Establishes additional requirements for firearm license including completion of a course in firearm safety, use, maintenance, relevant laws and first aid and upon approval by district attorney by a showing of extraordinary likelihood of need to defend oneself from imminent danger or death.
BILL NUMBER: S128
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the penal law, in relation to license to carry and possess firearms
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL : The purpose of this legislation is to establish a rational set of requirements for individuals to obtain a license to carry and possess a pistol or revolver.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS : This legislation restructures the eligibility requirements for an individual to carry and possess firearms.
Section 1 of the bill amends section 400.00 of the penal law by adding a new subdivision I-a which establishes certain qualifications to the requirements set forth in subdivision one of this section. These qualifications are: -- A minimum age requirement of 18 years of age to apply for a license to carry and possess firearms. -- Completion of a 15 hour course in the safe and accurate use of a pistol or revolver, the proper maintenance of a pistol and revolver, the laws regarding the possession and use of a pistol or revolver and the administration of first aid to persons injured by a pistol or revolver. -- The satisfactory proof to the licensing officer and the signatory district attorney or attorneys that there is an extraordinary likelihood that such person may have to use a pistol or revolver to protect himself or others from imminent danger of death. Section 2 of the bill amends section 400..00 of the penal law by adding a new subdivision 5-a which states that no license for a pistol or revolver shall be granted unless approved by a district attorney.
JUSTIFICATION : At present there is no state minimum age requirement for handgun license applicants. Several counties throughout the state have adopted individual age requirements ranging from 18 years to 21 years of age. This legislation provides a uniform age standard throughout the state. The course requirements parallel other state licensing procedures. When a person applies for a driver's license, it is expected that the applicant understand the rules and regulations pertaining to the road, and still have practical experience in the operation of a motor vehicle. Similarly, a person wishing to possess a pistol or revolver should have a working knowledge of the firearm, and mandating a state-wide fifteen hour course for pistol or revolver license applicants would serve the purpose of acquainting the applicant with the state's rules and regulations, and use of a pistol or revolver. Mandating the written approval of the county district attorney, in addition to the approval of the licensing officer, offers the general public input in the licensing process through an elected official. The "good cause" provision, in present statute, protects the applicant rather than the general public. As the law reads, the licensing officer must show "good cause" for the denial of a license, the burden of proof being placed on the state, A license is a privilege offered by the state and it follows that the onus be placed on the applicant, to prove to the satisfaction of both the licensing officer and the county district attorney that such privilege is warranted.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : S.7474 of 2008 04/07/08 Referred to Codes
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : None.
EFFECTIVE DATE : This act shall take effect on the 30th day after it becomes law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 128 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 7, 2009 ___________Introduced by Sen. SAMPSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to license to carry and possess firearms THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 400.00 of the penal law is amended by adding a new subdivision 1-a to read as follows: 1-A. QUALIFICATIONS. IN ADDITION TO THE REQUIREMENTS SET FORTH IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION, NO LICENSE SHALL BE ISSUED OR RENEWED TO A PERSON WHO IS NOT IN THE BUSINESS OF GUNSMITH OR DEALER EXCEPT TO AN APPLICANT: (A) WHO IS EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER; (B) WHO HAS SATISFACTORILY COMPLETED A COURSE, APPROVED BY THE COMMISSIONER OF THE DIVISION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SERVICES, OF NOT LESS THAN FIFTEEN HOURS IN (I) THE SAFE AND ACCURATE USE OF A PISTOL OR REVOLVER; (II) THE PROPER MAINTE- NANCE OF A PISTOL OR REVOLVER; (III) THE LAWS REGARDING POSSESSION AND USE OF A PISTOL OR REVOLVER; AND (IV) THE ADMINISTRATION OF FIRST AID TO PERSONS INJURED BY A PISTOL OR REVOLVER; AND (C) WHO CAN PROVE TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE LICENSING OFFICER AND THE SIGNATORY DISTRICT ATTOR- NEY OR ATTORNEYS THAT THERE IS AN EXTRAORDINARY LIKELIHOOD THAT SUCH PERSON MAY FIND HIMSELF OR HERSELF IN A SITUATION WHERE HE OR SHE MAY HAVE TO USE A PISTOL OR REVOLVER TO PROTECT HIMSELF, HERSELF OR OTHERS, FROM IMMINENT DANGER OF DEATH. S 2. Section 400.00 of the penal law is amended by adding a new subdi- vision 5-a to read as follows: 5-A. APPROVAL. NO LICENSE FOR A PISTOL OR REVOLVER SHALL BE ISSUED OR RENEWED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION BY THE LICENSING OFFICER, EXCEPT WITH THE WRITTEN AND SIGNED APPROVAL OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF THE COUNTY WHEREIN THE APPLICANT RESIDES OR, IN THE CASE WHERE THE APPLICANTEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD02004-01-9 S. 128 2
INTENDS TO USE SUCH PISTOL OR REVOLVER PRIMARILY IN A COUNTY OUTSIDE OF THE APPLICANT'S COUNTY OF RESIDENCE, WITH THE APPROVAL OF SUCH OTHER COUNTY'S DISTRICT ATTORNEY, OR IN THE CASE WHERE THE APPLICANT INTENDS TO USE SUCH PISTOL OR REVOLVER IN SEVERAL COUNTIES OUTSIDE OF THE APPLI- CANT'S COUNTY OF RESIDENCE, WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF THE COUNTY WHEREIN THE APPLICANT RESIDES PLUS AT LEAST ONE DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF A COUNTY WHERE THE APPLICANT INTENDS TO USE SUCH PISTOL OR REVOLVER. S 3. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law.