New Pistol Permit Application Process

The Pistol Permit New Application Process is a multi-step process that requires attention to detail.  Please follow and read each step in the process carefully.

Pistol Permit Process Overview

  1. You must be at least 21 years of age and a resident of Erie County
  2. You need to fill out both the County & State Applications in the application packet
  3. You need to take a Handgun Safety Course (A DD-214 form is acceptable)
  4. You must submit the applications to our office in person (appointment only)
  5. The Fingerprinting process is explained and done after you submit your application to our office 
  6. You will undergo various background checks by NYS, FBI and an interview by local police
  7. Your Application is then submitted to one of the Licensing Judges for consideration
  8. You will be notified by mail of your approval or denial
  9. If approved, you can purchase and/or co-register a handgun. 

Obtaining An Application Packet

  • You may pick up the application packet in person in the Pistol Permit Office
  • You can get one by mail by writing a letter requesting one and also providing a self-addressed, stamped, business-size envelope to our office.
  • You can download them digitally from our forms section.  (See application rules below before you print the form)

Rules For Filling Out An Application Packet

Filling out the required paperwork correctly can save a lot of time in the application process.  Please read all the instructions carefully.  In the Application Packet, you will find an Erie County Application, Character Reference Information Sheet, NYS PPB-3 Application Sample and two NYS PPB-3 Application Forms.

  1. Please read the first page of the Erie County Application.  It lists all the steps necessary to complete the packet.
  2. Please review the Sample PPB-3 Form before you attempt to print or fill it out.
  3. The State Application (PPB-3) form must be printed double-sided front and back or it will be rejected.  Two required upon submittal. 
  4. The Fingerprinting process is explained and done after you submit your application to our office.
  5. Photos can be taken in the Pistol Permit Office when you make your appointment to turn in your completed application.  
Rules For Character Reference

The Erie County Pistol Permit Department works with numerous law enforcement agencies as part of the application process. Each police agency has its own requirements concerning acceptable references. Please note, the applicant must be aware of their city, town or village of RESIDENCE, (NOT mailing address), because their local police department is the agency, which will handle the background checks of the applicant and references.
 

Below is a list of acceptable references, for each jurisdiction:

AMHERST: At least 2 references must live in Amherst, the other 2 may live anywhere in Erie County.

BUFFALO: Preferably all 4 from the City of Buffalo.

CHEEKTOWAGA: All 4 must live in Cheektowaga.

EAST AURORA: At least 2 references must live in East Aurora, the other 2 may live anywhere in Erie County.

LANCASTER: At least 2 references must live in Lancaster, the other 2 may live anywhere in Erie County.

TONAWANDA (CITY): All 4 must live in the City of Tonawanda

TONAWANDA (TOWN): All 4 must live in the Town of Tonawanda or Village of Kenmore.

The Erie County Pistol Permit Department CANNOT make exceptions to the above requirements; those must be made by an authorized person at the specific police department.  Applicants who live in any other towns, villages and cities with either their own police agency or that are served by the Erie County Sheriff’s Department, may use anyone in Erie County as a reference.

REGARDLESS OF POLICE AGENCY, NO REFERENCES CAN BE RELATIVES OF THE APPLICANT OR EMPLOYEES OF THE ERIE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT.

THIS INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY TIME, WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE.