way to get one through a loophole or special circumstance? perhaps become a part time volunteer deputy or armorer for a local precinct?

I was trying to read NYC's penal code to determine what is and what is not allowed, and it seems that percussion guns are legal and unregulated?

could I obtain and cut down an old muzzleloading double to keep around the house in case of emergency?

It also seems like long guns made before 1893 are unregulated as well under NYC law? could I get an original 1887 Winchester?

If firearms are totally unobtainable what other options do I have that are legal? pocketknife? mace? tazer? walking stick?

Any help/Advice would be greatly appreciated.

I really don't want to screw up my future, so I have to be 100% absolutely legal in everything that I do (it seems like an easy city to accidentally break the law even with the best intentions)

If there are any members who are NYC residents I'd love to meet up and talk about how to stay legal in this city. I'll even buy the coffee.

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Trebor
August 20, 2008, 11:24 PM
I'm not in NYC so I can't give you specific answers.

I will say that NYC has one of the toughest handgun laws in the nation. Google the Sullivan law and read from there.

My understanding is that just to get a permit to purchase and keep a handgun at your residence takes up to $1,000, involves a huge amount of complicated paperwork, and can take months and months to obtain.

Getting a CCW permit is all but impossible, unless you are a celebrity or are VERY politically connected.

As far as I know, there are no workarounds or easy ways around the law. I don't believe NYC allows armed reserve officers, so unless you want to apply to be a full time NYCPD cop, that route is out.

My understanding is that long guns are not quite as tightly regulated, but there is still a permit and registration system at both the NY state and city level.

There are attorney's who specialize in helping people navigate the NYC gun laws to buy and possess handguns. That should give you an idea how complex navigating the whole system can be.

I'm sure someone from NYC will respond sooner or later. Like I said, I'm not in the state, so my understanding might be wrong in one or more areas.

Oh, one last thought: It will be at least a few years before the "Heller" decision affects NYC. The city has to be sued, then the case has to wind it's way through the courts and appeals, and then if the plantiff wins, the city has to come up with new "reasonable" regulations. Expect everything to be drawn out as much as possible. The whole process will take several years, minimum, in my estimation.

Rokyudai
August 20, 2008, 11:33 PM
Young grasshoppa' read and be enlightened:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/permits/permits.shtml

CWL
August 20, 2008, 11:33 PM
I don't know how you can be going from CA to NYC and think that you will be able to get a CCW.

Home permits are possible but not easy.

It would be more fruitful to look for alternative means to protect yourself while outside of your residence.

azhunter122
August 20, 2008, 11:44 PM
stay the hell out of NYC! AT ALL COSTS lol. You won't be carrying unless you are a millionaire or something. Who needs a gun anyways!

AJAX22
August 21, 2008, 12:08 AM
I have to be here, the school is here, I got in and I can afford to go (its a miracle on both counts)

I know it will be difficult and a pain in the butt to get, but that's why I'm asking about unregulated items.... percussion??? antique???

right now I would like to focus on getting some form of shotgun for the house, and something (anything) that I can slip in my pocket legally and cary for personal protection.

I would also like to know if anyone knows of a good shooting range in the city where (once properly permitted) I can take a firearm to test it and make sure it is reliable for home defense.

I personally feel that I may be able to do the 2A the maximum amount of good by being a subversive 2A rights influence inside a prominent institution like Columbia.

The children of people who have influence attend this school, If I can win them over to the 2A it will be a much more meaningful victory than preaching to the choir.

So please, Less NYC bashing (its easy, but pointless)

I really need all the help I can get to understand what is/is not legal in this city.

Trebor
August 21, 2008, 12:23 AM
Just be aware that even if NYC *and* NY State allow you to possess blackpowder handguns without going through the permiting process, that does NOT mean you can then carry a blackpowder handgun.

If you get caught with a blackpowder handgun, even one regarded as an "antique" under Federal law or one that is not considered a "firearm" under Federal or NY state law, you can still be charged with "carrying a dangerous weapon."

The thinking is that a blackpowder pistol can still be a "dangerous weapon" even if it is not legally considered a "firearm" and so you can still be charged.

Now, I'm not in NY, like I said, so you'd have to check NY state *and* NYC city law to know for sure. But, just wanted you to realize that just because a BP firearm *might* be unregulated, that doesn't mean you can legally carry it.

To be honest, I don't think you're going to find any "loophole" or any way around NY City's onerous permiting process.

ColinthePilot
August 21, 2008, 12:43 AM
Get the long gun permit and a shotgun for home protection. Forget carrying while you're in NY. You're from California, you should be used to not being able to carry. I grew up in Maryland and for that reason, I believe, don't feel naked when I'm not carrying.
Get through school, and find a job in a state that doesn't rob its serfs...I mean sheep...I mean citizens of the right to self defense.
Good luck.

AjayofCanada
August 21, 2008, 01:05 AM
Be thankful you don't live up north in Canada like me. We don't have CCW up here. I can only shoot my M&P at the range, that is it. But the criminals up here must know of some secret carry permit or something, because they all carry guns but I can't. Don't get me wrong, I am allowed to defend myself, I just can't prepare for it in advance. You can always improvise and grab a garbage can lid as a shield or something. LOL

Speedo66
August 21, 2008, 07:14 AM
Forget the carry permit, it's not going to happen under any circumstance. As a non resident, I doubt you will even be able to get a pistol premises, target, or hunting permit.

In NYS, you can possess, not carry, an unloaded black powder pistol. If you load it, it becomes a regular pistol subject to license requirements, even for hunting. If you carry it, it becomes an "imitation pistol", also illegal to carry. Same for any ancient or lookalike pistol.

In addition to NYS law, NYC has it's own "administrative code", which bans everything including BB & pellet guns of all types.

