New York

New York does not have a constitutional provision for the right to bear arms. However, New York’s Civil Rights Code states:
“A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms cannot be infringed.”

*NOTE: Thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision on NYSRPA v. Bruen, “May Issue” states must affirm the right to bear arms in public, marking the end of these subjective and unconstitutional permitting schemes. Now these states are scrambling to figure out how to curtail the decision by passing new laws to effectively make it difficult, or even outright illegal, to conceal carry in public. For that reason, things are moving too fast to keep these specific states updated. Please be vigilant in staying updated with your state laws.


New York is a may-issue state. A permit to purchase, a background check and firearms registration are required to buy from a private individual. There is no law that bans open carry. Concealed carry is only legal with a New York Pistol License (NYPL). The minimum age is 21. NY doesn’t recognize permits/licenses from any other states. A NYPL is not valid in New York City. New York does not honor permits from any other states. New York has a self-defense law based on the Castle Doctrine. A citizen has the duty to retreat from attackers if he or she feels one can safely do so.

Reciprocal Carry

By statute, New York will not recognize another state’s license to carry, however one may transport a firearm in the state pursuant to.

Duty To Notify Police Officer

While carrying a pistol or revolver, every licensee must have on his or her person a license to carry the same. Every person licensed to possess a pistol or revolver on particular premises shall have the license for the same on such premises. Upon demand, the license must be exhibited for inspection to any LEO.

Carrying Firearms In Vehicles

New York generally prohibits the carrying of firearms in vehicles by people without a carry permit. Long guns may be carried only if they are unloaded and secured in a locked container that is not readily accessible. Handguns may only be carried by people with carry permits.

NFA Items

Ownership of MGs, suppressors, SBRs, and SBSs are prohibited to the average citizen. DDs are permitted except for rockets with greater than 3 ounces of propellant, which are prohibited. AOWs are legal to own but are still required to be on a pistol permit. AOWs disguised as non-firearms are illegal.

Self-Defense Laws

New York has a Castle Doctrine but no SYG law. There is no duty to retreat when in Your dwelling. You may use force, including deadly force, in defense of yourself or others if You reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent use of deadly force by the aggressor, kidnapping, forcible rape, robbery, arson, or burglary of an occupied building.

Carry In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

New York has no laws prohibiting the carrying of firearms in restaurants that serve alcohol, so long as You possess the appropriate Permit/License. Places like Fridays or Chili’s unless they have a “No Gun Sign,” then it is suggested that You not carry into the establishment. This does not include a bar or the bar area of a restaurant – You are prohibited from carrying into these areas. You can carry Your firearm into a restaurant that serves alcohol, but You are prohibited from carrying while You consume alcohol or are under the influence of alcohol.

Open Carry

The law in New York is extremely vague on open carry. Open carry in public is not legal in most instances. While no law specifically bans open carry, a license to carry is issued to carry concealed as per N.Y. Penal Law § 400. Therefore, pistol permit holders must carry concealed. Open carry is permitted while hunting and on one’s own property. Open carry of unloaded long guns is not explicitly prohibited by any law, but is generally not practiced.

License Is Required To Own Pistols

New York requires a pistol permit in order to purchase, possess, or transport a handgun. This permit is different from a permit to carry a pistol. Even after You receive a pistol permit, You must make a separate application for each pistol You wish to buy or sell. In order to purchase a handgun, the holder of a pistol permit must apply for an amendment to their permit to include the new gun, and can make the purchase only after this application is granted. Once purchased, each handgun must be registered and a description of it (by make, model, caliber, and serial number) must be added to the pistol permit. Applying for a pistol permit can take 4-6 months and requires a background check, and for the applicant to list several character references. The pistol permit must be renewed every 5 years.

Universal Background Checks

Background checks are mandatory for all firearm sales, and every firearm sale (except between family members) must go through an FFL. Documentation of the check must be provided to the New York State Police and You must keep a record of the transaction.

Regulation Of Ammunition Sales

Currently all sales of ammunition must go through a registered ammunition dealer, who is to record and report each sale. Internet purchases of ammunition must be sent to an ammunition dealer for pickup, all sales of ammunition must be conducted face to face. This law also mandated that ammunition dealers will be required to conduct background checks on the sale of ammunition, however on 7/10/15 the government suspended implementation of this background check law because the technology to create the ammo background check system is not yet operational. As of 10/3/17 this ammo background check provision is not currently in effect, but it will likely be implemented in the future once the background check system is ready.

High-Capacity Magazine Ban

New York bans the manufacture, sale, transportation, and possession of magazines with the capacity to hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. This ban does not grandfather in previously legal magazines, and people were required to dispose of any magazine holding more than 10 rounds by 2/15/13. The only exceptions are for internal tubular/helical magazines chambered in .22, which are allowed to contain more than 10 rounds and antique high-quality magazines, if registered to an associated antique assault weapon.

Assault Weapons Ban

New York maintains an assault weapons ban. The manufacture and sale of assault weapons is prohibited. Possession of assault weapons is prohibited unless they were legally owned by 1/15/13 and registered with the state by 1/15/14. New York does not allow the registration of new assault weapons, and the registration of existing assault weapons must be renewed every 5 years.

DISCLAIMER: The Gun Laws by State Guide (GLBSG) was created to provide its readers with a general educational resource tool to explore the pertinent gun laws in Your jurisdiction.

However, the GLBSG was not researched and/or written by attorneys as a specific legal guide to rely upon. Instead, it is a starting point for your own research. In addition, all laws are always subject to reasonable, but different, legal interpretation as to meaning and application.

As such, the GLBSG is not intended to supplant, nor limit, Your need for independent verification of any and all material contained herein and consultation with competent counsel of choice regarding any specific issues.

This type of specific legal analysis is necessarily beyond the general educational objective of the GLBSG and for which a bar-admitted attorney in the particular state(s) is needed and required. The content of this GLBSG is a general restatement of the law.

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