In part two of a FiOS1 News exclusive on the rising number of gun applications in Nassau County, FiOS1’s Cecilia Dowd takes a look at the process of obtaining a gun license.
There's an extensive application process for those who want to own guns in Nassau County.
And more and more people want guns, as FiOS1 News has reported, and demonstrated by the daily lines outside the pistol license section.
So, what exactly goes into obtaining the pistol license? To start, a great deal of paperwork on the applicant's background as to where the person has lived, if the applicant has a criminal history and four character references, explains Nassau County Police Dept. Officer James Imperiale.
Once the applicant supplies their info, Assistant Commissioner Robert Hart says police go through the internal databases of the Nassau County Police Dept.
“That would show any arrests for you, as well as any incidents you may have had that involved a police response. We check motor vehicle records, any warrants, orders of protection, FBI, Dept. of Criminal Justice for New York State, we do what's known as 'tripple I' search as well, which are federal databases,” says Hart.
Applicants are processed at police headquarters in Mineola.
“We'll take their picture here. One picture goes on their license, one picture accompanies their fingerprints that get sent to New York State and to the feds,” explains Imperiale.
Officer James Imperiale says each applicant is assigned an investigator, that investigator conducts the background checks, speaks with the character references. If all is cleared, the information goes on to be reviewed by supervisors.
While there are certain automatic disqualifiers to obtaining a pistol license, like a felony conviction, sometimes there are questionable circumstances in an applicant's past. And Hart says that may lead to a joint discussion: The investigators and or supervisors might get together before making the final decision.
New York is very strict in the enforcement of handguns, says Hart.
As for how long it takes to get a pistol license, Hart says once applications are received, pistol licenses by law, have to be issued within six months. He says right now it's taking the Nassau Police Department about three to four months.
Pistol Licenses are good for five years, but of course, can be revoked.
“We're the gatekeepers for Nassau County. And our responsibility, once we issue that license, is to ensure that the people that we've licensed are adhering to the laws, our handbook and conducting themselves appropriately,” Hart says.