You probably will be able to obtain a permit for rifle or shotgun, but you must appear, in person only, to even pick up the application and pay the fee for the application, and I think a print fee. The application location is in Queens, though not far from a subway.

If you have a friend with a residence outside of NYC, buy or bring your long gun there & store it there, no license required outside NYC for long guns.

There is a public range in Yonkers, just outside the city, where you can shoot .22 rifle. Also in Westchester County, further north of the city, there is a public range run by the West. Co. parks dept, Blue Mt. Sports Center, where you can shoot. They have ranges for .22 rifle, large bore, and trap & skeet. Also archery if you are so inclined. Google the rec depts for Yonkers & West. Co. to find them.

If you are seen on the street with a gun, which must be cased at all times, someone will no doubt call the police.

You will also find the PC pendulum has swung very far at Columbia, don't expect to find too many people sad about your inability to carry a gun. I assure you there will be no organized protests in your behalf.;)

ZeSpectre
August 21, 2008, 08:44 AM
Temporary, non-resident in NYC.
ZERO chance.
Sorry

AJAX22
August 21, 2008, 09:57 AM
If I truly do have zero chance of owning an operable firearm in NYC, doesn't that make for a perfect post heller case if I apply and am denied?

I'm here for the next 3 years like it or not.

Even if we forget about CCW (heller didn't cover that expressly)

what about antique or percussion shotguns for the home?

I would like to have the means to defend myself and my wife in our own home.

Also... on the NYC long gun application it mentions two letters of good character from members of the community.... does it mean the immediate community? (as in NYC proper) or will I be able to get some letters from CEO's and CFO's of companies that I've worked for in other states and use them as references?

What counts as an NYC resident (to NYC)? I have an apartment leased in my own name on the upper west side in Manhattan, I have utility bills in my name, I am a full time student... I just kept my CA drivers license because all the cars and motorcycles that I own are all kept in CA and I don't want to abandon my CA residency, I have a permanent mailing address over there and as near as I can figure I should qualify for dual residency.

Are there any NYC gun owners groups who can help walk me through the process?)

AntiqueCollector
August 21, 2008, 10:02 AM
Antiques are firearms in NY if you simply have the components to load it (powder, balls, etc.). In NY state you don't need as far as I know any permit or license to own a shotgun or normal hunting rifle, but NYC is a different can of worms. You do need a license/permit to have even a shotgun there. I never thought I'd ever say this, but you'd be better off in CA as a gun owner, NYC is just that bad...

AJAX22
August 21, 2008, 12:05 PM
are there any exemptions?

does the percussion gun have to be loaded/primed/capped to be a firearm or is it just possession of necessary components?

Is there an appeals process if I am denied a permit upon application?

Are there any corporate exemptions that I could use? I don't mind forming an LLC or trust if it is easier for a corporation to own firearms than an individual.

jahwarrior
August 21, 2008, 01:18 PM
forget it. unless you have a zillion dollars and an attorney on retainer, you're NOT getting a carry permit. you're not even going to get a permit to own, so get it out of your head. the only shot you have is getting a long gun permit; you should probably apply for a hunting/sportsman's permit, and buy a shotgun for "skeet shooting". the only way you're getting a handgun is illegally, which no one here will advise you to do. NYC is so strict on weapons, even carrying OC/pepper spray, a good pocket folder, or an impact weapon, is a felony offense. the last time i visited NYC, i bought an aluminum baseball bat, a catcher's mitt, and a ball. i also kept camping gear in my van, like a tomahawk, and a khukuri "machete". i'll admit to carrying a knife and some OC spray; i had my kids with me, and i wasn't taking any chances.

SCMtns
August 21, 2008, 01:51 PM
From what I've understood over the years, legal concealed carry is only possible if you're a movie star or politician in the Bay Area (where I live) and NY (which I used to live fairly close to in far NE PA).

Friends who've lived in the city have told me that it's really worth it to hire a lawyer for the whole long gun permit process. Since concealed carry is out of the question, a long gun's all you need anyway. A 12-ga pump is probably your best bet.

I don't know what legal options you have for little BS toy weapons you could carry in your pocket, but I can't think of a single one I would take seriously. I'm pretty sure all the good ones are against the law: sap, brass knuckles, etc. If you're not trained in the use of whatever it is, you're probably worse off breaking it out and committing one hand and your entire strategy to it than you are keeping your hands empty and focusing your efforts on either getting away or inflicting the type of damage you could learn from boxing, kickboxing, jiu jitsu, etc. At up-close and personal NYC ranges, disarm techniques can be amazingly easy to pull off with a little practice and good hand speed. Chokes are your best friend, especially against a larger opponent-- there must be about a thousand ways to cut off the blood to the human head, from all different positions and angles

That brings me to my main point: I know there are great places to train these things in NYC, because I've been to a few and have friends who train at a couple more. (Matt Serra's got a great place out there, and Renzo Gracie's somewhere in the city-- I forget where.) Like you, I'm not allowed to carry out here in CA, but it doesn't both me that much. Given how long I've been training full-contact mma (~9 yrs), I feel like the criminals need to worry about me, not the other way around. I know-- I could still get shot, same as anybody else, but I'll be putting up a damn good fight.

I visited a Sambo academy somewhere near Times Square one time and had a great workout and a great time. Really cool people, great fighting techniques, great instructor. I was basically on a "training vacation" with a good friend from Long Island who's been doing brazilian jiu jitsu for 13 years or so-- we went on a circuit of open mats and sparring sessions around the NYC/Long Island area, and the owner of the Sambo school was a friend of his who put on a special class/workout/open mat for us. I was really impressed with what he taught his guys, how hard they went and how much fun they had. Of all the places I saw out there, that's the one I'd join if I lived there. If you're interested, I'd be glad to find out from my friend what the name of the place was.

