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Pistol License Bureau

Effective April 27, 2020

Due to the current health pandemic, the Pistol License Bureau will operate under new procedures until further notice. Please see the new information below.




1. Licensees may come to the Pistol License Bureau in Riverhead.


2. Licensees will proceed to park as directed by the Deputy Sheriff in the security booth and remain in their vehicle.


3. Licensee will call the Pistol License Bureau at 631-852-2233 to let the investigators know they are on-site.


4. Investigators will respond to the licensee’s vehicle and conduct business curbside.  Appropriate face coverings should be worn by both investigators and pistol licensee. 


5. Investigators will return back to the licensee’s vehicle once they have completed processing the appropriate paperwork.


6. For your safety and ours, please do not come in person if you feel unwell or have a suppressed immune system. 

7. Curbside Pistol Licensing will be unavailable in times of inclement weather.

8. Please download the Pistol License Application Packet below.

For best results, please use Adobe Reader to view and complete the application. If you do not have Adobe Reader, it can be downloaded here.

The Pistol License Bureau is responsible for the investigation, issuance, and maintenance of all pistol licenses for residents of the five eastern townships (East Hampton, Riverhead, Shelter Island, Southampton, and Southold). The Pistol License Bureau maintains over 5,000 active files and records, and records renewals, handgun transactions, and other correspondence for each active file. 

A firearms license is a state license issued under the authority of county licensing officers.  An applicant must decide what type of license will be sought.  The most common types of firearms license are:

  • Sportsman

  • Sportsman/Business

  • Possess/Carry During Employment

Common Questions:

  1. How much does it cost?  The cost varies by county.  As of January 1, 2019, the New York State Fingerprinting Fee is $88.25 payable by United States Money Order only. 

  2. How long will the process take?  You should expect it to take a minimum of six (6) months from the time of application until a license is either granted or denied.

  3. Where do I apply?  You must apply for your pistol license in person at the Suffolk County Sheriff's Office Pistol License Bureau located at 100 Center Drive South, Riverhead, NY 11901.

Eligibility Requirements:

To be eligible to have a firearms license, you:

  • Must be a New York State resident.  A person who is not a resident of New York State but has his/her principal place of business in the state may apply for a Possess on Premises License within the business' jurisdiction. 

  • Must be 21 years old.

  • Have no prior felony or serious offense convictions.

  • Be of good moral character.

  • Have a legally recognized reason for wanting to possess or carry a firearm.

  • Be ready to open the business for which the license is being applied.

NOTE: If you have a pistol license issued by another enforcement agency, please contact your issuing agency for more information on the FOIL Exemption form.

If you live in the 5 East End towns (East Hampton, Riverhead, Shelter Island, Southampton, or Southold) please visit the Riverhead Correctional Facility to apply for your pistol license:

Suffolk County Sheriff's Office- Riverhead Facility

100 Center Drive South

Riverhead, NY 11901

(631) 852-2233

Hours: 9:00am-4:30pm

NOTE: Fingerprinting for application submission must be done between 9:00am -12:00pm Monday - Friday.   

To complete the New York State Pistol/Revolver License Application, you will need to complete the application and  provide the following information:

  • Full Name

  • Date of Birth

  • Social Security Number

  • Address

  • Physical Description

  • Criminal History

  • Mental Health History

  • Character References

  • Identification: Current New York Driver's License or a New York Non-Driver's I.D. from the Department of Motor Vehicles.


Important Safety Notice

In case of DEATH, SERIOUS ILLNESS, or MENTAL DISABILITY of a Pistol License Holder,

please contact the Suffolk County Sheriff's Office Pistol License Bureau as soon as possible.  

DO NOT handle any firearms; leave all handguns and long guns where they are

and contact the Pistol License Bureau first for assistance.

Pistol License Bureau Hours (Monday-Friday 9:00 am to 4:30 pm): call (631) 852-2233.

Saturday/Sunday & After Regular Business Hours: call (631) 852-2286.

The Suffolk County Sheriff's Office is an Accredited Law Enforcement Agency


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