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Can the security staff (equivalent to the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service) of the various Embassies/Missions/Consulates/etc located in New York City carry (concealed) firearms as part of their official duties providing security for their diplomatic staff while not on embassy grounds? Have these rules changed any since the 1960's?

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  • Are you asking about locally recruited security staff or about foreign staff who enjoy diplomatic immunity? – phoog May 24 at 4:03
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    Foreign staff - the equivalent of the US Diplomatic Security Service. – user11421 May 24 at 5:14
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A license is required, see NYC Administrative Code §10-301. This page describes the procedure: the license type is presumably a "carry guard license". You must also get a New York State pistol license. There are various training requirements. Title 38 of the Rules of the City of New York ch. 5 (handgun licenses) says what the police department rules are for licensing, §5-04 describes the Carry Guard License, which basically says you must show the need to be armed and that you have any required licenses. If you can do this, they may issue you a license. You cannot carry a concealed firearm off the job just because you are consular security staff.

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    Foreign consular staff enjoy official acts immunity. This should exempt them from state and city jurisdiction when they are on the job. Missions to the UN and their staff typically have diplomatic immunity, which also exempts them from state and city jurisdiction for private acts. – phoog May 24 at 3:42
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    @Greendrake A order to expel someone with diplomatic immunity is a political act for which violation of domestic law is neither a requirement, nor something that results in automatic expulsion. It is just one factor among many considered by the State Department is making a decision to do so. – ohwilleke May 24 at 17:44
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    @Greendrake but the immunity from state law exempts diplomats from needing driver's licenses and from needing to register their vehicles with the state. Instead, they get licenses from the State Department and register their vehicles with them as well. If immunity exempts them from one licensing regime, it will exempt them from the other. – phoog May 25 at 0:42
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    @Greendrake the DoS is not going to expel trained security agents who carry firearms responsibly in a manner that would otherwise be lawful but for their lack of a license granted by a government from whose jurisdiction they are immune. Diplomacy is reciprocal: if the DoS expects to be able to provide armed guards for US dignitaries in (e.g.) Israel, it has to allow (e.g.) Israel to provide armed guards in the US. Conversely, if it expects Israel to rely on the Diplomatic Security Service and the NYPD in New York, it must rely on Israeli agencies there. I don't know which it actually is. – phoog May 25 at 15:55
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    @phoog - "Some" foreign consular staff enjoy immunity, certainly not all. My (British) wife worked in the British Consulate in NYC and, along with most of her British colleagues, enjoyed no immunity. That was reserved for higher ranking government officials. – Laconic Droid Jun 23 at 15:38

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