If you're in college, you're probably fairly young and in decent shape, right? Now's the time to train to fight, while you've still got the energy and you're not all old and beat up yet. You'll be glad for the rest of your life that you did, and you'll meet a lot of cool people. (Just like the gun community.)

Hope this helps you make the best of a crappy self-defense situation.

mgkdrgn
August 21, 2008, 01:55 PM
Short answer: No and No

Long answer: 1) become a cop
2) become rich, famous and/or a celebrity and be prepared to
become much less rich while paying lawyers (and others?)
lots of money

Long answer to part #2, see long answer to part #1

Trebor
August 21, 2008, 02:00 PM
I just kept my CA drivers license ....and I don't want to abandon my CA residency, I have a permanent mailing address over there and as near as I can figure I should qualify for dual residency.

NYC is going to use this to deny your application based on your California residency. They require you to be a NY state and NYC city resident and if you are maintaining a California DL that is enough for them to deny the application.

They do NOT have to accept any sort of "dual residency" argument. They make the rules and decide how they will be applied.

In fact, NYS might not even let you have a general long gun permit because of the residency issue. I don't know for sure on that one though.

You aren't making it easier on yourself by maintaining your California residency.

There is going to be no "easy" way for you to get a firearms license and/or NYC pisol permit. If you keep your California residency you are just making it that much harder on yourself on top of everything else.

Now, there are attorneys that specialize in helping NYC residents navigate the permiting process.

Once you are in NYC (with all your guns still in California) you should go to the local shooting range and ask around for info on attorneys. See if there is a NY State Pistol Association or some such and ask there as well.

Once you find an attorney familiar with NY State and NYC laws and regs regarding firearms, explain your situation to him and ask his advice. He may or may not charge for a single visit to explain your options.

Then, take his advice. You may need to accept that you aren't going to be able to do what you want to do. Or, he might be able to guide you through the process.

In any event, unless you have VERY deep pockets, don't except to get a permit by filing suit and becoming the next post-Heller poster boy.

And yes, NYC wants references from people in NYC. That's just something else they can use to deny you.

K-Romulus
August 21, 2008, 02:18 PM
$450 for a three-year pistol license!?
$250 to register ONE shotgun?!

Multiple notarized letters of reference just to APPLY for a permit!?

Remember this BS the next time you hear Bloomberg or some other anti-RKBA tool talk about "reasonable restrictions."

To keep it on point, I do know that Spyderco-type folding lockblade knives are totally illegal under NYC's "gravity knife" statute, no matter the blade length. If any police officer CAN HOLD THE BLADE and flick the knife to lock open (meaning you need to press something to release the blade to close it again), then it is illegal. Bladeforums.com is a good source for gasket-blowing among "knife enthusiasts" over this law. I think the Bladeforum and Spyderco forum consensus was that the Spyderco UK or similar pocket knives that did NOT lock in any way were OK (but I don't think anyone tested that idea out on NYPD).

I'm not sure about pepper spray. You could always go the "tactical fountain pen" route and pick up an aluminum-bodied pen to use as a kubaton. (I have a Parker and Rotring)

Within the past two years there was a nutball at St. John's?...err, John Jay? . . College (located somewhere in NYC) who tried a campus shooting with a muzzleloader. Breathless NYC-area media outlets reported on the "musket loophole" that was "endangering lives" (blackpowder long guns were basically unregulated in NYS/NYC). There was some sort of attempt to "close that loophole" but I don't remember what happened. I don't know about blackpowder pistols.

Speedo66
August 21, 2008, 03:23 PM
Nice range in Manhattan at 20 W 20th St, West Side Rifle & Pistol Range.

I don't think you will need any help for a long gun permit, but they would know who to contact if you do.

Snipe315
August 21, 2008, 03:30 PM
I feel your pain.

I'm a NYC native that is currently residing the California. Despite what non-California people post about the gun laws sucking here, they sure are better than the NYS/NYC laws!

:banghead:

For personal defense while out & about, I think something like a Leatherman Wave would be legal (it is after all, a multi-tool). :rolleyes:

You can also carry something like the Surfire E2DL flashlight.

http://www.surefire.com/maxexp/main/co_disp/displ/carfnbr/0/prrfnbr/24531/E2D-LED-Defendersupandreg-sup

Stay Safe. Stay Legal.

Enjoy the Big Apple.

RPCVYemen
August 21, 2008, 03:55 PM
I was up in NYC a few weeks ago. While I was there, I had to visit the one shooting range in Manhattan open to the public - the West Side Pistol and Rifle Range:

http://www.westsidepistolrange.com/

Since I was from NC, he had a lot of questions for me - and I had a lot of questions for him. It turns out that a lot of what I have heard about about guns NYC on the web was rumor.

Here's what I remember:


A premises license, which allows you to keep a loaded gun in your house is pretty easy to get. One of the guys who was behind the counter showed me his license, with two columns of guns on the back. He really acted like it was no big deal to get one - speaking in terms of difficulty, not philosophy. I think that I recall that you need a driver's license, proof of residence and a clean record. You may also have to provide fingerprints.

A carry permit was very hard to get until/unless you could demonstrate that your job compelled you to carry lots of money. Evidently, its' relatively easy for nightclub owners/managers to get a carry license.


My guess is that you are going to have to decide which one state you you want to claim for residency. I've never heard of a state that had a notion of "dual residency" (maybe there are some, and I just don't know it). I think each state is allowed to define residency as it wishes, at least with regard to licensing provisions, etc. I think that there are federal provisions with regard to residency for voting purposes, but I think states may pretty much have free reign after that.

