Large Capacity Ammunition Magazines in New York

Posted on January 1, 2012

New York prohibits the manufacture, transportation, disposal and possession of any large capacity ammunition feeding device, which New York law defines as “a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that: 1) has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than ten rounds of ammunition; 2) contains more than seven rounds of ammunition; or 3) is obtained after January 15, 2013 and has a capacity of, or can be readily restored or converted to accept more than seven rounds of ammunition.”1

New York limits any person to putting seven rounds of ammunition into a magazine, unless the person is at an incorporated firing range or competition recognized by the National Rifle Association or International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association, in which case the limit is ten rounds.2

The definition of large capacity feeding device does not include “an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition or a feeding device that is a curio or relic.  A feeding device that is a curio or relic” is a device that:  1) was manufactured at least 50 years before January 15, 2013; 2) is only capable of being used exclusively in a firearm that was manufactured at least 50 years prior to January 15, 2013, but not including replicas thereof; 3) is possessed by an individual who is not prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a firearm; and 4) is registered with the Division of State Police pursuant to New York law.3

Grandfathering of Previously Legal Magazines

New York prohibits any person from knowingly possessing a large capacity ammunition feeding device made before September 13, 1994 that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than ten rounds of ammunition.  Such possession is prohibited even if the person lawfully possessed the device prior to January 15, 2013.  However, someone who has a reasonable belief that these are allowed to possess such a device, but who surrenders his or her device within 30 days of being notified of their illegality is not criminally liable.4

New York also prohibits the  knowing possession of an ammunition feeding device that has a capacity of, or can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than seven but less than ten rounds of ammunition, where such device contains more than seven rounds of ammunition.  Such possession is illegal even if the device was lawfully possessed prior to January 15, 2013.  Thus, it is legal to possess ammunition feeding devices that have the capacity of, or that can be converted to accept, 8-10 rounds, so long as they were lawfully possessed prior to January 15, 2013, and do not actually contain more than seven rounds of ammunition.5

Transfer and Registration

New York law provides that large capacity ammunition magazines lawfully possessed prior to January 15, 2013, may only be transferred to a purchaser in the state who is authorized to possess them, or otherwise may only be transferred outside of the state.  If transferred outside the state, the transfer must be reported to the registration system within 72 hours.  An exception exists, however, that allows an individual to transfer a lawfully possessed pre-ban large capacity magazine within one year of January 15, 2013.  An individual not complying with this provision is criminally liable for a Class A misdemeanor.6

A feeding device that qualifies as a curio or relic may be transferred.  However, the transfer must be processed through a licensed dealer, who must conduct a background check of the transferee.  Curios or relics that are transferred into the state from outside the state must be registered within 30 days.7

Registrations of large capacity ammunition magazines are transferrable.  However, the state must confirm that the transferee is not a prohibited person.  Registrations must be recertified every five years.8

See our Large Capacity Ammunition Magazines policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. N.Y. Penal Law §§ 265.00(23), 265.02(8), 265.10. []
  2. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.20(7-f); see also N.Y. SAFE Act FAQ, available at:  www.governor.ny.gov/2013/gun-reforms-faq. []
  3. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.00(23). []
  4. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.36. []
  5. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.37. []
  6. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.00(22)(h). []
  7. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.00(23). []
  8. N.Y. Penal Law § 400.00(16-a). []