Moving from PA to NY - need Advice on Handguns


January 28, 2011, 11:06 AM
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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January 28, 2011, 11:57 AM

Do a google search on Niagara County Pistol Permit Office, and ask for Patti. She will tell you everything you need to know. And welcome in advance to Western NY. I think you'll like it here.

Good luck.

January 28, 2011, 11:58 AM
I'm terribly sorry to hear that, but here's a couple of places to start:

NRA's page on NY gun laws:

Gary's page on New York CCW:

January 28, 2011, 12:16 PM
You guys are the greatest! Thanks a million. :)

birddog, that's Erie County, but Patti is a great person! Thanks, my friend.

This is gonna be a real PIA. NY is tough! :banghead:

January 28, 2011, 12:41 PM
This is gonna be a real PIA. NY is tough!
Yes. At the very least, you'd need to store your handguns somewhere outside the state (or possibly with a dealer or someone else who may legally possess them) while you wade through the permit process to legally keep them in your home.

January 28, 2011, 02:02 PM
my opinion about moving to NY, ether sell your firearms or dont go, you will more than likely not be able to get a ccw

January 28, 2011, 02:39 PM
Sorry to hear you are moving to NY with us. I live in Rochester, the next big city to the east of Buffalo. In NYS to get your permit you have to live in the Co. for, I believe, 6 months before you can apply. You will have to have people who live in that Co. sign off on your pistol permit as references, and I think they want you to have known these people for the 6 months as well.

As for the chance of getting an unrestricted carry permit, don't hold your breath. Erie Co. is notorious for turning down pistol permits. You can always try, but if you get the permit to simply own them be happy.

I don't want to shamelessly plug another forum here but check out There are plenty of people there that can help answer any questions.

Hang on to your PA CCW. Once you have your NYS CCW permit, go back to PA and see if you can get your old permit switched to a non-resident permit. That way you don't have to pay to transfer your pistols via a dealer to NY.

January 28, 2011, 02:39 PM
my opinion about moving to NY, ether sell your firearms or dont go, you will more than likely not be able to get a ccw

It depends on the county. You may get a hunting, camping, target, etc. pistol permit which will allow you to posses your handguns. The down side is that I think that you must be a NY state resident first and it may take 3-6 months to get your permit after you turn in the application.

I know a guy who lived in a bordering county to me then moved into my county and they wouldn't issue him a permit until he lived in the county for a year. Like I said though, it all depends on the issuing judge in each county.

DO NOT bring your handguns into NY without a permit, you may need to leave them with a relative or trusted friend in PA and have them ship the guns to you via FFL after you get your permits in NY. By the way, NY has an Assault Weapons Ban so be careful of magazines of more than 10 rounds for handguns or long guns & bayonet lugs and other such features on long guns.

January 28, 2011, 02:44 PM
Erie County (Buffalo) adds their own stipulations on permits, typically approving them for target and hunting only. I believe Niagara County is a bit more lenient, get a place there if you can. I don't know how long you need to be a resident to apply for a permit.

Vermont Guy
January 28, 2011, 02:46 PM
I went through that about 5 years ago. I left my pistols with a dealer in my old state. After waiting a required 6 months I applied for a permit to have them in my house. That required 4 references. These references had to meet certain standards. Residents of my county, not police or elected officials, not related to me, no more then one from same family.

I had plenty people back where I came from but I had only been in NY for 6 month. I asked the officer in charge of the permit process if he wanted sort term locals or long term people from another state. He said locals would be acceptable. I had been shooting trap at the local range and had four of the other trap shooters vouch for my sanity.

Eventually I got the permit to keep a pistol in my home and use it for hunting and target shooting. Then my dealer in my old home sent them to a FFL in New York.

I have since had those restrictions removed and I can carry in New York.

Getting that unrestricted permit varies by county. Counties themselves can change. You might want to select your new place of residence on the countys' histories of granting unrestricted permits.