My advice is not to worry too much about the issue. I spent a week on the upper West Side - not too far from Columbia - and never felt any issues. I doubt that a carry permit would be that useful. Most of your trips outside your apartment will be to Columbia, or to party. :) I am 100% certain that Columbia won't let you carry a weapon on their property, and I doubt that you can carry in nightclubs/bars anyway (at least you can't in NC).

Relax and enjoy Manhattan - one of the most amazing places on earth (for me). You'll be in a city with more food and theater and cultural variety than any place I have ever been, and you'll be at one of the top universities in the country (if not the world). Everyday I was there, I walked from the Village to the Upper West side, and just reveled in the variety of people and cultures in that city. It's the most walkable place in the world.

I love Manhattan. I know that's not real popular here at THR :), but I'd rather be on the streets of Manhattan than just about any other place on earth. The Cameron Highlands of Malaysia are probably in 2nd place, but there's a big gap between #1 and #2. If I could afford it - and could convince my nature-loving wife - I would move there tomorrow.

I was talking to my mom just before I left. She grew up in the Bronx in a "not very good" neighborhood (according to her), and married a career Naval Officer. She's lived in many places both coasts, lived in Guam, and driven back and forth across the country a half dozen times before there were Interstates. She summed up my feelings well - "Every place else is just boring."

I am guessing that not everyone on THR will agree with this post! :)

Mike

hnk45acp
August 21, 2008, 04:10 PM
This is how you have to do it.
1. First you need to be a resident of the city, get an apartment preferably by yourself.
2. You need to get a NYS drivers license
3. Go to 1 police plaza get an application, fill it out or go to West Side Pistol Range 20 W. 20th St bet 5th & 6th ave and have them help you fill it out.
4. You will need 2 notarized character letters, fingerprint card (get at your local precinct or at 1 police Plaza, 2 passport type pics, utility bill (phone or electric only!) $340 Money order plus $99 Money order for fingerprints
5. Submit all of the above, wait for your interview and in 6-8 months you will have a premise permit.

Not easy, it may mean you can't live in campus housing as I'm sure that Columbia has a no firearms clause in their dorm leases

good luck and you can PM me if you have any questions

Prince Yamato
August 21, 2008, 04:30 PM
And to add a little bit. In NYC you need a permit for ALL firearms owned. In NYS, you only need a permit for handguns. You could move to CT and commute, but you'd miss out on a lot of the cool stuff in the city. NYC is much safer than cities like Detroit or New Orleans. NYC has the largest contingent of police on the streets of ANY major US city. So you have that going for you. You can probably get pepper spray as well. Since you can't carry at school, you'd be limited as to what you could do with the firearm anyway. You're not going to be able to get a CCW in NYC, so just forget about it entirely. In short, do your time in college, get out, get a good job outside of NYC, move out, get whatever gun you like.

I doubt that you can carry in nightclubs/bars anyway

Actually, you CAN carry in bars in NYS.

"Every place else is just boring."

You are so right. I swear if NYC had "shall issue" CCW, I'd move there in a heartbeat. I love being able to walk everywhere. I love NY in the fall. I love the arts scene. There's a reason NYC has the largest population of any city in the country and a population roughly equal to the ENTIRE population of Canada.


Also, my biggest worry as a Californian would be WINTER. :D

S4gunn
August 21, 2008, 05:04 PM
Q: What about a crossbow?
I found regulations about hunting but what about possession in your house?

-g

1KPerDay
August 21, 2008, 05:45 PM
CA to NYC, huh? Talk about jumping from the frying pan into the fire... ;)

tpaw
August 21, 2008, 06:39 PM
NYC is going to use this to deny your application based on your California residency. They require you to be a NY state and NYC city resident and if you are maintaining a California DL that is enough for them to deny the application.

NYC will want to know your primary "ABODE" the place were you consider home. Since you said that you are renting an apartment and pay utility bills, that is sufficient enough to establish an abode, your place of residence. It would be advantagious to get a NYS drivers lic.

MIgunguy
August 21, 2008, 07:04 PM
This is why I will NEVER, EVER move to New York or **********. Even New Zealand has less restrictive guns laws. They even gave up registration years ago because they realized the folly and uselessness of resistering firearms. AND they actually encourage the use of suppressors so farm animals don't get scared.

"I grew up in Maryland and for that reason, I believe, don't feel naked when I'm not carrying."

Me too! I hear things have gotten worse in MD since I left, more like NY. Pathetic.

tpaw
August 21, 2008, 09:59 PM
This is why I will NEVER, EVER move to New York or **********.

It's NYC, the five boroughs that is restrictive, not impossible, just restrictive. The rest of the state is very flexible, some more than others, according to County, Town, Village etc. NYC is geographically very small compared to the rest of the state. Although a significant population lives and works in the five boroughs of NYC, many live outside of the boroughs and enjoy a much more liberal ability to own long guns and handguns. I grew up within the five boroughs. You would be very surprised how many house holds own firearms. In my own experience living in Manhattan proper (the Big Apple), Brooklyn, Maspeth and Bayside, about 7 out of 10 families owned various types of long guns or handguns. I now live in Nassau County, and enjoy full carry concealed. I'm about 20 miles outside of NYC. I dare say that due to our dense population, our state is probably more armed than many other states.
Just about everyone I know owns more than one long gun or handgun.
With nearly 20 million people, we are only about 3 million behind Texas.

30 cal slob
August 21, 2008, 10:02 PM
If you don't mind the commute, consider residing in SW Connecticut.

Greenwich to midtown is about 45 minutes. Of course, getting uptown can be a PITA. But, in Connecticut,

1) We have CCW.
2) You can bring your handguns with you when you move.
3) You can have EBRs, subject to certain exceptions and restrictions.

tpaw
August 21, 2008, 10:23 PM
In Connecticut:

1) We have CCW.
2) You can bring your handguns with you when you move.
3) You can have EBRs, subject to certain exceptions and restrictions.

