New York State is May Issue, which means that standards range from county to county, going from horrendous to "you better be rich or famous".
As a former resident one of the things I relish is not having to deal with that state's nonsense, but it does warrant looking into. Especially, as I have friends in the state who are looking into getting their permits.
Let's take Erie County, location of Buffalo NY, the second largest city in the state. Unlike neighboring counties in that one it takes up to a year to get your permit as opposed to a few months. However, like the rest of NY it has a couple wrinkles that I'll talk about now: the character references and the use it or lose it provision.
In New York you need two people of "moral character" to vouch for you and live in the same county as you. Also once you get your licence you must purchase a handgun within a month or you will lose it and have to restart the entire process.
For the former that just means you have to have two friends who are okay with you having such a weapon. Not so hard right? Well speaking from experience it is.
New York's harsh gun laws make it more of a challenge than you think, especially given that they have to be long term NY residents who live in the same county as you. Which is tricky if you happen to live near the border or your gun range is int he next county over. Adding to that New York has alot of paranoia, and police are looking for a reason to deny your request and will press the people you've listed.
This means the people you pick have to know their part of the process. What's worse, they could look at such an involved and expensive procedure and wonder why you're going through all that trouble. Still finding such friends is not insurmountable, nor is having to make a firearms purchase after you get the licence.
What these requirements are are hurdles to discourage anyone from even thinking about buying a handgun.
Because in New York you cannot legally own a handgun without an NYS Carry Permit.
This means that only the most dedicated people will go through the hassle in time and money to jump through all these hoops. And because of that, they will find that they have few friends who have ever shot a handgun, let alone ones that have an interest in purchasing one.
And thus it becomes that much harder to get new shooters.
Which is just how New York wants it. They've destroyed the casual enthusiast, collector, and plinker. In fact, one of my friends is making sure he'll have his permit for inheritance reasons. Otherwise if the unthinkable were to happen to an elderly loved one, he would not be able to take up historical family artifacts.
At least it's better than NJ, where you need a permit process for each handgun, and if memory serves you have to submit your employer as a reference. Though in NJ you can own without a CCW permit, which is something, given those are almost as difficult to get as Hawaiian permits.