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New York State Gun Laws

New York State Gun Laws



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Published by Daily Freeman
A synopsis of New York State laws on purchase,
possession and carrying of firearms, by the NRA-Institute for Legislative Action
A synopsis of New York State laws on purchase,
possession and carrying of firearms, by the NRA-Institute for Legislative Action

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Published by: Daily Freeman on Mar 25, 2009
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Firearms Laws 
Compiled by:
NRA-Institute for Legislative Action11250 Waples Mill Road Fairfax, Virginia 22030 (800) 392-8683www.nraila.org 
(As o February 2008)
QUICK REFERENCE CHARTRies andShotguns HandgunsPermit to Purchase No* YesRegistration o Firearms No* YesLicensing o Owners No* YesPermit to Carry No* Yes* Except in New York City STATE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONNone. However, Article 2, Section 4 o the New York Civil Rights Law provides: “A well regulated militia beingnecessary to the security o a ree state, the right o thepeople to keep and bear arms cannot be inringed.”PURCHASENo permit is required or the purchase o a rie orshotgun (except in New York City). A license to carry or posses a pistol or revolver isrequired to purchase a handgun. (See HANDGUNS-POSSESSION and CARRY) Elsewhere than the City o New York, a person licensed to carry or possess a pistol orrevolver may apply at any time to the licensing ofcer inthe county o their residence or amendment o his or herlicense to include one or more such handguns or to cancela handgun held under the license.No person, frm or corporation engaged in the retailbusiness o selling ries, shotguns or handguns, shall sell,deliver or transer any such gun to another person unlessthe transeree is provided with a gun locking device and alabel on sae storage.Any business selling frearms must post a sign where thefrearms are displayed or sold stating in bold print: “Theuse o a locking device or saety lock is only one aspect o responsible frearm storage. For increased saety frearmsshould be stored unloaded and locked in a location that isboth separate rom their ammunition and inaccessible tochildren and any other unauthorized person.”Any manuacturer that ships, transports or deliversa handgun to any person in this state shall include inthe container a separate sealed container that encloses: ashell casing o a bullet or projectile discharged rom suchhandgun, and any additional inormation that identifessuch handgun. A gunsmith or dealer in frearms licensedin this state shall, within ten days o delivering to any person a handgun received by such gunsmith or dealer,orward to the division o state police, along with theoriginal transaction report, the sealed container enclosingthe shell casing rom such handgun received rom themanuacturer.Upon receipt o the sealed container, the divisiono state police shall cause to be entered in an automatedelectronic data-bank pertinent data and other ballisticinormation relevant to identifcation o the shell casingand to the handgun rom which it was discharged. All frearm exhibitors must conduct a national instantcriminal background check prior to all frearm sales ortransers, including sales or transers o ries or shotgunsat a gun show.It is lawul or NY residents to purchase or obtainries or shotguns in a contiguous state and to receive andtransport said rie and shotguns into the state, providedthe person is otherwise eligible to possess a rie or shotgununder NY law.POSSESSION—RIFLES AND SHOTGUNSThere is no state license requirement or the possessiono a rie or shotgun, so long as the rie has barrel(s) atleast 16 inches in length and the shotgun has barrel(s) atleast 18 inches in length.It is unlawul or any person convicted o a elony,other serious oense, or who been certifed as not suitableto possess a rie or shotgun (mentally incompetent) topossess a frearm.Generally, it is unlawul or anyone under the ageo 16 to possess any frearm; however, a rie or shotgunmay be possessed by a person between 12 and 16 whois engaged in target shooting on a range supervised by amilitary ofcer, certifed instructor, or a parent, guardianor a person over the age o eighteen designated in writingby such parent or guardian provided the adult has a huntersaety certifcate.It is unlawul to possess 20 or more frearms as defnedunder NY law outside one’s home or business.POSSESSION—HANDGUNSA license is needed to possess a handgun in one’s
home or place o business. Application is made to thelicensing ofcer o the city or county where the applicantresides, is principally employed, or where his principalplace o business as a merchant or storekeeper is located. An alien may obtain a pistol license i he or she meetsthese requirements. The determination whether togrant the license is completely within the discretion o the licensing ofcer. However, the licensing ofcer muststate specifcally and concisely in writing the reasons ora denial. A denial can only be overturned in court i thedenial is shown to be arbitrary and capricious. Westchester County may require the applicant tosuccessully complete a frearms saety course and testin addition to meeting the other requirements. Othercounties also require a saety course or license issuance.A license may be granted to an applicant who is o good moral character, who is over 21 years o age, whohas not been convicted