The steps I took to obtain a handgun licence in Schenectady Co.starting Nov.15th 2009. 1.) Decide that I was going to get one after years of putting it off. 2.) Go to the County Clerks Office and pick up the "packet" 2a.)Tell the Mrs. I'm applying for said licence after she sees the "packet" in my underwear drawer. 3.) Call the number listed for the mandatory pistol safety class and get in to the classes for January 5th,6th,and 12th 4.) While waiting I begin to seriously look at different guns to narrow down my choices. 5.) December 20 something I go to my local shop to plunk my money down on a XD-9 and end up going with a Para Ordnance P14-40 (and no,it's not a 16-40.but it 's basically the same)that I had my eye on and fit my hand really nice. 6.) Wait some more. 7.) Attend the classes,NRA basic pistol course,VERY informative.The course is 3 3hour sessions and well worth the time. 8.) Fill out the 1st of three application/fingerprint cards and screw it up. 9.) Go to County Clerks Office and pick up replacement card,grab 2 more "just in case" 10.) Hand out 3 of the 4 character reference forms. 11.) Fill out 5 remaining application/fingerprint cards to get 3 that are correct and neat enough to read and take a photo of myself and print 4 1.5x1.5 inch copies. 11a.) Get the 3 forms and a letter to the Judge requesting a permit notarized 12.) Wait untill she appears to be jovial before I mention to the Mrs. that it is reccomended that the spouse be one of the character witnesses and slip the remaining forms in front of her, note abrupt change in demeanor,flinch much like I did shooting my Mosin Nagant for the first time.My reaction to her anticipated reaction makes her laugh and we have a nice discussion and she completes the form right then and there.(SWEET) 13.)Hand her a pre addressed envelope to put the form in once she gets someone to witness it. 14.)Wait for all 4 forms to arrive at the Sheriffs Dept. so I can get fingerprinted. 14a.)One form returned to have the person put his middle name on it instead of just his middle initial. 14.b)5 days later I notice my wife still has the form,I ask and she says her friend won't witness for her because it's for a pistol permit. 14c.)Wait another 9 days for her to find someone to witness the form.(she didn't want to ask just anyone as she didn't want it spread around her workplace that I have a hand gun.she's a teacher and that profession has it's share of left thinkers.I had to respect that.) 15.) Wait 4 days for the form to reach the Sheriffs Office. 16.) Go to the Post office to get the $105.25 money order for the background check. 17.)Got to the Seriffs dept. to get fingerprinted and fill out 2 more forms. (I notice that another person there has a money order for 115.25 and his forms are on paper rather than cardstock)They call him in next and soon afterward the Deputy comes out and asks to see our forms.He goes in and calls his boss and after a long conversation informs us that the cardstock forms are no good as of the 1st of the year and we needed to go back to the County Clerk and get the new paper ones and that we neede a money order for $115.25 but didn't know if we could just bring an extra one for the $10 increase.Also they are using a new computerized scan system and they have not been trained in how to scan in civilian prints(they use a different program to upload for background checks but if I get everything straightend out I can come in on Tuesday or Wednsday between 12 and 2 the guy on the day shift can do tit or they should be trained by the following Thursday)I leave without turning in anything. 18.) I get off work early (2:30) on Friday and arrive at the County bldg. only to find it closed early for the Presidents day long weekend. 19.) I go during my lunch break on the following Tuesday to pick up the "proper" forms and am told that the forms I have are the correct forms and that the "new" ones were photocopies of the cardstock forms because they ran out, and the money order I had was fine and that they can take cash for the difference. 19a.)I go to the Sheriffs Office(its next to the County bldg.) to try again and the Deputy tells me the computer is down and will be for the rest of the week."Try again next Tuesday"(I found out later that the county didn't pay thbill for the computer uplink) 19b.)Tuesday we are busy as heck and I end up working through my lunch so I don't get to go. 19c.)Tuesday to Wednsday we get slamed with 18" of snow and I spend 14 hours in a plowtruck so I don"t get to go. 20.) Thursday,2/25/10, I make it to the Sherrifs Dept. and everything comes together.Barring any problems I should have my CCW in about 10 weeks.