Tuesday, February 15, 2011

1927 New York City Pistol License

Today we have some reference photos of a classic era pistol license from New York City. At first I was a bit surprised that the card included both a pasted photo and a fingerprint, but by the late 20's the revolution in investigative policing was well under way.


CoastConFan said...

Previously, some municipalities had laws about carrying concealed weapons, but didn’t have laws about possession, just concealment, which extended to automobiles later. New York passed the Sullivan Act in 1911, one of the first actual gun control laws in the U.S. This law required that firearms small enough to be concealed on a person be registered with the city and a license be issued.

All thorough the 19th century there were laws about concealment of such items as brass knuckles, dirks, coshes, and billy clubs. Firearms, specifically small ones, so popular from the 1850s on were included in the conceal carry laws, although there were no statutes licensing ownership. Primarily these laws were leveled at the underclasses, including targeted ethnic groups, especially during and after Reconstruction.

Before the 1934 National Firearms Act, individuals could pretty much own anything, although some manufactures and sellers did request a sheriff’s letter for explosive devices. Thanks for the photo of this license, you rarely see one.

elmo iscariot said...

Can you read what's written in for "occupation" and "employed"?

The note on the back requiring the gun to be surrendered when the carry permit expires makes it sound like this is a license geared toward city personnel carrying city weapons.

ArtSnark said...


Anonymous said...

NO, it is not for City purposes. It is the permit that is issued to private citizens. City employees have a badge instead. This 1927 permit is remarkably similar to the current City Permit (no Joke!)