My son lives in Conn. For such a liberal state I am amazed. You forgot full auto as well. Don't type so loud, the politicians might hear you.

Speedo66
August 21, 2008, 11:19 PM
Well, legally you can carry in bars, but many clubs check you for weapons at the door.

Funny story. Yankee Stadium, world series, a security guard is feeling jacket pockets and running her hands around your waist before you enter looking for guns.

She finds one under my jacket. "Is that a gun?" she asks. "Yes" I answer. "OK"

No other response, i.e. are you a cop, do you have a shield, why are you carrying, etc. Just "OK" and lets me proceed.

My son was speechless. My only thought was, "do I look that harmless?"

secamp32
August 21, 2008, 11:48 PM
Also remember, No guns of any kind on school property. Small containers of OC are legal in NY. The neighborhood around Columbia is ok but don't go into Morningside park. South of 125th St is better than north. Always carry a small amount of cash to appease the muggers. The chances of you going thru 4 years in that neighborhood without being mugged is slim.

If you want to commute, you can live in Westchester and take the train to 125 St. You can own a long gun in Westchester w/o a permit as long as its not subject to the AWB. Target permits can be had as well but it will take 6 to 12 months. Full carry permits are not.

RPCVYemen
August 22, 2008, 10:55 AM
The chances of you going thru 4 years in that neighborhood without being mugged is slim.

Not sure that's true - my sister went to law school at Columbia, and now lives on the upper West Side. I used to party a bit with a buddy at Columbia, and never had trouble. That was 20 years ago, and from what folks tell me, that area is better now than it was then.

That's all true south of 125th Street - I never went up past Columbia, which I think is at 110th or so.

Depending on who you ask, Giuliani either cleaned up the city, or had the luck to be the mayor when the big city cleaned itself up. :-)

Simple bits of advice:


Keep your wits about you, and be very aware of your surroundings after dark.
Never flash money around at a bar, etc.
Being obviously drunk on the street marks you as fresh meat. If you are going to be drunk on the street, don't look like you have any money. That's the gambit that probably saved me as a kid. :)
Pay attention to what the locals say.
Not being city bred, I don't understand why, but crime in NYC is very concentrated geographically. The averages belie the fact that there are very safe neighborhoods in NYC, and very dangerous neighborhoods. I don't know why the bad guy just don't go to another neighborhood, but they generally don't.
Whenever possible, after dark, walk with a friend. You don't need to be wildly paranoid about this, but if you're heading out somewhere at night, and another person is going the same way, then walk with them.
When in doubt, talk to a policeman. You will see a lot of them. By and large, it's a very professional and friendly force. If you wonder about a neighborhood or situation, and you see a cop, don't hesitate to walk up to them and say, "I'm not from around here. Is this a stupid place for me to be?" I had an undercover cop walk up to me (at 3:00 AM in Morningside Park :) ), and suggest that it wasn't a very safe place to be drinking. He suggested that walk back up the street.
If you look like a student, nobody's that interested in you. Oddly enough, people who rob people generally do it for the money.


BTW, I have heard the stories about keeping a "mugger wallet", etc. I classify that as an urban myth - I have never known anyone who lived in NYC who did that.

I have been visiting the city regularly for almost a half century - the Bronx as a kid, and Manhattan pretty regularly since the late 60s. Never a lick of trouble. I have done some pretty stupid things in that time - so I can't say luck doesn't have anything to do with it.

But over all, NYC is pretty safe - much lower rates of violent crime than most major cities in the US, and much lower than whole states in the south (where I live). If you search THR for that Jodie Foster viglante movie, we kicked the stats around quite a bit - the movie points out repeatedly that NYC is the "safest big city in the world". The stats overall back up that claim.

I love being able to walk everywhere. I love NY in the fall. I love the arts scene. There's a reason NYC has the largest population of any city in the country and a population roughly equal to the ENTIRE population of Canada.

They key is to love NYC for what it is - everything that Prince Yamato says, and more. If you head to the city expecting it to be Lower Alabama, then you are going to be disappointed. If you head to Lower Alabama expecting it to be NYC, you'll be disappointed as well. I don't know where you are from, but as I recall, it's far safer than almost any big city in California (I may be wrong about that).

Mike

RPCVYemen
August 22, 2008, 11:06 AM
With nearly 20 million people, we are only about 3 million behind Texas.

And generally, much safer. :) NYC has lower crime stats that almost every major city in Texas.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_cities_by_crime_rate

Evil

Seenterman
August 22, 2008, 11:39 AM
I think you can carry a blade on your person as long as it is under 4' in length. Dont quote me on that because I've tried looking up the maximum carry length and could only find refrences to that, nothing hard and solid. I live just outside NYC in Yonkers so if you ever want to get a range day going, I'll bring along my mini collection. Ruger 10/22, Savage .22 Mag, Hi Point Carbine .40, and the all powerful, super sexy AR-15.

Gaffer
August 22, 2008, 11:39 AM
Sounds a little like an anti trying to draw out some replies that are going to get people in trouble. If he is smart enough he can look up the laws for himself as he must be very computer literate

springmom
August 22, 2008, 11:52 AM
If you don't mind the commute, consider residing in SW Connecticut.

Greenwich to midtown is about 45 minutes. Of course, getting uptown can be a PITA. But, in Connecticut,

1) We have CCW.
2) You can bring your handguns with you when you move.
3) You can have EBRs, subject to certain exceptions and restrictions.

Not to mention Connecticut is gorgeous, if pricey, and you've got train service from Katonah to downtown (my late in-laws lived in Ridgefield).

