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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Salutations from Schenectady!
I just moved to Schenectady, to a pretty bad part "Mont Pleasant."

I've always been interested in firearms and taking safety classes.
But My family has forever been anti gun and anti "traditional values.:
So I've always had to keep this part of my life secret from them.

Now that I've moved out and Live with my girlfriend, (In kind of a bad neighborhood), It's time for me to be the man of the house and to learn how to protect myself and those whom I love.

So I'm trying to learn all I can about safety and then which firearms would be best for the beginner/best for concealed carry (for personal protection).

I really don't know what ranges or places I can go locally (Other than rtsp in NJ) to practice shooting and feeling more comfortable with firearms and taking some safety classes or being taught by any local experts or instructors.

It's kinda overwhelming for me and I really don't know where to look.

One of my Co-workers is ex-military and he's teaching me a lot. Taking me through all the forms. And he's going to be one of my character references. But that's my other big concern.

I don't really have anyone else that would be a character reference for me and I don't know who else to ask?

I'm waiting for my Co-Worker to email me the rest of the information that he said he would give me, it's basically all the forms and sheets that he used when he applied for his permit. He formatted and highlighted them in such a way it was really easy for his character references to fill out the right spots and had all the postage and everything all filled out so there were no hiccups for him.

And I'm truly grateful for all that help with the paperwork because that's kinda very confusing for me, I don't speak NY Lawyer and I sometimes just need things simplified.

So where would you guys on this forum recommend for me to go looking for:

1) A place to get familiar with shooting, maybe a range or gun club that's local (not in NJ)
2) Where would I find people who would be willing to endorse me as a character reference
3) I would like honest suggestions about what pistol you'd recommend a beginner?

Thanks so much for all your help
 

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Hello Neighbor – also in Schenectady County here. Welcome.

You asked quite a bit in your post – so here goes: For starters – the question “which firearms would be best for the beginner / best for concealed carry (for personal protection). That is a slippery slope. What do you define as ‘best’? Overall reliability, fit and form, as well as cost and aesthetics play a role here. You will ask 10 people and likely get 10 different answers. You will need to research based on your need and wants. For example, I have a couple of Glocks among a few others. Glocks are known as being ultra reliable. I personally like the look, but a lot of people don’t. You also need to determine your caliber. In this case, as you are a new shooter, bigger isn’t always better. You may be better off sticking with a 9mm to start (it is the cheapest centerfire caliber to shoot, while still having good penetration and ballistics). Additionally, in Schenectady County, you have to have your permit for at least 1 year before you are able to apply for unrestricted carry (after successful completion of the course). So, remember your intended usage. You may want your first to be a little bigger (size wise, not caliber wise) so that you can shoot better with it, in preparation to try to remove restrictions. Buying an ultra concealable pistol when applying for your permit may not suit you best in the beginning.

As for where to go, that is a little different. In New York State, you cannot even legally hold a pistol until you have a permit. So, you will be basing a lot of your decision on the look, the cost, and the reviews. You can go and look at rifles all day every day – and maybe that is a good way to start. Get yourself involved in some different ‘gun’ circles by getting to know people at local stores (in Schenectady, I strongly suggest Gunsmoke over by ViaPort Rotterdam) and Upstate Guns and Ammo (on State St next to Balltown Rd). Good folks at both locations. I would advise against Target Sports – I know too many people who were sorta ‘pushed’ into a firearm which was not the best for them, and their overall customer service isn’t the best. Inquire about courses for both pistol and rifle, and get to know people. Talk to them, but don’t overwhelm people. The good folks will stand out to you, and you can start building a rapport in the shooting community. These folks will also know where to get more training and to get more involved than you are currently.

