Posted on January 1, 2012
Last updated May 14, 2013
In our publication Gun Laws Matter 2012: Understanding the Link Between Weak Laws and Gun Violence, the Law Center ranked each state based on a review of state laws in 29 different firearm-related policy areas. New York ranked 6th out of 50 – having enacted some of the strongest gun violence prevention laws in the country. New York has further improved its public safety laws involving firearms in 2013. Among other things, New York:
- Requires all private firearm sales, including those at a gun show, to be processed through a licensed dealer, who conducts a background check;
- Requires firearms dealers to obtain a state license;
- Bans most assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines;
- Requires anyone purchasing or possessing a handgun to first obtain a license, after a background check, and requires the license to specify all the handguns owned by the license holder;
- Requires firearm owners to report lost or stolen firearms or ammunition to law enforcement;
- Prohibits the manufacture and assembly of certain “unsafe handguns”;
- Regulates ammunition sales by requiring that sales be conducted through a licensed dealer and only after a background check is conducted on the purchaser. Ammunition sales must generally be conducted in person;
- Requires that safe storage practices be used by a person who lives with someone who is prohibited from possessing a firearm; and
- Maintains a statewide database of firearms licenses and records related to convictions, mental health, protective orders, and other factors that would affect the possession of firearms.
In 2010 (the last year for which data is available), New York had the fourth lowest number of gun deaths per capita among the states. Guns originally purchased in New York are recovered after being used in crimes in other states at the second lowest rate per capita among the states, according to data published by Mayors Against Illegal Guns. In fact, New York exports crime guns at a rate less than one-sixth the national average. New York imports crime guns from other states at seven times the rate it exports such guns. This means that, unlike states with weaker gun laws, New York is not a common source of crime guns used in other states.
New York Firearms Laws
For details about specific firearms laws in New York, choose a topic below, or see all of the firearms laws in this state.