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New York Gun Control Laws

After the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in which 20 children and six adults were murdered, states passed strengthened gun control laws. New York was one of the first states to act after the mass shooting, by passing the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 -- commonly known as the NY SAFE Act.

Even before the NY SAFE Act, New York had one of the most restrictive gun control laws in the country. Upon the passage of the new law there are a number of firearms regulations and a severability provision in case the broad weapons rules are invalidated by the courts.

Some New York gun control law basics are listed in the table below. It's worth noting that New York City has its own, separate gun laws and that not all gun permits are automatically valid statewide. Indeed, with such a complex set of laws on the books, most everyone will need the help of a professional when dealing with gun laws. You should strongly consider contacting a New York attorney if you run into any gun law issues. For more general, national information see Gun Laws in FindLaw's Accidents and Injuries section to learn more.

Code Section Penal §§265, et seq.
NY SAFE Act provisions include
  • Bans possession of any "high-capacity magazines" regardless of when they were made or sold
  • Ammunition dealers are required to do background checks, similar to those for gun buyers
  • Requires creation of an assault weapons registry
  • Stolen guns are required to be reported within 24 hours, etc.
Carry permits issued? Yes, but permits are not automatically valid statewide; each city or county may or may not recognize in-state permits issued by other New York localities.
State permit to purchase? Yes for handguns, No for "long guns"
Law Prohibiting Firearms On or Near School Grounds Felony. Penal 265.01(3); 265.06

Note: New York law for handguns and other guns vary considerably, so what may be legal for a rifle may not be for a handgun and vice versa. In light of all these qualifications, you should contact a New York attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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