January 28, 2011, 03:03 PM
1.Forget about bringing the pistols at all on your own.
2. Pistols entering NYS must be sent to an FFL dealer to dealer upon entering the state for a new resident or old. NYS LAW
3. Pistols could be held by a reputable dealer for 6-months to 1 yr. and then you can take pocession once you get a NYS pistol permit or held by a family member or dealer in PA till you get a permit.
4. Any rifles, shotguns, or pistols must be not have any post ban high capacity mags entering the state, Hi Cap mags must be made pre ban 94 to enter NY state.
5. Avoid bringing any assualt rifles into the state, although most pre ban ones are legal, you can still get in trouble with the cops during transport, this happened to an upstate NY college student that was arrested and caught with legal assault rifles in a motel room. He eventually got off, but it was a lot of legal trouble.
6. Normal hunting rifles and shot guns are ok to bring in while driving into the state.
7. If you live in the city of buffalo they have some very restrictive rules concerning most guns, try and move to a bflo. suburb.

The best dealer and shop to use for transfers in western ny is Johnson's Country Store in lockport , ask for AL Johnson the owner. They have the best prices and handling for shipping and recieving guns.

Some of the BIG shops in Buffalo , charge a lot to ship or recieve a pistol or rifle, one of the big ones Cheektowaga charges $75-$80 plus shipping to recieve or ship a gun.

January 28, 2011, 03:09 PM
I'm not moving to NY, but read this whole thread anyway.


With all the variations county to county as to aquiring a carry permit, do they restrict the carry to those individual counties? While I'd hate to think that the countys would be so petty as to not recognize another NY county's carry permit, but obvioulsy they feel required to have different requirements.

It feels like a dumb question, but if it's truley a state permit (maybe with exceptions of NY city) should not permit process be the same across the state.

January 28, 2011, 03:23 PM
Here is a link to a NYS permit application, note you need 4 character references and they must all live in the same town or city as you do in most counties. Police checks will be done on all references and are called by local cops concerning your application and they can not lie when about anything about their crimal or tainted history, cops will dig it up and use it as a reason for permit denial. So make sure your references all have no past arrests.

I know erie county used to allow applicants to use references that lived in the same county. But some counties require the references to live in the same town , city as you do, this is what Niagara county does.

January 28, 2011, 03:23 PM
Nope. I have a carry permit issued in Monroe Co. I can legally carry in any Co. in NY except for NYC and that surrounding area.
As long as a specific area is not off limits for carrying, it is allowed once you have a permit. The county only matters when applying for a permit. Some are very easy, in my case my original Co. took only 2 weeks, and some can be almost impossible. Once you have the permit though you are good to go.

January 28, 2011, 04:21 PM
my opinion about moving to NY, ether sell your firearms or dont go, you will more than likely not be able to get a ccw

Utter, uninformed BS.

January 28, 2011, 04:56 PM
your best bet stay in pa . y move to buffalo with all the snow

January 28, 2011, 05:28 PM
Uh-oh, here come the New York bashers again.

So let me ask you a hypothetical question: Let's just say you have an established practice in New York, netting you close to $500,00.00 per year; or that you've been offered a job in whatever county you chose in New York that would offer you job security and a six-figure salary; or that you were born and raised in New York and inherited your dad's hardware store and 30-acre farm. Or maybe you just plain appreciate the many advantages to raising a family in New York. How many of you bashers would move to another state so you could have 30 rounds in your magazine or carry concealed? Be honest, now. Did you really move to the state or situation in which you are in because of its gun laws? Or do you happen to just live there?

Then understand that the entire US of A could go to a ban on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds at just a drop of a hat. Or that your own state could change its firearms laws in a heartbeat, depending upon what and where the next psychopath goes on a shooting spree. Get real, folks, and understand that draconian gun laws do not confine themselves to state lines, but is something we all should be concerned with regardless of the state in which you happen to reside.

Gun laws in New York State vary widely county-by-county, in much the same way our state laws vary. That is the truth of the matter.

By the way, I live in NY, carry concealed when I choose to do so, own lots of pistols and rifles, and both hunt and fish. But I can't have more than 10 rounds in my magazine. Guess I'll have to live with that.

January 28, 2011, 05:42 PM
i would sell the farm , and stay where i am at

January 28, 2011, 05:47 PM
Did you really move to the state or situation in which you are in because of its gun laws?

:o Well yeah...:o

January 28, 2011, 06:23 PM
Did you really move to the state or situation in which you are in because of its gun laws?
Well... yeah. As he said.

But SR raises a good point about discussing such things here at THR: We do not allow state-bashing and "move out of that cesspool of a state" kind of comments. Many people do have to, or choose to, stay behind what others of us tend to think of as "enemy lines" and fight the good fight.

