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NY Pistol Permit Hassle - fight the power, or not?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by zminer, Apr 7, 2008.

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  1. zminer

    zminer Member

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    I am in the process of applying for my pistol permit here in NY state. It's taken a while to get all the stuff together, and I finally submitted my paperwork and got fingerprinted last week. I got a call this past Saturday from the police department saying that they can't process my application because my safety class took place outside of the county. Nowhere in the application process does it say that the safety course has to take place in your county of residence - it just says you have to take one. The course I took was at a reputable gun shop, it is an NRA-approved course, and it is billed as being the course to take to fulfill the pistol permit requirement in the county where it's located. I called them today and they still stand by that assessment of the course.

    I talked to an employee at the county clerk's office, showed her my class certificate, and she said that she feels the class I took is valid, and should be allowed. She says she knows many of the officers who deal with the pistol permits and gave me her name and number so that I could tell them that she said she would approve of the course. She also said she felt that the judge (who must ultimately approve the permit) would feel it was a valid course.

    I asked her if the police have the legal right to hold up my permit application because they don't like the course I took, even though everyone else seems like they're okay with it. She hedged, and wouldn't give a straight yes or no. I got her to agree, though, that until the police feel like I've met the requirements of the permit, the chief doesn't have to sign the form and send it on to the judge. So, yes, they can indefinitely delay it if they don't like something about my application.

    So ... do I fight the power? Do I go speak with the officers, give them this woman's name, tell them her opinion, present my evidence, and ask that they reconsider? Or do I give up, wait several weeks for a course to be offered, and spend another four hours and $30 on a pistol course that I already took once? :banghead:
     
  2. hnk45acp

    hnk45acp Member

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    Suck it up and take the course again. My experiences (NYC) tell me that the people that process these things are basically bureaucrats with a checklist. If your bonafides don't fulfill their "list" to the letter, they can hold up your permit. It sucks but your choice is to spend time fighting it or taking the course again. It's probably easier to do the latter.
     
  3. DKSuddeth

    DKSuddeth Member

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    sue them. with the near inevitable ruling on heller, they would be hard pressed to consider fighting that.
     
  4. Freedspeak

    Freedspeak Member

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    Actually, as I remember it she actually has the authority to validate it. She is the permit issuer, it is a county issue not a police issue. The police only have a clearance aspect.
     
  5. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    Where does it say any of that in the Second Amendment?
     
  6. ctdonath

    ctdonath Member

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    In NY, the county judge sets the requirements for pistol permits.

    Suck it up and take the safety course that is required. Otherwise, you don't get your permit and carry without a permit in NY can land you in a world of hurt. Obviously this runs counter to the Constitution, but unless you are actually willing & ready to be a test case, it's much easier to just jump thru the hoops.

    Be thankful it's as easy as it is, you'll get the permit when you dot the "i"s and cross the "t"s, and suffer relatively little hassle thereafter (no renewals, carry pretty much anywhere anytime save a few isolated/obvious places).
     
  7. M203Sniper

    M203Sniper member

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    I know this from experience;

    In New Jersey there is grace period of 30 days for them to approve or deny a pistol permit (for purchase) or in my case, get a permit for a pistol I inherited.

    It would be in your interest to seek legal counsel and find the laws regarding time limits (if any) in your county/state.

    an old link.
    http://www.njguns.com/


    lawyers.
    http://www.njguns.com/lawyers.htm
     
  8. Tom488

    Tom488 Member

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    Yes, and I know this from experience, as well: nobody in this state gives a damn about what the law says. There's a court decision on record that basically says the state can take as long as it needs to conduct a background check, as the public safety outweighs the individual right.

    This is why we constantly hear of permits to purchase here in the Great Garden State taking 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, or at times, over a year. Sure- you can go and get a lawyer, pay him a nice retainer, pay him some more when he works through that, and in the end, the court's going to cite the previous ruling, tell you you're SOL, and the permit will be approved when it's approved.