o a serious oense, who statesi and when he has ever been treated or mental illness, who is not subject to a protective court order and to whom no good cause exists or the denial o the license.The age requirement shall not apply to persons honorably discharged rom the military. (Persons between age 18 and21 may possess a handgun at an indoor or outdoor pistolrange located in or on premises owned or occupied by aduly incorporated organization organized or conservationpurposes or to oster profciency in small arms. A personbetween the ages o 18 and 21 may also possess a handgunat a target pistol shooting competition under the auspiceso or approved by the NRA and while under immediatesupervision).An investigation will be conducted regarding allstatements required in the application. This includestaking the fngerprints and physical descriptive data o theapplicant. One copy o the fngerprints will be orwardedto the FBI or a search o the applicant’s criminal records.The ailure or reusal o the FBI to make the fngerprintcheck shall not constitute the sole basis or reusal to issuea permit.The licensing ofcer may, in his discretion, addrestrictions to the license, limiting the places where thehandgun may be kept or carried. No demonstration o need to possess is required to obtain an “on premisesonly,” license valid or one’s home or place o business. A demonstration o need must be shown, however, or alicense not restricted to one o those locations.An “on premises only” license authorizes the possessiono a handgun only at the location written on the license.It does not authorize the holder to take such handgun toany other place. (It should be noted urther that an “onpremises only” license technically does not authorize theholder even to transport the handgun rom its place o purchase to the location stated on the license.)Applications or licenses must be acted upon within 6months ater presentment. I there is a delay, there mustbe written notice to the applicant stating the reasons.Such delay may be excused or good cause only.I issued, a license is valid until revoked, except inNew York City where a license shall expire not more than3 years ater the date o issuance, and in Nassau, Suolk and Westchester Counties where a license shall expire notmore than 5 years ater the date o issuance.A license ee is fxed by the board o supervisors ineach county, with a $10.00 limit prescribed by statelaw. The Division o Criminal Justice Services sets thefngerprinting ee. The ee or each amendment to thelicense is $3.00 ($5.00 in Suolk County). In New York City and Nassau County, the City Council and Boardo Supervisors, respectively, set the license ees withoutregard to the state law limitation.Each handgun possessed must be listed on the licenseby make, model, caliber and serial number. The only exception is possession o a properly licensed handgun by another licensee or license applicant at a target range.The name and address submitted by an applicant toobtain the license becomes a matter o public record.A licensee who moves his residence to another licensing jurisdiction within the state shall provide notifcation o the change in writing within ten days ater such changeoccurs, and a record o such change shall be inscribed by such licensee on the reverse side o his license. Failure tonotiy o the change o residence may result in an inability to obtain amendments, and possible revocation o thelicense. CARRY A license to possess a handgun serves also as a licenseto carry unless restricted.A license to carry or possess a pistol or revolver, nototherwise limited as to place or time o possession, shallbe eective throughout the state, except that the licenseshall not be valid within the city o New York unless aspecial permit granting validity is issued by the policecommissioner o that city.An applicant or a license to carry outside the homemust be required to show, in addition to the requirementor possession, that proper cause exists or the issuance o a carry license, including, or example, target shooting,hunting, or sel-deense.The license can be amended to include one or moreadditional or dierent handguns. The licensee is requiredto carry the license on his person at all times when carryinga handgun.A loaded handgun may be carried in a vehicle by a properly licensed individual. (Loaded means a frearm with ammunition loaded in magazine or chamber or any frearm which is possessed by one who at the same timepossesses a quantity o ammunition which may be used todischarge such a frearm.) Possession o any loaded rie orshotgun in a vehicle is illegal.NON-RESIDENTSIt is unlawul or any person to carry, possess ortransport a handgun in or through the state unless hehas a valid New York license. (A provision o ederal law provides a deense to state or local laws which wouldprohibit the passage o persons with frearms in interstatetravel i the person is traveling rom any place where hemay lawully possess and transport a frearm to any otherplace where he may lawully possess and transport suchfrearm and the frearm is unloaded and in the trunk. Invehicles without a trunk, the unloaded frearm shall be ina locked container other than the glove compartment orconsole).A member or coach o an accredited college oruniversity target pistol team may transport a handguninto or through New York to participate in a collegiate,Olympic or target pistol shooting competition provided
