May 29, 2024

The Importance of Knowing Gun Law in NY

Gun laws in New York are among the most stringent in the United States, and it’s crucial for residents and visitors alike to have a clear understanding of these laws. Whether you are a gun owner, planning to purchase a firearm, or simply curious about the topic, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to know about gun law in NY.

Gun Licensing and Registration

In New York, owning a firearm requires a license. The New York State Police issue licenses for handguns, while long guns, such as rifles and shotguns, do not require a license. However, certain restrictions apply, and it’s recommended to check the specific laws pertaining to long guns in your area.

To obtain a handgun license, you must meet certain criteria, including being at least 21 years old, passing a background check, and completing a firearms safety course. Once you have obtained a license, you must register your handgun within 72 hours of acquiring it.

Restrictions on Assault Weapons

New York has strict regulations on assault weapons. The state defines assault weapons as semi-automatic firearms with certain features, such as a folding stock, a pistol grip, or a detachable magazine. Possession of such weapons is prohibited unless you possessed them prior to the enactment of the law in 2013 and registered them with the state.

It’s important to note that even if you legally possess an assault weapon, there are further restrictions on where you can possess and transport it. Make sure to familiarize yourself with these regulations to avoid any legal issues.

Concealed Carry Permits

If you wish to carry a concealed firearm in New York, you must apply for a concealed carry permit, also known as a pistol license. The process for obtaining this permit varies across different counties in the state. It’s essential to contact your local county clerk’s office or visit their website for detailed information on how to apply.

Keep in mind that New York is a “may-issue” state, which means that even if you meet all the requirements, the issuance of a concealed carry permit is at the discretion of local authorities.

Background Checks and Waiting Periods

When purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer in New York, you are required to undergo a background check. This check is conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to ensure that you do not have any disqualifying factors, such as a felony conviction or a history of mental illness.

In addition to the background check, there is also a mandatory waiting period of 30 days for firearm purchases. This waiting period allows for a thorough review of the background check and provides a cooling-off period to prevent impulsive acts of violence.

Safe Storage and Transportation

It is essential to store and transport firearms safely and responsibly in New York. When not in use, firearms must be securely stored in a locked container or equipped with a locking device to prevent unauthorized access. This applies to both handguns and long guns.

When transporting firearms, they must be unloaded and placed in a locked box or container in the trunk of your vehicle. If your vehicle does not have a trunk, the firearm must be stored in a locked container separate from the ammunition.

Penalties for Violating Gun Law in NY

Violating gun laws in New York can result in severe consequences. Possessing an unregistered handgun, carrying a concealed firearm without a permit, or possessing an assault weapon without proper registration can lead to criminal charges, fines, and even imprisonment.

It’s crucial to stay up-to-date with the current laws and regulations to ensure you are in compliance and avoid any legal trouble.


Understanding gun law in NY is essential for gun owners and anyone interested in firearms. By familiarizing yourself with the licensing process, restrictions on assault weapons, concealed carry permits, background checks, safe storage, transportation regulations, and the potential consequences of violating gun laws, you can navigate the legal landscape with confidence and ensure the safety of yourself and others.