RENSSELAER, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard oral arguments in a gun rights issue that started in Rensselaer County five years ago. News10 looks at the current process required to get a permit to carry a concealed firearm.

The Supreme Court’s decision could set a national precedent on the right to carry a concealed weapon.

Attorneys for the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association and Rensselaer County residents Robert Nash and Brandon Koch will square off against lawyers representing State Police Superintendent Keith Corlett and state Supreme Court Justice Richard McNally. 

Right now in New York gun owners must obtain a special license from local authorities to carry firearms out the home, showing “proper cause” for needing to do so. They can carry guns to hunt, shoot at targeted ranges or show a need for self defense.

“In order to get that privilege you have to apply to have those restrictions removed from your permit which includes hunting, fishing, and hiking. You also have to show good character and just proper cause” said Sheriff Giardino.

Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino was a former licensing officer for pistol permits. He believes the Supreme Court should overturn New York’s existing permit laws.

“It’s not going to result in a lot more guns. It’s going to result in people having the right to carry and conceal in public when you go out,” said Giardino.

To obtain a handgun in the state you must apply for a pistol permit.

To be eligible to have a firearms license you:

  • Must be a New York State resident
  • 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

You must apply in the county in which you live or are principally employed.

  • In Upstate New York apply to the County Court through the office of the court clerk, county clerk or sheriff.
  • In New York City, Nassau County and most of Suffolk County apply to the police commissioner.
  • In eastern towns of Suffolk County apply to the Sheriff.

To complete the State of New York Pistol/Revolver License Application (PPB3), you will need to provide:

  • Personal information
  • Mental Health History
  • Background Check- Criminal History
  • Character References

It then breaks down to different types of gun permits.

The most common types of firearm licenses are:

  • Carry concealed
  • Possess on Premises
  • Possess/Carry During Employment

It could take a minimum of four months from the time of application until a license is either granted or denied.

Pastor Charlie Muller from Victory Church in Albany spends a lot of his time getting illegal guns off the street.

“I have a pistol permit and I would love to carry that permit concealed on me. Especially now as places I go in are at high risk because just months ago we had three bullets go right into our JC Club Child Feeding Center,” said Pastor Muller.

On the contrary, those against concealed weapons say more guns will increase crime and the chances of confrontation becoming deadly.