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Pistol Licensing Bureau

The Pistol License Bureau is responsible for the investigation, issuance, and maintenance of all pistol licenses for residents of the five eastern townships including East Hampton, Riverhead, Shelter Island, Southampton, and Southold. The Pistol License Bureau maintains over 6,000 active files and records, and records renewals, handgun transactions, and other correspondence for each active file. 

A firearms license is a state license issued under the authority of county licensing officers.  An applicant must decide what type of license will be sought.  The most common types of firearms license are:

  • Possess on Premises: Allows the holder to maintain handguns within his/her home. Valid for target shooting and hunting. Includes carrying handguns to/from the range and hunting areas.

  • Carry Concealed: Entitles a licensee to possess a carry concealed, without regard to employment or place of possession subject to the restrictions of state and federal law, by any person. You must have a certificate of completion from a DCJS authorized firearms training course that includes at least 16 hours of training with a live-fire portion.

  • Possess/Carry During Employment (for municipality): Entitles a licensee to possess and carry concealed while employed by an institution of the state, or any county, city, town or village. You must be working in an armed capacity for a town, village or municipality located within the five (5) eastern towns in Suffolk County.

Eligibility Requirements:

To be eligible to have a firearms license, you:

  • Must be a New York State resident.

  • Must be 21 years of age.

  • Disclose any history of mental illness.

  • Have no prior felony or other serious offense convictions, and have not been convicted of Assault 3rd, Misdemeanor DWI, or Menacing 3rd within the past five (5) years. (This may include a felony arrest that has been adjudicated to a lesser misdemeanor charge.) 

  • Must have the essential character, temperament and judgement necessary to be entrusted with a weapon and to use it only in a manner that does not endanger oneself or others. 

  • Legally reside or maintain a principal residence within the confines of the five (5) eastern towns of Suffolk County. 

  • Be an applicant wherein no good cause exists for the denial of a pistol license. 

  • Obtain four (4) Affidavit of Character References which must be filled out in full and notarized by the character reference. 

To apply:

Call or visit the Suffolk County Sheriff's Office to obtain a copy of the pistol license application, instructions, and all necessary forms or documentation you may need to apply.


Pistol License Bureau - Riverhead Correctional Facility

100 Center Drive South

Riverhead, NY 11901

(631) 852-2233

Hours: 9:00am-4:30pm

Fingerprinting Hours: 9:00am-12:00pm

To complete the New York State Pistol/Revolver License Application, you will need to complete the application and  provide the following information:

  • Full Name

  • Date of Birth

  • Social Security Number

  • Address

  • Physical Description

  • Criminal History

  • Mental Health History

  • Character References

  • Identification: Current New York Driver's License or a New York Non-Driver's I.D. from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

  • Note: all applications must be filled out in BLACK INK ONLY.

Once your application is filled out in full and you have received all necessary paperwork/documentation, return your packet in person to the Pistol License Bureau. You must have the following in hand:

  • Application Fee: $10.00 (cash or check)

  • Application filled out in full/notarized where necessary

  • Four (4) Character of Affidavit References filled out in full by the character reference and notarized.

  • New York State Fingerprint Processing Fee: $88.25 (money order only made out the Suffolk County Sheriff's Office)

  • Two Passport-style Photos taken within 30 days (no polaroid's or home photos will be accepted)

  • NYS Drivers License showing address in the five (5) eastern towns

  • Birth Certificate or Current U.S. Passport

Please note: All applications are received between the hours of 9:00am-12:00pm Monday-Friday so that we can conduct your NYS Fingerprinting. 

Please note: The Suffolk County Sheriff's Office Pistol Licensing Bureau issues pistol permits for the five eastern towns of Suffolk County including Riverhead, East Hampton, Shelter Island, Southampton or Southold. If you live in one of the five western towns of Suffolk County including Babylon, Brookhaven, Huntington, Islip, or Smithtown, please call the Suffolk County Police Department at (631) 852-6311 or visit their website linked here

Important Safety Notice

In case of DEATH, SERIOUS ILLNESS, or MENTAL DISABILITY of a Pistol License Holder, please contact the Suffolk County Sheriff's Office Pistol License Bureau as soon as possible. DO NOT handle any firearms; leave all handguns and long guns where they are and contact the Pistol License Bureau first for assistance.

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