Let's stay on the side of giving wise counsel and avoid simple derogation of the beautiful (if perhaps a bit legislatively misguided) state of New York.

January 28, 2011, 10:29 PM
Just finished reading Richard Venola's column in March's Guns and Ammo with regard to "Foidistan," id est, the State of Illinois where FOID cards are the rule of law. Great article indeed, but he errs when he suggests that, referring to Illinois firearms legislation, "patriotic citizens of Illinois tolerate this blatant infringement of their civil rights with the same weary acceptance that their ancestors yielded to feudal lords."
Last time I checked, people voted for their legislators and what they represent, just as voters have done for over two centuries. Why is it so difficult to conceive of the notion that this is what the majority of the people want, regardless of whether it is right or wrong, Constitutional or not? We (being gun enthusiasts, that is) are a minority, my friends; and the sooner we begin thinking nationally, rather than "state centered," the more effective we will become at opposing these infringements. If you think you are immune from infringements to your Constitutional rights because you live in a state that is currently "pro-gun," you are sadly mistaken. All it takes is a few signatures to change all that.

January 28, 2011, 11:42 PM
Once again - great discussion and terrific information from you all - and much faster than I could ever hope to do snaking it out myself in one day. :D

Thanks, friends.

January 29, 2011, 12:35 AM
Did you really move to the state or situation in which you are in because of its gun laws?
Yes, I did.
I moved from Michigan out here to Northern Idaho to get away from the fast paced & high stress life back east. I walked away from GM without skipping a heartbeat. Best thing I ever did in my life.
Idaho is about as gun friendly as I could find out west and still be able to earn a respectable living while residing in a small town. So I moved out here. Montana is even more gun friendly, but it's harder to find a good paying job.
I look back at the stupid east coast liberal gun laws, and wonder why I didn't move out here 30 years ago.
I have a daughter in Michigan I'd like to transfer a pistol to, but it's such a hassle I'll just have her buy one, and then I'll write her a check to cover the costs.

January 29, 2011, 05:07 PM
Moved out of NYS state 3 yrs. ago , while it does have good hunting and the weather changes aren't that bad. Its just that there are no jobs left, except for medical, and government jobs and taxes going up all the time, while every thing else is declining.

Gun laws aren't too bad in NYS , its just that other states are a lot easier to own almost anything, where I moved to you can own even machine guns and silencers with the right paper work.

So if you like the cold and work for government or medical field then , upstate NY is pretty cheap, right now you can buy a brand new 2000 sq ft house in niagara county for around $200k.

Best areas.

clarence, lancaster ,orchard park, marilla amherst $175-$300k 1500-3000 sq. ft.

old suburbs -cheektowaga, tonawanda, west seneca, depew, north tonawanda $75k- $150k

Buffalo 2 family ebay house $2k-$10k, and borderline liveable areas of buffalo you can get $20-$80k

The key to finding out what area you would want to live in is really by the school system, and neighbor hood. Tour the schools grammer and high school and see what your pontential or current kids will have to deal with. This is what really sells most houses, and determines value ( LOCATION and SCHOOL SYSTEM).

January 29, 2011, 05:22 PM
Moderator Comment: Remember our focus is on GUNs and GUN LAWS. Please take any comments or questions about other aspects of life in NY to Private Messages.

January 30, 2011, 07:23 AM
Hey gearchecker. If you wanted to move to Montana, you could get a job of shoveling snow. That would last about 10 months of the year. :D

I'm moving to TN from Mi this summer. I'm taking my wife down on Mar 1. MI has come a long way in their liberal gun laws (permissible, not political). They're pretty good now. One thing I can't do in MI and will be able to do in TN is put a silencer on my UZI.

February 1, 2011, 06:39 AM
Hi If Your planning on working in the Buffalo area that does not mean You have to live in Erie Co. ! Wyoming County is just the Rt.400 and Rt. 16 forty something minutes away. A Wyoming Co CCW permit allows You to carry everywhere except NYC, and why would You need a weapon there ? Warsaw, Ny or Arcade, Ny are well with in commute distance and the freedom is well worth it. Truth be told I had more areas to shoot and more Gun shops to visit when I lived in that area of Ny than what I presently enjoy here in Wv. When I left Ny in 2000 You would still have needed a permit own a handgun so I believe others telling You to secure Your handguns with a relative or trusted friend until You get the red tape settled is also good advice. .....wvleo

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