New York Gun Laws
New York Gun Laws
Subject/LawLong gunsHandgunsRelevant statutesNotes
State permit required to purchase?NoYesS 265.20, S 265.01No NYS permit is required for long guns. Handguns require a permit. Permits are issued by County or State Supreme Court judges/justices outside of New York City, Nassau and Suffolk Counties, with a background check. Permits for those wanting to carry concealed are issued on a “may issue” basis, whereas permits to merely purchase and possess handguns in the home are issued on a “shall issue” basis. There is an application fee for each permit, as well as an amendment fee for each handgun added to the permit. NOTE: Different laws apply for NYC
Firearm registration?NoYesS 700.00, S 265.01No registration for long guns. All handguns must be registered under a license. There is a $3 registration fee. Handguns are registered with purchase permit. The serial number and sale is noted down. It is illegal to possess any un-registered firearm. Antique weapons are exempted from this. All handguns must travel in the manner one’s license is issued. No record is needed of previously owned handguns with law enforcement. *All rifles classified as assault weapons must be registered with the state by January 15, 2014. NOTE: Different laws apply for NYC
Owner license required?NoYesS 265.20, S 265.01No license is required for long guns; however, New York State requires a license for handgun ownership. Handgun licenses are normally restricted to three types: residence or business premises permit (must issue generally), Target & Hunting, and Unrestricted Carry. Target and hunting allows carry while engaged in those activities. Unrestricted allows carry at any time. All permits issued outside of New York City are not valid in New York City EXCEPT for retired police and federal law enforcement officers with that status marked on their permit and for armored car guards on duty. The minimum age to be issued a handgun license is 21 unless you are a former or current member of the armed forces or law enforcement. NOTE: Different laws apply for NYC
License required for concealed carry?N/AYesS 400.00New York counties, and some police departments, issue pistol licenses on a “may issue” basis. Discretionary issuance policies vary widely across the state. Generally, it is harder to obtain a license in counties closer to large New York cities. Most counties that aren’t a part of downstate New York have shall/reasonable issuance policies, but may administratively restrict time or place of carry (such as only for target shooting or hunting). It is not a crime to carry a weapon under a Target or Hunting permit for other purposes, but if caught or reported the permit will likely be revoked. Concealed carry without any kind of permit must be charged as a felony unless the weapon is unloaded and no ammunition for it is in possession of the person carrying. All permits are valid throughout the state, except in the City of New York, unless validated by the police commissioner of that city, or by armored car guards, retired police officers and retired federal law enforcement officers as specified in the Criminal Procedure Law. NY Penal Law 400 (6). While New York law does not allow issuance of pistol licenses to non-residents, 2013 federal appeals court and State appeals court rulings clarified the residency requirement. This clarification allowed those domiciled outside of the state with a part-time residence in New York to be issued a permit at the discretion of the licensing officer.[133]
Open carry allowed?NoNoS 265.35, S 265.01The law is extremely vague on open carry. Open carry in public is not legal in most instances. While no law specifically bans open carry, a license to carry is issued to carry concealed as per penal law 400. Therefore, pistol permit holders must carry concealed. Open carry permitted while hunting and possibly on one’s own property. Open carry of unloaded long guns is not explicitly prohibited by any law, but is generally not practiced. It is illegal however to transport an uncased long gun in a motor vehicle, unless it is in the trunk or a compartment not accessible by anyone inside the vehicle.
Assault weapon law?YesYesS 265.00, S 265.02Possession of assault weapons is prohibited, except for those legally possessed on January 15, 2013 and registered with the state by January 15, 2014 or classified as an antique assault weapon. New York City, Buffalo, Albany, and Rochester have enacted their own assault weapon bans. Law enforcement and retired law enforcement are exempt from the assault weapons ban.
Magazine capacity restriction?YesYes§ 265.02Magazine size limited to 10 rounds. Law enforcement and retired law enforcement with last service weapon only, are exempt from the 10 round limit. Also exempt are antique high-quality magazines if registered to an associated antique assault weapon. Under the NY SAFE Act (signed on the 15th of January, 2013 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo) the magazine law was changed. A legal provision that mandated no more than 7 rounds that may be loaded into the magazine was struck down by a federal judge on December 31, 2013.
Title II (National Firearms Act) weapons restricted?YesYesS 265.02, S 265.02Ownership of machine guns, suppressors, short-barreled rifles, AOW’s and short-barreled shotguns are prohibited to the average citizen. Destructive devices are permitted except for rockets with greater than 3 ounces of propellant, which are prohibited. AOW’s disguised as non-firearms are illegal.
Castle Doctrine Law?Yes*Yes*§ 35.20*New York has a castle doctrine law. It allows for the “use of (non-lethal) physical force in defense of premises and in defense of a person in the course of burglary.” Lethal force is governed under §35.15.
State preemption of local restrictions?NoNoNoneNew York preempts only handgun licensing.[134] Places such as Buffalo, Rochester, Albany, and most notably New York City have put in more restrictive gun laws, such as licensing of long guns and 5-round magazine limits.[135][136][137]
Peaceable journey laws?YesYesS 265.10With certain restrictions (see below), most notably magazines are not exempt. FOPA is complied with by police agencies in New York after losing some false arrest lawsuits.
Background checks required for private sales?YesYesNY Gen Bus L § 898 (2012)For firearm transfers between private parties, a licensed dealer must conduct a background check, provide documentation of the check to the New York State Police, and keep a record of the transaction.[138]
Red flag law?YesYesFamily members, school officials or law enforcement can ask courts to temporarily block someone from buying or owning a gun.[139]

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