Character references will be a little more difficult. Although I don’t recall the application saying this, I am sure that the licensing officer would like to see people that have known you for a while. Having a bunch of references that have only known you a year could throw up a red flag, and it doesn’t really speak to who you are over the long term. What about your girlfriend? How long have you known her? In my case, it was ‘suggested’ that I have my wife be a reference, since my ownership of firearms would affect her, too, since we of course live together. One nice thing is that Schenectady County does not insist that all of your references are in Schenectady County. This would allow you to have your friends from ‘back home’ possibly be references. Just remember that your reference doesn’t need to be a fellow gun owner – just someone who doesn’t hate guns and can attest to your character. One of my references was not an anti-gun, but definitely wasn’t a huge fan. But he was attesting to my character, and was willing to do this. Sadly, meeting someone on the forum and within a few months having them as a reference could likely hurt you, or at least waste your time. Also remember that not only do your references have to fill out and mail out a form, but they have to sign your application forms as well – so you may have to get into the car to visit them. I truly think that a judge may not be comfortable if you only had ‘newer’ references, and it is at their discretion to give or deny the permit. If they deny, you are out all of that time and money. Make sure you choose your references carefully.

I hope this info helps you. And good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hello Neighbor - also in Schenectady County here. Welcome.

You asked quite a bit in your post - so here goes: For starters - the question "which firearms would be best for the beginner / best for concealed carry (for personal protection). That is a slippery slope. What do you define as 'best'? Overall reliability, fit and form, as well as cost and aesthetics play a role here. You will ask 10 people and likely get 10 different answers. You will need to research based on your need and wants. For example, I have a couple of Glocks among a few others. Glocks are known as being ultra reliable. I personally like the look, but a lot of people don't. You also need to determine your caliber. In this case, as you are a new shooter, bigger isn't always better. You may be better off sticking with a 9mm to start (it is the cheapest centerfire caliber to shoot, while still having good penetration and ballistics). Additionally, in Schenectady County, you have to have your permit for at least 1 year before you are able to apply for unrestricted carry (after successful completion of the course). So, remember your intended usage. You may want your first to be a little bigger (size wise, not caliber wise) so that you can shoot better with it, in preparation to try to remove restrictions. Buying an ultra concealable pistol when applying for your permit may not suit you best in the beginning.

As for where to go, that is a little different. In New York State, you cannot even legally hold a pistol until you have a permit. So, you will be basing a lot of your decision on the look, the cost, and the reviews. You can go and look at rifles all day every day - and maybe that is a good way to start. Get yourself involved in some different 'gun' circles by getting to know people at local stores (in Schenectady, I strongly suggest Gunsmoke over by ViaPort Rotterdam) and Upstate Guns and Ammo (on State St next to Balltown Rd). Good folks at both locations. I would advise against Target Sports - I know too many people who were sorta 'pushed' into a firearm which was not the best for them, and their overall customer service isn't the best. Inquire about courses for both pistol and rifle, and get to know people. Talk to them, but don't overwhelm people. The good folks will stand out to you, and you can start building a rapport in the shooting community. These folks will also know where to get more training and to get more involved than you are currently.

Character references will be a little more difficult. Although I don't recall the application saying this, I am sure that the licensing officer would like to see people that have known you for a while. Having a bunch of references that have only known you a year could throw up a red flag, and it doesn't really speak to who you are over the long term. What about your girlfriend? How long have you known her? In my case, it was 'suggested' that I have my wife be a reference, since my ownership of firearms would affect her, too, since we of course live together. One nice thing is that Schenectady County does not insist that all of your references are in Schenectady County. This would allow you to have your friends from 'back home' possibly be references. Just remember that your reference doesn't need to be a fellow gun owner - just someone who doesn't hate guns and can attest to your character. One of my references was not an anti-gun, but definitely wasn't a huge fan. But he was attesting to my character, and was willing to do this. Sadly, meeting someone on the forum and within a few months having them as a reference could likely hurt you, or at least waste your time. Also remember that not only do your references have to fill out and mail out a form, but they have to sign your application forms as well - so you may have to get into the car to visit them. I truly think that a judge may not be comfortable if you only had 'newer' references, and it is at their discretion to give or deny the permit. If they deny, you are out all of that time and money. Make sure you choose your references carefully.

I hope this info helps you. And good luck!
please excuse my brevity, I'm on a mobile device responding to this:

thank you so much for responding to my thread, you gave me so much good information I'm kinda blown away.

thank you so much!

i do have one question though:

if the judge does deny my application am i forever banned from applying again or is there some sort of waiting period?

is there any kind of redress procedures in case of denial?

thanks so much again
 
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