PISTOL LICENSE APPLICATION INFORMATION
NOTICE: Effective October 1, 2016
Due to the Sheriff's Office ability to fingerprint Pistol License Applicants by Live-Scan, the
federal fee for pistol fingerprint backgrounds has decreased.
A US POSTAL MONEY ORDER for $87.00 must accompany the Pistol License Application when submitted.
PLEASE NOTE - Application submission and fingerprinting will be conducted on WEDNESDAYS from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm.
APPLICATION: After purchasing the complete packet for a pistol license application, if any mistakes are made completing it we will not be able to issue you individual sheets. You will have to purchase another packet. Therefore, if you have any questions, please call us at our non-emergency telephone number 518-828-0601 ext. 1414 and we will answer any questions you may have regarding the application. Our office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). All completed forms MUST be delivered, in person, to this office.
APPLICANTS MUST BE A LEGAL RESIDENT OF COLUMBIA COUNTY for a period of not less than six (6) months prior to applying, and be a citizen of the United States. You must be twenty-one (21) years of age or older, or honorably discharged from the U.S. Military service or the New York State National Guard if you are under age 21.
Print or type in BLACK INK ONLY on all three application forms. DO NOT USE CARBON PAPER. DO NOT SIGN YOUR APPLICATION. It MUST be signed before an employee of this office.
Furnish FOUR (4) photographs, full face only, that will fit in the square on your application taken within thirty (30) days of the submission of your application.
Furnish FOUR (4) stamped envelopes addressed to your character references. Character references MUST sign all three copies of the application forms. References MUST reside in Columbia County and can not be related to the application. You must list their PHYSICAL address on the application even if they have a post office box. Applications will be rejected if it has a post office box only. an employee of the Columbia County Sheriff's Office can not be used as a reference. When choosing a character reference, please keep in mind that a question form will be sent to your character references as part of the background investigation. The question form must be returned to the Sheriff's Office as soon as possible by your references. If a character reference question form is not returned within six (6) months of when your application was submitted to the Sheriff's Office, your application will be considered incomplete and null and void.
All applicants must have completed the NRA Basic Pistol Safety Course given by a certified instructor on the list of instructors included in your application packet. Upon successful completion of the course, the instructor will sign the course completion form. NOTE: The NRA Basic Pistol Safety Course and all documents must be completed before the application packet is submitted. Any additional information and/or documents required as part of the background investigation must be submitted within six (6) months from the time the application is accepted at the Sheriff's Office. If all information and/or documents are not submitted within the six (6) month period, the application is deemed incomplete and null and void.
Submit a U.S. POSTAL MONEY ORDER made out to NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) in the amount of $87.00 to cover the cost of fingerprint processing by DCJS and the FBI. The fingerprint impressions MUST be taken by Live-Scan at the Columbia County Sheriff's Office. Application submission and fingerprinting is done at the Sheriff's Office between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. every Wednesday (except holidays).
The Columbia County Sheriff's Office will conduct a pistol license applicant investigation. If you qualify for a license, it will be signed by the Surrogate Court Judge and you will receive a letter from the Columbia County Clerk with instructions for picking up the license. The entire process takes between twelve (12) and sixteen (16) weeks depending upon fingerprint processing by DCJS. Once a license is issued, all changes (addition of pistols, deletions, address change, etc.) will be done through the County Clerk's Office NOT the Sheriff's Office.
As of January 30th, 2018, a pistol license will need to be re-registered every five years. The license is valid anywhere in New York State EXCEPT New York City. If you are arrested, your pistol license may be suspended or revoked. If a pistol license holder dies, the license must be returned to the Surrogate Court and pistols surrendered to a police agency within fifteen (15) days. Thereafter, the pistols may be legally sold or transferred of by the estate within one year. After one year they may be destroyed pursuant to the law.