The New York State Penal Law section 265.20 states a person must be in possession of a Certificate of Good Conduct to legally possess a firearm if they have been convicted of a felony or serious offense. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System(NICS) at the Federal level requires a Certificate of Good Conduct, as it is specified in the Penal Law, in order to purchase firearms. It does not specifically address the possession of previously owned firearms. They have indicated an individual must be eligible to possess both long guns and handguns without any restrictions as to purpose, place or usage. In order to be able to purchase a long gun someone must obtain both an unrestricted Certificate of Relief from Disabilities and a Certificate of Good Conduct. There has been much discussion regarding allowing people to have their rights restored through a Certificate of Relief only. However, at this time the law has not been changed and a Certificate of Good Conduct is sometimes required. Also, be advised effective 1/30/12, you may no longer use or possess black powder guns or muzzle loaders without the appropriate certificate.