The origin of the Sullivan Act
NY Post: The Strange Birth of NY's Gun Laws.
I researched the Sullivan Act for an amicus brief. Tim Sullivan started it out as a very narrow bill -- it just made unlicensed concealed carry a 3 year felony, rather than a misdemeanor. Then NYC's medical examiner lobbied him to pul all the other provisions in, and he agreed. But when he spoke on the floor, which he hated to do, he only talked about the three year penalty.
Even as first enacted, in 1911, it was nothing like what we see today. It required some dealer paperwork, but not registration. There was no provision forbidding open carry. It applied only to handguns. The permits were "may issue" to the max -- as in a felony could get one, if the judge allowed it. (The only bars were to juveniles and non-citizens_/