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 the County (PPA-4R) & two State PPB-3 Applications.  (No Photo Copies)   Please Note:  Your two State PPB-3 Apps MUST be notarized by a Notary Public or Commissioner of Deeds under "Jurat" on the back.
  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) or by mail (click here for details).   Please book this and then follow the fingerprint instructions below.
  5. You need to be fingerprinted prior to submitting your pistol permit application. Fingerprinting should be done no more than 30 days before submission if possible.
  6. You will undergo various background checks by NYS, FBI and an interview by local police
  7. Your references must all be reachable and will also undergo various background checks and an interview
  8. Your application is then submitted to one of the Licensing Judges for consideration
  9. You will be notified by mail of your approval or denial
  10. 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 may obtain an application packet by requesting one be mailed to you
  • You can download them digitally from our Forms & Resources 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.  The Application consists of 2 forms, The Erie County PPA-4r and the NYS PPB-3.

  1. Please read the first page of the Erie County Application.  It lists all the steps necessary to complete.
  2. Please review the Sample PPB-3 Form before you attempt to print or fill it out.
  3. The two State Application (PPB-3) forms must be printed double-sided front and back or it will be rejected.  (No Photo Copies)
  4. Please get fingerprinted at least 48 hours prior to your appointment and no more than 30 days before.
  5. Photos can be taken in the Pistol Permit Office when you turn in your completed application.  ($10)
  6. Please include all dispositions if you have ever been arrested.  Failure to disclose any arrests will result in immediate denial.
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.  All four references MUST be contacted to process your application if one or more do not respond to repeated attempts by law enforcement it will result in a denial.

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.

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

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.



What to bring when you come in to submit your Application

  1. Certificate of completing safe handling of firearms instruction from an NYS certified instructor dated no longer than five (5) years.
  2. PPB-3 (2 originals) completed and notarized with four (4) references signed by all references
  3. PPA-4R completed with the four (4) references listed on the PPB-3.
  4. An NYS Drivers License or Non-Drivers ID, proof of citizenship and/or immigration document(s).
  5. Your Social Security Card or W-2 that lists your Social Security Number
  6. Documents required for a Business Protection Permit.
  7. Certificate of Dispositions for ALL arrests including SEALED cases and DWI (except traffic infractions).
  8. Check or Money Order for $20 made out to "Erie County Clerk" for the application processing fee.