The novel coronavirus pandemic will no longer slow those seeking a pistol permit. The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office is now offering a curbside pistol license application submission process.
The Pistol License Bureau at the sheriff’s office is responsible for the investigation, issuance, and maintenance of all pistol licenses for residents of the five East End towns. The office, located at the Suffolk County jail at 100 Center Drive in Riverside, was closed in March in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and with that came the temporary suspension of the processing of pistol licenses.
“We were keeping anyone who did not need to be there out of the building,” Sheriff Errol Toulon said. Inmate visitation, including those from volunteers, rehabilitation workers, and religious workers were suspended due to the threat of the virus.
“As time went on, we received many requests for pistol licensing to reopen, so that people could submit their applications,” he said. “It was decided that the safest way to accomplish this would be a system where applicants could stay in their vehicles and the investigator could come out to them.”
The sheriff’s office announced the new procedure last week involving an application that can be downloaded and filled out in advance. It requires at least four character references, who must sign the application and have their signature notarized.
When applicants are ready, there are designated parking spots outside the sheriff’s office, where they can wait after calling the bureau to let investigators know they are outside.
Investigators and applicants should wear appropriate face masks or coverings, the sheriff’s office said.
“Applicants should not come if they are feeling unwell or have a suppressed immune system,” a statement said.
In case of bad weather, the curbside pistol licensing not be available. The Suffolk County Police Department’s Pistol License Bureau handles these duties for western Suffolk.
Those wishing to download the application can visit www.SuffolkSheriff.com and click on the “services” tab at the top of the page.