    I know how to solve global warming, eliminate world hunger, create a lasting peace in the Middle East, cure cancer, and travel faster than light. Those are all easy. But I'll be damned if I know how to begin to fix the paradox that is the 2nd Amendment of the USC vs. the State of New Jersey.
     
  9. Whatsit

    Whatsit Member

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    Heck, I took my (NRA) course outside of the state for my NYS permit - no questions asked in Steuben County.
     
  10. langenc

    langenc Member

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    The police are just "blueing" the safety aspect to get another student for one of their own who most likely do the education part. JOB SECURITY and $$$$
     
  11. zminer

    zminer Member

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    This is basically what the outcome is going to be. As the county clerk said without saying, even though it's acceptable to her and to the judge, there is one group of people who have the ability to hold up the permit if they aren't satisfied. I think it's a bunch of crap, but if I want my permit, I kind of have to dance to their tune. I'll take solace in the fact that if the Heller case comes out the way that everyone thinks it will, then New York's laws are going to be among the first which will be challenged. The pistol permit process here is very arbitrary in terms of who is granted what.

    See, this is what really bugs me about the process - it's very inconsistent. I live near the border between Albany County and Schenectady County. The guys in the gun shop I go to tell me that people from Schenectady have a much better chance of getting an unrestricted permit than people from Albany, simply because of the attitude of the judges in those respective locales. Why should the whim of a judge have anything to do with your likelihood of getting a permit that has restrictions on it, or getting a permit at all?
     
  12. ctdonath

    ctdonath Member

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    My first NY permit was in Onondaga County. For all practical purposes (personal connections excluded), the judge never issued unrestricted carry permits - so I couldn't carry with mine.

    Then I moved to Monroe County, transfered the permit, and the restrictions were removed without request or comment.

    Then I later learned that the Onondaga County judge resigned rather abruptly - apparently something to do with cocaine. Not nice to know that my right to self-defense was squelched by the whim of a judge who was criminally abusing his position.
    This is why we have written & enumerated laws and rights: to hinder misuse & oppression by the corrupt.
     
  13. Cavalier Knight

    Cavalier Knight Member

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    I find that strange as I live in NYC & took the NRA Basic Pistol class in NJ although it was for non resident carry permits which were all approved. Unless the state has a list of approved instructors for their state I fail to see an issue.
     
  14. zminer

    zminer Member

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    That's the thing that trips me out about this - there is NO reason why the class I took is inferior to a local class. It is an NRA-approved class, run by a qualified instructor, and which is appropriate for the pistol permit in Erie County. I don't get why the police here somehow think it isn't good enough. When the officer spoke to me on the phone, he never really gave a reason - he just said they require a local course.

    As others have pointed out, though, the reason itself is immaterial. As long as they have a beef with my class, and they are telling me I need to take a local class, I have two options: #1 - Refuse to do it, and not get a permit. #2 - Do what they say, and have a chance at a permit. As stupid as it is, it really comes down to that, unless I can somehow convince them to accept it ... which seems unlikely. :mad:
     
  15. jfh

    jfh Member.

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    This has all the earmarks of a payola scheme.

    It may even be an "ethical" (in their eyes) payola scheme. The instructors are retired cops; the fees are high, and $25.00 per student gets contributed to the Cops' Orphan Fund, or whatever.

    One missing donation simply opens the door--and they ain't gonna allow that.

    I freely admit I know nothing directly about the beauracracy in NJ--only what I read in the papers, and that overall really isn't good, is it?

    I guess I'd retake the class, and I'd even be sure I was a suck-up and displayed absolutely no attitude. But, I'm an old fart who tries to get along.

    Jim H.
     
  16. Cavalier Knight

    Cavalier Knight Member

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    From their application it clearly states Certified Instructor someone is giving you a hard time. I would try to follow it up with the clerks office perhaps she can submit a letter stating that it is acceptable & let them deal with the judge.

