See our Assault Weapons policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

New York’s assault weapon law prohibits manufacturing, transporting, disposing of or possessing an assault weapon in the state.1

An assault weapon is defined as:

• A semi-automatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least one of the following characteristics:

o A folding or telescoping stock;

o A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;

o A thumbhole stock;

o A second handgrip or a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand;

o A bayonet mount;

o A flash suppressor, muzzle break, muzzle compensator,  or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor, muzzle break, or muzzle compensator;

o A grenade launcher; or

• A semi-automatic shotgun that has at least one of the following characteristics:

o A folding or telescoping stock;

o A thumbhole stock;

o A second handgrip or a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand;

o A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;

o A fixed magazine capacity in excess of seven rounds;

o An ability to accept a detachable magazine; or

• A semi-automatic pistol that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least one of the following characteristics:

o A folding or telescoping stock;

o A thumbhole stock;

o A second handgrip or a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand;

o Capacity to accept an ammunition magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the pistol grip;

o A threaded barrel capable of accepting a barrel extender, flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer;

o A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the firearm with the non-trigger hand without being burned;

o A manufactured weight of fifty ounces or more when the pistol is unloaded;

o A semi-automatic version of an automatic rifle, shotgun or handgun; or

• A revolving cylinder shotgun;

• A semiautomatic rifle, a semiautomatic shotgun or a semiautomatic pistol or other weapon as defined by New York Penal Law § 265.00(22)(e)(v) as that section read under the laws of 2000 and otherwise lawfully possessed prior to September 14, 1994; or

• A semiautomatic rifle, a semiautomatic shotgun or a semiautomatic pistol that qualifies as an assault weapon as defined above and possessed prior to January 15, 2013.2

The term “assault weapon” does not include:

• Any rifle, shotgun or pistol that:

o Is manually operated by bolt, pump, lever or slide action;

o Has been rendered permanently inoperable; or

o Is an antique firearm as defined by federal law, 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(16);

• A semi-automatic rifle that cannot accept a detachable magazine that holds more than five rounds of ammunition;

• A semi-automatic shotgun that cannot hold more than five rounds of ammunition in a fixed or detachable magazine;

• A rifle, shotgun or pistol, or a replica or a duplicate thereof, specified in Appendix A to 18 U.S.C. § 922 as such weapon was manufactured on October 1, 1993.  The mere fact that a weapon is not listed in Appendix A shall not be construed to mean that such weapon is an assault weapon;

• Any weapon validly registered pursuant to New York Penal law § 400.00(16)(a); or

• Any handgun, rifle, or shotgun that was manufactured at least 50 years prior to the current date, but not including a replica thereof that is validly registered pursuant to N.Y. Penal Law § 400.00(16-a).

Any semiautomatic rifle, semiautomatic shotgun, or semiautomatic pistol qualifying as an assault weapon, as defined above, that was legally possessed prior to January 15, 2013, may only be sold to, exchanged with or disposed of to a purchaser authorized to possess such weapon or to an individual or entity outside the state provided that any such transfer outside of the state must be reported to the entity wherein the weapon is registered within 72 hours of such transfer.  A person who transfers any such weapon to a person inside New York without complying with these requirements is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.3

An owner of an assault weapon, as defined above, which was possessed before January 15, 2013, must make an application to register the assault weapon with the Superintendent of State Police, in a manner to be prescribed by the Superintendent, or by amending an issued firearms license on or before January 15, 2014.  Registration information must include the registrant’s name, date of birth, gender, race, residential address, social security number, and a description of each weapon being registered.  Registration will not be valid if the registrant is prohibited or becomes prohibited from possessing a firearm pursuant to state or federal law.

The Superintendent must determine whether such registrant is prohibited from possessing a firearm, but such check must be limited to determining whether the factors in 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) apply or whether a registrant has been convicted of a serious offense as defined in New York Penal Code § 265.00(16-b), and whether a report has been issued pursuant to New York Mental Hygiene Law § 9.46, concerning patients that present a serious risk to self or others.

All registrants must recertify to the Division of State Police every five years.  Failure to recertify will result in a revocation of the registration.4

A person who knowingly fails to apply to register an assault weapon on or before January 15, 2014, will be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.  A person unknowingly failing to register an assault weapon within the time period provided by statute must be given a warning by an appropriate law enforcement authority about this failure and given 30 days in which to apply to register or surrender the weapon.  A failure to do so within 30 days will result in the weapon being declared a nuisance and removed by an appropriate law enforcement authority.5

Educating the Public

The Superintendent of State Police must create and maintain an internet website to educate the public as to which semiautomatic rifle, semiautomatic shotgun, or semiautomatic pistol or other weapons are illegal under these provisions.  The website must contain information to assist the public in recognizing the relevant features proscribed by these provisions, as well the make and model of weapons requiring registration.6

Notes
  1. N.Y. Penal Law §§ 265.02(7), 265.10. ⤴︎
  2. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.00(22)(f). ⤴︎
  3. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.00(22)(h). ⤴︎
  4. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.00(22)(g). ⤴︎
  5. N.Y. Penal Law § 400.00(16-a)(a). ⤴︎
  6. N.Y. Penal Law § 400.00(16-a)(c). ⤴︎