that the handgun is unloaded and carried in a lockedcarrying case and the ammunition is carried in a separatelocked container.Non-resident target shooters may enter or pass throughNew York State with handguns or the purposes o any NRA approved competition or IHMSA sanctioned match, within 48 hours o the competition, i the competitor hasin his possession a copy o the match program, proo o entry and a pistol license rom his state o residence. Thehandgun must be unloaded and transported in a lockedopaque container. This provision does not apply in NY cities not wholly contained within a single county or topeople with elony convictions.Possession o frearms by a person who is a nonresidento this state is lawul while attending or traveling to orrom an organized convention or exhibition approved by the NRA, and in which the nonresident is a registeredparticipant within orty-eight hours o such event,provided that the nonresident has not been previously convicted o a elony and urther provided that thefrearms are transported unloaded in a locked opaquecontainer together with a copy o the convention orexhibition program, convention or exhibition schedule orconvention or exhibition registration card. This provisiondoes not apply in NY cities not wholly contained withina single county.A non-immigrant alien may possess a rie or shotgunor use while hunting provided he has a valid huntinglicense issued by New York State and an approved gunimport orm rom the BATFE. ANTIQUESThe New York defnition o a frearm does not includean antique frearm. An antique frearm is any unloadedmuzzle loading pistol or revolver with a matchlock,intlock, percussion cap, or similar type o ignitionsystem, or a pistol or revolver that uses fxed cartridgesthat are no longer available in the ordinary channels o commercial trade. A license is not required to possess,collect or carry an unloaded antique frearm.However, a license is required to possess, collect andcarry antique pistols. The licensing statute defnes anantique pistol as: any single shot, muzzle loading pistol with a matchlock, intlock, percussion cap, or similartype o ignition system manuactured in or beore l898, which is not designed or using rim-fre or conventionalcenter-fre fxed ammunition; and any replica i suchreplica is not designed or redesigned or using rim-freor conventional center-fre fxed ammunition, or usesrim-fre or conventional center-fre fxed ammunition which is no longer manuactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels o commercial trade. To the extent that an “antique pistol” isnot also an “antique frearm,” a license would be requiredor lawul possession.NY Law has interpreted this to mean antique ries,shotguns, handguns, and replicas thereo, are generally exempt rom the above restrictions and can be bought andpossessed without a permit. (Persons who shoot muzzle-loading handguns must be properly licensed.) However,to all within the exemption, antique handguns must beunloaded and possessed without the materials requiredor loading.MACHINE GUNSIt is a elony or any person to manuacture, transportor dispose o a machine gun. It is a elony to buy, receive,dispose or conceal a machine gun that has been deacedor the purpose o concealment.The presence in any room, dwelling, structure orvehicle o any machine gun is presumptive evidence o unlawul possession by all persons occupying the place where the machine gun is ound.A machine gun is defned as any weapon rom which anumber o shots or bullets may be rapidly or automatically discharged rom a magazine with one continuous pull o the trigger and includes a submachine gun. ASSAULT WEAPONSIt shall be unlawul to possess any “assault weapon”or “large capacity ammunition eeding device.” So calledassault weapons lawully possessed prior to September14, 1994 and large capacity ammunition eeding devicesmanuactured prior to such date can continue to belawully possessed..“Assault weapon” is defned as:
A semiautomatic rie that has an ability to accept a detachablemagazine and has at least two o the ollowing characteristics:a olding or telescoping stock;a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the ac-tion o the weapon;a bayonet mount;a ash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommo-date a ash suppressor;a grenade launcher.• A semiautomatic shotgun that has at least two o the ollowingcharacteristics:a olding or telescoping stock;a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the ac-tion o the weapon;a fxed magazine capacity in excess o fve rounds;an ability to accept a detachable magazine.• A semiautomatic pistol that has an ability to accept a detach-able magazine and has at least two o the ollowing characteristics:an ammunition magazine that attaches to the pistol out-side o the pistol grip;a threaded barrel capable o accepting a barrel extender,ash suppressor, orward handgrip, or silencer;shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely en-circles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the frearm with the nontrigger hand without being burned;manuactured weight o fty ounces or more when thepistol is unloaded.• A semiautomatic version o an automatic rie, shotgun orfrearm.• Any o the weapons, or unctioning rames or receivers o such weapons, or copies or duplicates o such weapons, in any caliber,known as:Norinco, Mitchell, and Poly Technologies Avtomat Kalash-nikovs (All Models);Action Arms Israeli Military Industries UZI and Galil;Beretta Ar70 (SC-70);Colt AR-15;Fabrique National FN/FAL, FN/LAR, and FNC;

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