If you can stand the commute, CT would be the better option for what your concerns are. You can always stay overnight in town with friends from time to time to get your NYC nightlife fix :D

Springmom

Lewis130
August 22, 2008, 11:56 AM
Live in Connecticut and commute.

hnk45acp
August 22, 2008, 12:01 PM
Sounds a little like an anti trying to draw out some replies that are going to get people in trouble. If he is smart enough he can look up the laws for himself as he must be very computer literate

There is very little to no info on the process of getting your permit on the internet or .gov sites. I think that's done purposefully to make it harder for people to get permits but trust me, having gone thru the process and helped others go thru it, the best way is to ask someone who's done it

The guy has to go to school in Columbia I think commuting from CT is a bit far fetched

Caliban
August 22, 2008, 12:10 PM
I think just about everything that can be said about nyc gun laws has already been said here, but i want to add one thing- there are NO character references on the handgun application. I just put mine in three weeks ago, it costs about $450 in fees and they do fingerprint you, you need all kinds of notarized forms and statements, they call you back in a few months for an "interview" and that's it. for a premises/residence license, at least- it has been stated correctly that in order to ccw you need to prove "explicit need" by either being a nightclub owner or a celebrity (howard stern, donald trump, robert deniro all have nyc ccw licenses). average joe doesn't stand a chance.

i've spent a lot of time in that area, if you have even the slightest bit of street smarts you'll be able to figure out where it's safe to walk at night and where it's not. that neighborhood is gentrifying incredibly fast, you should have no problem whatsoever walking between classes and dorms and apartments and bars and restaurants without ever being in the slightest bit of danger.

dhoomonyou
August 22, 2008, 01:15 PM
I am a native new yorker living in Florida.

trust me, NYC sucks.

Get yourself a sturdy CANE.

learn how to use it.

stay out of NASTIER areas of the city.

BE very aware of your surroundings.

hnk45acp
August 22, 2008, 01:47 PM
This "No Character Letters" thing is new unless of course they ask for it when you go in for your interview which does happen so just be prepared.

There are many things that aren't stated but they MAY ask you for.

One time the investigating officer made my friend re-notarize her letters because they were all from the same notary!

No logic, no reason, just be prepared for the worst

RPCVYemen
August 22, 2008, 02:09 PM
i've spent a lot of time in that area, if you have even the slightest bit of street smarts you'll be able to figure out where it's safe to walk at night and where it's not. that neighborhood is gentrifying incredibly fast, you should have no problem whatsoever walking between classes and dorms and apartments and bars and restaurants without ever being in the slightest bit of danger.

Good to hear that. I spent a week in Manhattan on vacation two weeks ago, and spent a lot of time between 84th (my sister's apartment) and 94th (a hotel) - when I wasn't in the Village :). That's a little south of Columbia, but it seemed to me like a pretty safe neighborhood. Lots of sidewalk restaurants/cafes with lots of people in them until 10 or 11 at night. Nobody just hanging on the street corners, front stoops, etc. That's always a good sign.

I don't know how much I have in the way of street smarts, but when I am in the city I am much more aware of people around me - if someone is behind me for more than a block, I notice. If someone's walking close behind me, I notice. If someone in front of me or across the street makes eye contact with anyone behind me, I notice. At any rate, on this trip to NYC, I didn't get any hinky vibes the whole time. I walked from Tribeca (where my daughter's acting class was) up to 90th & West End about every day - and loved every minute of it. I strolled around the upper West Side (between 72nd and 94th) every evening, and loved that, too. :)

Mike

K-Romulus
August 22, 2008, 02:35 PM
hnk45:

I noticed the application instructions did not mention the letters of reference . . .when did they come up in your case, and how was it framed to you (i.e., "we need just a bit more info on you")

Rxxdoc
August 22, 2008, 02:42 PM
Stupid question of the day.

What if I have a CCW from another state? Can I carry in NY city?

(I am sure the answer is NO!).

M203Sniper
August 22, 2008, 02:55 PM
If firearms are totally unobtainable what other options do I have that are legal? pocketknife? mace? tazer? walking stick?


maybe a pocketknife.
Mace & Pepper spray are illegal.
Walking sticks are only "legit" if you are in a tuxedo or handicapped. Same for expandable baton's.
Tazer's are illegal and pieces of junk.

hnk45acp
August 22, 2008, 03:37 PM
I noticed the application instructions did not mention the letters of reference . . .when did they come up in your case, and how was it framed to you (i.e., "we need just a bit more info on you")

It's not quoted, they just say we need 2 notarized character reference letters that are from people that are not related to you.

No reason given.

I believe that it's an attempt to let them know that other people are aware that you are attempting to get a gun.

Also if you live with a roommate or parent even if you are of age they often ask you for a letter stating that the roommate/parent is aware of you getting a firearm and are OK with it.

AJAX22
August 22, 2008, 03:55 PM
Commuting from outside of the city isn't an option, I've already signed a lease for a very nice appartment a few blocks from the college (claremont ave across from morningside park)

I do understand that most of the dangers of the city can be mitigated by not being in the wrong place at the wrong time, however I would still like the ability to defend myself against any sort of home invasion.

I have a wife, and I consider it my duty to see to my family's safety. And I would like to be able to legally have the tools with which to do so.

And no, I'm not an anti out trolling, I just have had poor luck in finding any actuall law or guidelines for obtaning a firearm in NYC.

I have also not been able to find anything about alternative means of defense.

The one guy i saw with a knife here had a butterfly knife... and when I asked about it (he was using it to open a box in the store he was working in) he just stated that he didn't know any laws about it but you could get it in chinatown... That didn't sound to me like a very intelligent thing to do in a city where (i've heard) officers routinly stop individuals so that they can
perform 'terry frisks' on them.

