2nd Amendment and Right to Bear Arms/Pistol permit questions


 I live in Niagara county and have been thinking about applying for my pistol permit. I do have a record although no felonys. I was once charged with with one but got a lower charge. I have cleaned my act since then, being afraid of going to jail and losing my rights really "scared me straight". I love shooting and hunting way too much. My question is In the eyes of the court I'm gonna look it a "bad guy" What can one do to try and change that and show to the courts that one has really changed there ways from when they where younger and has turned into a model citizen when ones record will make them think differently? Thanks

Unfortunately, there is no simple or satisfactory answer to your question. New York allows licensing agents to apply highly subjective criteria to a firearm license application, such as whether the applicant has "good moral character." There is no statutory definition of that term, and the courts give licensing judges and others licensing agents (like the NYPD) very broad discretion to evaluate whether an applicant is suitable for what New York considers the privilege (not the right) to possess a handgun.

What you can certainly do is compile and document as much information as possible as to to just how you have "cleaned up your act" (for example, stable employment, residence, family life, community activity, etc.) so that if you go before the judge or have an interview with the investigators (usually from the sheriff's department) you can try to convince them that your criminal history does not mean you are unsuitable (in their eyes) for a license.


2nd Amendment and Right to Bear Arms

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Robert P. Firriolo


General constitutional (Second Amendment) and federal firearm law inquiries. New York State and New York City laws and regulations on firearms. Use of force in self-defense. DISCLAIMER: While this site is called AllExperts and this field is captioned "Expertise," this individual is not holding himself out as an "expert" in any legal area of practice. Some jurisdictions require certain qualifications and/or certifications in order to use the label "expert" in connection with a law practice. Participation in this online service is not intended to state or imply "expert" qualifications in any jurisdiction.


Practicing firearms law attorney, including representation of individuals, gun clubs, sportsmen's organizations, shooting ranges, and businesses. Over 20 years of grassroots activism, including involvement in campaigns and elections; writing and editing articles, letters, press-releases, policy papers, and op-ed columns; interaction with firearm regulatory agencies; former board member and current legal advisor to the board of sportsmen's and firearm civil rights organizations; pro-bono counsel on select firearms-related legal cases; debated leaders of the gun-control lobby on national television. Lecturer on lawful use of deadly physical force and crime prevention.

Attorney at law. Extensive practice, independent study and research in this field. NRA-certified firearms instructor (rifle, pistol, shotgun, home firearm safety, personal protection) and Chief Range Safety Officer.

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Martindale-Hubbell "AV" Peer-Review Rating.

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