    Applicants must have instructions in the safe handling of firearms from a certified instructor, and proof of such training must be submitted with the application. If the course which you plan to take includes the actual handling of a firearm and/or the actual firing of a firearm, you must first have authorization from the firearms licensing officer of this County to handle or fire a firearm during such course. A separate application for this authorization must be filed by you when you file your application for the firearm license. A copy of such application for training authorization will be provided upon request.

    Application Draft WEBSITE
     
  17. archigos

    archigos Member

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    zminer, what county are you dealing with? I just -finally- got my first handgun yesterday, 12 months after starting the process. Amusingly enough, I'm in one of the strictest areas in the state and they were fine with my course that wasn't actually NRA approved (which supposedly is a requirement) - it was the pistol safety course designed to meet the requirements for a handful of counties 3 hours away from me.
     
  18. CNYCacher

    CNYCacher Member

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    I also am interested in knowing the county in question
     
  19. Prince Yamato

    Prince Yamato Member

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    It's a payola scheme run by goombas. Seriously, it's almost mafia-esque. If you "know" someone, or are friends with the judge, it would obviously make it easier to get the permit. The fact that you have to have "references" makes it even shadier. Can you just hear the stereotypical accent? "Heeeyyyy, yeah, Steve, I'll get ya the puhmit! Youse wanna handgun, no problem, youse a good guy. See ya damorrow at Irondequoit Dodge. I'll meet ya there after I pick up my Gahbage plate." Ahhh, how I miss Raaaachester...
     
  20. Rmeju

    Rmeju Member

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    To answer the question in the OP, you have to decide what your goal is.

    If you want to stand on principal, then find out what arbitrary rules the judge has set up, then take them to the PD and argue. If you're right, and they don't care, then lawyer up or cut your losses.

    If you just want the gun, cut your losses now and pay the 30 bucks, which will be, by far, the easiest way to get from point A to B.

    Reid
     
  21. ctdonath

    ctdonath Member

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    Keep in mind that in NY, the issuing judge can revoke your permit at any time, for any (including no) reason.
    Hence the frequency of judges putting annoying requirements/restrictions on applications and usage.
     
  22. JoeShmoe

    JoeShmoe Member

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    We are a "May Issue" state. That gives the issuing authority a lot of leeway. I don't know if there are any NY lawyers here who can give better input, but as I understand it, New York state's gun laws have been challenged in every possible way without much success. As I told my brother when he moved here, "everything is harder in New York."

    Pay the $30, take another course, and you will receive your permit much quicker than if you try to fight it. This is important because once you have your permit you will want to wait a year, and then respectfully ask the judge to remove your restrictions.
     
  23. zminer

    zminer Member

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    Albany county ... which, from your location, seems to be the same as where you got yours (unless you primarily reside somewhere else). Now I am even more annoyed, if someone else was able to use an out-of-county class. It seems kind of pointless to make a rule like this, and then enforce it only some of the time. :fire: (Note - I am not putting you down for getting your permit on an out-of-country pistol safety class. I'm glad you finally got it! Twelve months is a long time to wait. I am just annoyed that they won't give me the same courtesy.)

    EDIT: Oops, I re-read my other posts and realize why the county situation is unclear. I used to live in Erie county (Buffalo area), and took my pistol permit course there before I moved, but didn't want to start the application process until I was settled in Albany county, because I knew it took so long to get through it and I didn't know the legality of applying in a county that I knew I was going to be leaving shortly. Also, as it turns out, I wasn't able to begin the process right away, because the information which comes with the pistol permit application states that the references you use must live in the Capital District, and you have to have known them for at least a year. So, because I didn't know anyone here, that meant I had to wait for at least a year to apply.)
     
  24. zminer

    zminer Member

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    And today I got word from one of the people I put in as a reference that she got the standard "do you recommend this person for a pistol permit?" letter from the police department in reference to my permit application! :confused:

    I guess they could just be moving forward with the background investigation, on the theory that I will be submitting the new safety class paperwork soon. Considering the hassle they're giving me about the class, that would be oddly efficient of them.
     
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