I'll go down to the range that was mentioned this weekend and speak to the people there about what it will take to get a basic shotgun and see if anyone can walk me through filling out the nececary paperwork.

hnk45acp
August 22, 2008, 04:01 PM
I'm a member of the range let me know if you need help with anything
Getting a Rifle/Shotgun permit is much easier than getting a handgun permit.
You will probably still need to establish residency but there's no interview and a lot less paperwork. The Rifle/Shotgun division is in Queens NOT 1 police Plaza so you'll have to go there for your application, Although you may be able to find the application online now.

yhtomit
August 22, 2008, 05:38 PM
You say "three years" and that you've got to keep everything nice and legal -- so I'm guessing Law school. Correct? That was my situation in Philadelphia. Home addy for those years (my mom's place) is in Harrisburg; I got a permit, but also lived for most of the time in graduate housing (Univ. owned), and part of the time also worked in city buildings, or interned at a county courthouse, etc -- meaning that (all logic aside) having a gun would have been either illegal or could have led to deep trouble with the school. So, despite the permit, I never carried in Philadelphia.

If I'm right about law school, you might spend most of your time indoors and relatively safe on campus (ignoring the problem with victim-disarmament zones), and much of the rest with friends in places where violence is unlikely. I hope so, at least!

timothy

Caliban
August 22, 2008, 08:17 PM
Stupid question of the day.

What if I have a CCW from another state? Can I carry in NY city?

(I am sure the answer is NO!).

it's not just no. it's "3.5 years in prison if you're caught with an illegal gun" no.

tpaw
August 22, 2008, 10:21 PM
The one guy i saw with a knife here had a butterfly knife... and when I asked about it (he was using it to open a box in the store he was working in) he just stated that he didn't know any laws about it but you could get it in chinatown... That didn't sound to me like a very intelligent thing to do in a city where (i've heard) officers routinly stop individuals so that they can perform 'terry frisks' on them.
I've patrolled lower Manhattan (NYPD) in both uniform and plainclothes for 10 years all around Chinatown and Columbia University. You'll be just fine. It's a tourist area of Manhattan (SOHO) which means south of Houston Street. Greenwich Village, Chinatown, The South Sea Port Museum, Wall Street Stock Market, and Battery Park, are just a few of the many sites to see. Because of that, the areas are saturated with police, not to mention that Police Headquarters is also down there. The area is patrolled by the 1st and 5th Police Precincts, as well as plainclothes (Anti Crime) units and others, not to mention a separate Precinct where they have the Mounted Police (Horse back) patrol. Relax, enjoy your stay and good luck in your studies.
PS....routine "terry frisks" are not part of the aggressive patrol function.

RPCVYemen
August 25, 2008, 10:56 AM
I've officers routinely stop individuals so that they can perform 'terry frisks' on them.

People have heard a lot of things about NYC. My experience matches what tpaw posted. I have never been stopped for a "terry frisk", or had any NYPD officer initiate any contact other than when I was doing something stupid that might have gotten me hurt (drinking beer in Morningside Park at 3:00 AM).

If you think about it, NYPD officers are generally going to need to develop a pretty fine sense of who's looking for trouble, and who's not. In Podunkville, the local force probably knows all the local players and mainly focuses on anyone who's different (from out of town, has a funny accent, gay, doesn't speak English, etc.) That won't wash in NYC - everyone's "different". :) The officers in NYC have to be able to determine whether someone who doesn't speak the language and isn't even from the US is trouble or not.

In general, the officers do an incredible job in NYC. I ascribe my lack of difficulty with NYPC in the last 50 years to the fact that I wasn't looking for trouble when I was there - at least not criminal trouble.

Do the officers ever make a mistake? There are something like 40,000 police officers in the NYPD. That's bigger than 95% of the towns in my state. Are there many towns of 40,000 where no one makes a mistake? I don't think so.

At any rate, my experiences in NYC back up tapw's post.

Mike

Caliban
August 25, 2008, 01:16 PM
i agree, i've lived in nyc (brooklyn and manhattan) all my life and i've never had any trouble with the police that i didn't bring upon myself. nor has anyone i know ever been randomly frisked or harassed in any way. the nypd is really one big sleeping giant... mind your business and you'll be fine, but god help you if you get busted doing something like carrying a firearm.

mp510
August 25, 2008, 03:30 PM
The one guy i saw with a knife here had a butterfly knife... and when I asked about it (he was using it to open a box in the store he was working in) he just stated that he didn't know any laws about it but you could get it in chinatown... That didn't sound to me like a very intelligent thing to do in a city where (i've heard) officers routinly stop individuals so that they can
perform 'terry frisks' on them.

I'll give you a brief overview of NYC knife laws:

Prohibitted

* carrying knives with blades longer than equal to or greater than 4" (including the unsharpened portion)
* gravity knives
* switchblades
* carrying knives in a visible manner
* "Dangerous Knives" (NYS Penal Code term)
* daggers


NYS State law defines a gravity knife as a lockblade knife that can be opened by centrifrugial force. In short, that means that if the blade locks, and it can be flicked open (either by holding the handle or blade), it is a gravity knife. Carrying a gravity knife constitutes "Criminal Posession of a Weapon" , which depending on your prior record could be charged as either an A Misdomeanor or a D (IIRC) felony. NYPD rabidly persues weapons violations, especially when it comes to carrying knives. In most other counties they aren't as emphatic about prosecuting people for gravity knives, but people have been charged under the same interpretation. There is an exemption in NYS law that allows the carrying of a gravity knife or switchblade while engaged in licensed hunting or fishing activities. The sale of gravity knives (and switchblades) is illegal in NYS, the exemption was really meant for people who already owned them. However, there is many retailers who do sell illegal knives, and are not shut down by NYC or NYS officials.

