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BALL: Major changes to pistol permit process implemented

John Ball, Acting Sheriff

Online presence to make it easier and more efficient for residents

Interested in obtaining a Madison County pistol permit?  The process just got easier.

Starting Monday, Oct. 23, 2017, County residents will no longer have to drive to the Sheriff’s headquarters in Wampsville to obtain the pistol permit application – it can be downloaded in the comfort of your own home and completed there, anytime of the day or night.

Additionally, the $3 fee for the application will no longer be charged.

“Over the course of the past few months, myself and our lead pistol permit investigator have had several meetings with the county court judge on the pistol permit process,” said Acting Sheriff John Ball. “As a result of this cooperative effort with the judge, I am pleased to announce several enhancements have been developed that will make the process of obtaining a pistol permit in our county much more efficient for our residents and make that process much more timely. The changes in no way compromise the integrity of the vetting and investigation process behind each permit.”

In addition to the online presence for the application and elimination of the application fee, other changes include:

  • Detailed instructions for completion of the permit are also on the Madison County Sheriff’s Office website
  • Standardizing handgun safety requirements for permit applicants, following the NRA model. Check the NRA website for dates and locations. In addition, the handgun safety course offered by Onondaga Community College’s Public Safety Training Center is also acceptable, as well as any classroom-based four-hour handgun safety course. Online courses or the national conceal/carry courses are NOT accepted.
  • Authorized substitutions for the handgun safety course (i.e., current or former law enforcement, current active duty military or veteran, proof of hunter safety course, or possession of a valid NYS hunting license)
  • Streamlining the permit application from seven pages to four, reducing redundant and unnecessary information. Other required forms for the permit are also included online that must be completed as part of the application process.

“Our website page for pistol permits, located at, is now the main focus of how we want our process to be – consistent, clean, effective and efficient,” Ball said. “All pertinent information, including hours of operation, special notices (such as office closure), firearms recertification process, FOIL opt-out information, or any other piece of information regarding pistol permits, handgun safety, or things of the sort – will be contained here.

“We ask that our residents visit the page, as most questions will be answered there, and any other pertinent information will be posted there, as well. Think of it as one-stop shopping for all the things you’ll need to know on this subject. Of course, our permit office is available to answer questions at (315) 366-2406 during business hours.

“Coupled with an updated, comprehensive background investigation and vetting process, as well as a clear understanding of the county court judge’s expectations, this joint effort will prove beneficial to any resident who desires a permit, or a current permit holder in need of making a modification to their current permit.”

Ball said that additional enhancements to the program are in the works and are expected to be rolled out over the course of the following several months.

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