New York allows a prohibited individual to voluntarily surrender firearms to a designated local law enforcement agency with immunity from the charge of illegal firearm possession.1

New York law declares any firearm unlawfully possessed to be a nuisance,2 and sets out the procedure that must be used if such a firearm comes into the possession of any police officer or peace officer.3

New York law states that the conviction of a firearms licensee for a felony or “serious offense” operates as a revocation of the license.  A revocation of the license also occurs if the licensee, at any time, becomes ineligible to receive a license under New York law.  An official revoking a license must “notify immediately the duly constituted police authorities of the locality,” and must give written notice to the executive department of the division of state police.4

New York law requires mental health professionals to make a report to law enforcement authorities if an individual they are treating is, in their judgment, likely to engage in conduct that will cause serious harm to themselves or to others.  The Department of Criminal Justice Services, when it determines that any person named in such a report possesses a license to carry a firearm, should inform “the appropriate licensing official” who must then issue an order to suspend or revoke the license.5

Where a defendant is found (by verdict or plea) to be not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect or to be “incapacitated” as defined by New York law, the court must revoke the defendant’s firearm license and inquire about the existence and location of any firearms in the defendant’s possession.  The court must direct the surrender of any such firearms.6

Where a defendant is convicted of an offense which would require the seizure of firearms or the revocation of a firearms license, the judge pronouncing the sentence must demand surrender of any such license and of all firearms.7

Surrender of Firearms Upon Issuance of a Domestic Violence Protective Order

Temporary Protective Order

Whenever a family court issues a temporary protective order, the court must suspend the respondent’s license, declare the respondent ineligible to receive a license, and order the immediate surrender of all firearms, when the court has good cause to believe that:  1) the respondent has a prior conviction of any “violent felony offense”; 2) the defendant was previously found to have willfully violated a protective order and the violation involved the infliction of physical injury, the threatened use of a deadly weapon, or the commission of a “violent felony offense”; or 3) the respondent has a conviction for stalking.  The court must also suspend respondent’s firearm license, declare respondent ineligible to receive a license, and order the surrender of all firearms where the court finds a substantial risk that the respondent may use or threaten to use a firearm against the person protected by the protective order.8

Protective Order

Whenever a family court issues a protective order, the court must revoke the respondent’s license, declare the respondent ineligible to receive a license, and order the immediate surrender of all firearms, when the court finds that the conduct which resulted in the issuance of the protective order involved:  1) the infliction of physical injury; 2) the use or threatened use of a deadly weapon; or 3) behavior constituting any “violent felony offense.”  The court must also suspend or revoke respondent’s firearm license, declare respondent ineligible to receive a license, and order the surrender of all firearms where the court finds a substantial risk that the respondent may use or threaten to use a firearm against the person protected by the protection order.9

Failure to Obey Protective Order or Temporary Protective Order

Whenever a respondent is found to have willfully failed to obey a protective order or temporary protective order, the court shall revoke any existing firearms license possessed by respondent, declare the respondent ineligible for such a license, and order the immediate surrender of all firearms, where the willful violation of the order involved: 1) the infliction of physical injury; 2) the use or threatened use of a deadly weapon; 3) behavior constituting any “violent felony offense”; or 4)  behavior constituting stalking.  The court must also suspend or revoke respondent’s firearm license, declare respondent ineligible to receive a license, and order the surrender of all firearms where the court finds a substantial risk that the respondent may use or threaten to use a firearm against the person protected by the protection order.10

Mandatory Court Determination

When a protective order or temporary protective order is issued or when such orders are violated, the court must make a determination regarding the suspension or revocation of a license to carry or possess a firearm, ineligibility to obtain such a license, and the surrender of firearms already possessed.11

License Suspension

Any order suspending a firearms license that is issued in relation to a protective order or temporary protective order will remain in effect for the duration of the protective order, unless modified by the court.12

Order to Surrender Firearms

When a domestic violence order to surrender firearms has been issued, the temporary order of protection or order of protection must specify the place, date and time for the firearms to be surrendered and, to the extent possible, and describe the firearms to be surrendered along with instructions to the receiving authority to notify the court immediately upon surrender. The order must also state whether the firearm license has been suspended, revoked, or that the person subject to the order is ineligible.13

If a respondent promptly surrenders a firearm pursuant to a court order, it is considered a voluntary surrender and the respondent may arrange for the transfer or sale of the firearm to a licensed dealer within a year of surrender. After a year, the firearm is declared a nuisance and can be disposed of by the law enforcement authority who received it.14

Notification

The court that declares a protective order respondent ineligible for a firearms license, revokes or suspends a respondent’s license, or orders the surrender of a respondent’s firearms must notify the police in the relevant locality and give written notice to the state police. The court must notify the statewide registry of orders of protection.15

Right to Hearing

The respondent has a right to a hearing before any revocation, suspension, ineligibility or surrender of firearms is ordered. When an order is issued prior to a hearing, the respondent must receive a hearing within two weeks of the date of the order.16

Notes
  1. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.20(f). ⤴︎
  2. N.Y. Penal Law § 400.05(1). ⤴︎
  3. N.Y. Penal Law § 400.05. ⤴︎
  4. N.Y. Penal Law § 400.00(11)(a). ⤴︎
  5. N.Y. Penal Law § 400.00(11)(b). ⤴︎
  6. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 330.20(2-a). ⤴︎
  7. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 380.96. ⤴︎
  8. N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 842-a(1)(a)-(b); N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 530.14(1)(b). ⤴︎
  9. N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 842-a(2)(a)-(b); N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 530.14(2)(b). ⤴︎
  10. N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 842-a(3)(a)-(b); N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 530.14(3)(b). ⤴︎
  11. N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act §§ 446-a, 552, 656-a, 780-a; 1056-a; N.Y Dom. Rel. Law § 240(3)(h), 252(9). ⤴︎
  12. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 530.14(4). ⤴︎
  13. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law §§ 530.14(5)(a), (6)(a); N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 842-a(5)(a), (6)(a). ⤴︎
  14. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 530.14(5)(b); N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 842-a(5)(b); N.Y. Penal Law § 400.05(6). ⤴︎
  15. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 530.14(6)(b)-(d); N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 842-a(6)(b)-(d). ⤴︎
  16. N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 530.14(7); N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 842-a(7). ⤴︎