The other issue major issue that you will face in New York City is that NYC Administrative Code prohibits visibly carrying a knife when not in actual use (ie cutting something) with a couple of exceptions. If you carry a knife clipped to your pocket, you are subject to arrest. NYPD arrests a lot of people for illegal visible carry. If you do meet one of the exemptions (ie. the knife is for use in the course of your employment, and you're on your way to work when you get arrested), be prepared to provide documentation from your employer when you go to court. You can be punished with a fine and/or up to 15 days in jail (IIRC).

Daggers and "Dangerous Knives" are banned statewide via the NYS penal code.

If an officer asks you why you are carrying a knife, never tell them it is for self defense. That will indicate to them that you intend to use it as a weapon, and even if the knife is otherwise legal, will get you arrested.

There is several previous threads that on the subject of NYC case law as it pertains to knives. It would probably be good for you to read up on them.
http://bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=538628
http://bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=563133

On a personal note- I live in Connecticut. When I travel into NYC, I prefer to carry a smaller (small stockman or peanut or a red SAK usually) slipjoint knife, deep in my pocket. I also use it as sparingly as possible. Virtually every locking knife can be flipped open- with the right technique and a little effort.

AJAX22
August 25, 2008, 04:16 PM
I took a close look at the extended university weapons policy today, and it appears that even though my lease does not specify that firearms are prohibited, the university weapons policy extends to all property which is owned or controlled by Columbia university. (including my apartment building)

If I was caught even with a properly permitted firearm I would be expelled.

They use New york penal code 265.01[3] to justify their stance.

If I can obtain written authorization from the university to posses a firearm in my residence, then I can apply for the permit to own a long gun. (chances are that means I am completely prohibited from legally/contractually possessing a firearm while in NYC.

If I have to go through that much stuff to get anything at all I might as well try to get the best I can get. how much more work is it to get a properly papered SBS in NYC? any law specifically prohibit them or is it just the CLEO sign off that prevents citizens from having them?

It looks like I'll have to be getting an 'emergency fire axe' or something to that effect for use in the home for the meantime.

and I will be trying to sort out the whole knife issue. what exactly is a Dangerous knife?

PS....routine "terry frisks" are not part of the aggressive patrol function.

I'm glad that the whole random stop/search thing is just a myth, it seems like there is alot of hearsay when it comes to NYC and NYPD but not alot of first hand accounts.

I won't be be out looking for trouble, I intend to spend my time south of 125th street when out and about, and I will be living primarily in the library when out of my apartment.

hnk45acp
August 25, 2008, 04:29 PM
I can guarantee that you will not get an exemption from Columbia to own a shotgun, much less a Short Barrelled one (which is impossible in NYC). If you want to get a shotgun you will have to live OFF Columbia real-estate and change your residency to NY

AJAX22
August 25, 2008, 04:43 PM
I can't change my lease (its a condition of receiving funding to go to school) all direct costs are handled through an automated payment system.

So my only option is to apply to the college for permission to posses one in my residence. If that means I don't get to exercise even the most basic 2A rights while I'm in NYC... well I don't have any control over that.

I will be changing my residency to NY anyway (I need to in order to get TAP funding)

Do ranges provide any service where you can rent/buy/store/use a gun while at the range? (I'd like to stay proficient if nothing else.

Are SBS's banned because of NYC law? or is it just that they don't offer a CLEO signoff? I can bypass the CLEO requirement by forming a trust if that is the only barrier.

RPCVYemen
August 25, 2008, 05:29 PM
Do ranges provide any service where you can rent/buy/store/use a gun while at the range? (I'd like to stay proficient if nothing else.

"West Side Pistol and Rifle" - I stopped to jaw with them on my last visit, and they seemed like decent guys.

http://www.westsidepistolrange.com/

Mike

scrat
August 25, 2008, 05:34 PM
Antiques are firearms in NY if you simply have the components to load it (powder, balls, etc.). In NY state you don't need as far as I know any permit or license to own a shotgun or normal hunting rifle, but NYC is a different can of worms. You do need a license/permit to have even a shotgun there. I never thought I'd ever say this, but you'd be better off in CA as a gun owner, NYC is just that bad...

wow i never thought id see a state worst than CA wow

762 shooter
August 25, 2008, 05:50 PM
Develop a limp and listen to poster #42.

I could hurt you with a "walking stick/cane". Within 7 feet you're mine.

Better check though,it might be illegal to be handicapped in NYC also.

AJAX22
August 26, 2008, 06:36 PM
It appears that an exemption from the firearms prohibitions for columbia controlled buildings may not be as hard to get as I had previously thought.

At one point they apparently had a shooting team on campus with an underground range. Eisenhower was a big sponsor of the club when he was in charge of CU back in the late 40's early 50's.

It appears that there may still be a columbia university shooting team. If I can get on that, I may be able to get a waiver allowing me to posess a firearm in my home... I can then apply for a NYC permit.

I have a little time right now so I'll be doing as much research as possible before school starts (next tuesday)

Caliban
August 26, 2008, 08:10 PM
please do post up your experience. i'm aiming to join you at columbia in a year.

when i was at dartmouth in new hampshire we had all kinds of shooting teams, but they strictly enforced the firearms ban in college-owned residences (which out there is 99% of them) so you had to store your guns in a central college-monitored locker.

FLA2760
August 27, 2008, 12:25 AM
I lived and worked in NYC 33 years. It is a MAJOR hassle to get a permit just to have a firearm in your home. All funds are non refundable if denied. The 2nd Amendment in NYC is little more than a historical footnote. Here is the link to NYPD Licensing Division. FYI pepper spray and pocket knives with a blade over 4" is illegal too. No stun guns either.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/permits/handgun_licensing_information.shtml

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