The United States has one of the highest concentrations of gun owners in the world. 71% of them say they own a gun for enjoyment. But an even larger quantity (81%) do so because it makes them feel safer.

We live in a crazy world, and owning a weapon may help ease that fear. That said, purchasing a weapon comes with a lot of necessary hurdles to keep the crazies out. If you’ve never purchased one online before, how does the process work?

Today, we take a look at how to buy a gun online in New York and what you need for it. 

Gun Laws in New York

Gun laws vary from state to state. In California, strict laws control how big your gun magazines can be. In a state like Idaho, loose regulations let you conceal carry without a permit.

In New York, you must have a license to possess a firearm and/or conceal it. The cost of obtaining a license will depend on the county you live in, but it should only take about six to nine months. Let’s take a look at the eligibility requirements.

Handgun Eligibility

New York adheres to federal regulations on firearms, as well as having its own unique requirements. You must meet the following criteria to own a firearm in New York:

  • Be a state resident
  • Be 21 years of age or older
  • Have no serious offenses or felonies
  • Have a good moral character
  • Must possess 4 character references who will attest to that
  • Have a legal reason to possess a handgun
  • Must complete a state issued safety course, score 80% or higher on the written portion of the exam and complete a physical safety course with the handgun 
  • Application form must be notarized before submission

Rifle or Shotgun Eligibility

  • Be a state resident
  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Have no serious offenses or felonies
  • Hold a valid drivers license 

Business owners applying for a firearm must be ready to open said business before receiving a license. Assuming you have met all those requirements, it’s time to apply.


The application will depend on the county where your home address is located. You will need to either visit the police commissioner, sheriff, county clerk, or office of the court clerk.

Fill out Form PPB3 (State of New York Pistol/Revolver License Application) with the following info:

  • Full legal name
  • DOB
  • SSN
  • Current address
  • Your physical description
  • Your criminal history if applicable
  • Your mental health history if applicable
  • References from associates to your character 

You’ll need a form of identification, such as a driver’s license or passport, included with your application. There are additional requirements if you want a concealed carry license: 

  • List of social media accounts for the past 3 years
  • Info about your domestic partner or spouse
  • Info about live-in adults at your residence

You can request that your records remain private via the Country Clerk. They will give you a form to fill out called “NYS Firearms License Request for Public Records Exemption.”

Wait for License Arrival

You cannot legally purchase a firearm until you have a license. Wait at least four months to receive your certification. If your application is denied for errors, you will need to resubmit and wait up to four months.

Keep in mind that it is illegal to purchase guns in a state where you are not a resident. Do not attempt to travel to a neighboring state hoping to get around New York law. Licensed dealers will not sell to you, and purchasing from a private citizen to skirt this requirement is likewise illegal.

How to Buy a Gun Online

Purchasing a gun online follows the same federal and state regulations as purchasing a gun in person. In other words, you cannot purchase a firearm in one state if that firearm is not legal in another.

Remember, your state of residence (in this case, New York) determines whether you can buy a weapon. It also determines which weapons you can buy.

Conduct an FFL Transfer

You cannot ship a firearm to your doorstep like any other package. Instead, you will do what is called a Federal Firearms License (FFL) transfer. The online store that you purchase the gun from will send your gun to a licensed store/dealer, and you’ll pick it up there.

First, however, you need to fill out Form 4473 from the ATF, which is a firearms transaction record. This is to verify you’re not a prohibited person, such as a felon or criminal.

Background Check

With Form 4473 completed, it’s time to get a background check. The FFL uses the NICS (National Instant Criminal Check System) to make sure you’re legally able to own a firearm.

Requirements vary from state to state. You should have taken care of your New York firearm license before this point.

Some states, using California as an example, have their own background check system and application processes. Once these are satisfied, you’re in the clear.

Buy a Firearm and Arrange a Transfer

Now, it’s time to buy your firearm. Make sure to purchase only from licensed dealers that obey all necessary laws. There are harsh federal penalties for trying to get around firearm regulations.

Once you purchase it, you will need to contact a local gun shop that is willing to receive the gun, known as an FFL. This will cost you an additional fee for the receipt and transfer to you. You will collect the shop’s personal info and shipping information and then ship the gun there.

Once you purchase your weapon, let your FFL know. Give them the exact information, such as the manufacturer, the model, and any other pertinent details. They should contact you once they receive it so you can then go pick it up.

Collect Your New Firearm

Make sure you bring a government-issued ID, either a driver’s license or a passport. Whichever one it is, it must have a current address and be valid. The FFL will give you the firearm, and then you are free to take it home. I n New York State, you will need to take the Invoice  we give you, then take thus to the county where your permit was issued, and have your permit amended. They will issue you a coupon to be returned to us for our records, then you can take your gun after you pass a background  check.

Make sure to register your gun as well.

Find New York Guns for Sale

Now that you know how to buy a gun online, you’re ready to purchase a firearm in New York state. Make sure to double and triple-check that you have met all the requirements and have received a legal license. Then, you can purchase it through a licensed dealer and arrange an FFL transfer shipment and pickup. 

S&S Sales makes it easy to purchase an affordable firearm online and carry out a smooth FFL transfer process. Check out our store for our latest deals on high-quality firearms.