New York State Law Summary

Posted on January 1, 2012

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Last updated December 9, 2013

In our publication 2013 State Scorecard: Why Gun Laws Matter, the Law Center ranked each state based on a review of state laws in 30 different firearms-related policy areas. New York ranked 5th out of 50 – having some of the strongest gun laws in the country.

In 2013, the New York legislature enacted new laws that relate to firearms. These new laws are described below.

enacted in 2013

Laws that Strengthen Gun Regulation

NY S 2230 Imposes numerous provisions to: strengthen the assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazine bans; provide a mechanism to remove firearms from unstable individuals, close private sale loophole, require lost and stolen reporting, require safe storage and regulate ammunition sales.

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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.

New York does not impose a waiting period prior to the purchase of a firearm (although it may take up to six months to obtain a license to purchase a handgun).

Local governments in New York possess authority to regulate firearms or ammunition, and local law enforcement has discretion regarding whether to issue or deny a concealed handgun permit.

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.