New York City Gun Laws FAQ
Last Updated :: 3/3/2005 8:29:27 PM EDT
This information has been posted here as a source of reference only. This information may contain errors or become out of date at any time. While every attempt is made to keep this info up to date, IT IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. If you are unsure whether something is legal, consult an attorney, the ATF, the NY State Police or the NY Attorney General's Office.

Courtesy of member Phil_A_Steen!

The following is a very brief highlight of the gun laws of New York City. Make sure to read the disclaimer below. Please post any suggestions or corrections.

The Q&D New York City Gun Law FAQ

Rifles - Residents

- You can possess rifles/shotguns, but only with a permit and a registration for each one.
- There is a 72 hour grace period following acquisition of a rifle/shotgun for registering that rifle or applying for the rifle/shotgun permit. If you do not have the permit, you will be required to deposit the rifle/shotgun with your precinct until issued.
- The permit costs $100 + $98 for fingerprints and takes 4-6 months to receive. If you are moving into NYC and already have rifles/shotguns, you will be required to voucher your guns with NYPD or have them stored at a license dealer while your application is pending. You can also leave them out of of the city and bring them in once you have received your permit.
- As of 2005, you must be 21 to get a rifle/shotgun permit (congratulations to the 18-21 crew, who have now been completely stripped of the RKBA).
- Another 2005 change is that the same dealer can only sell you one rifle/shotgun every 90 days, or 4 per year.

Pistols - Residents

- You can possess pistols, but only if registered either on a New York City issued pistol permit or on a permit issued by another county in New York State that has been validated by the NYPD
- A residence permit that can also be used for target shooting/hunting can be obtained by anyone who lives in NYC and has a clean record. The application process is long (6 months), expensive ($350 + $98 fingerprint fee) and requires 5 trips to 1 Police Plaza. If you are moving into NYC and already have handguns, you will be required to voucher your guns with NYPD or have them stored at a license dealer while your application is pending. You can also leave them out of state and forward them to a NYS licensed dealer once you have received your permit.


- Pistol permits from outside New York City are not valid in NYC, so you must be transiting through with gun in a locked case like your trunk or risk prosecution
- Non-residents get a 24 hour freebie on rifle/shotgun/assault weapon possession if you are transiting through NYC and keep the item in a locked case
- FOPA protects persons travelling interstate through New York City with firearms if they are in a locked container. Nonetheless, expect little sympathy or understanding from NYC LE agencies if they are found.


- You can't possess any mag/clip for a gun unless you have that specific type of gun registered on a rifle or pistol permit.
- Rifle mags of more than 5 rounds are banned.
- Pistol mags of more than 17 rounds or that protrude from the pistol's handgrip are banned.


- It's a misdemeanor to possess ammunition of a caliber if don't have a gun (rifle or pistol) registered in that caliber.

Assault Weapons

- Any semiautomatic rifle with even one forbidden feature, such as a collapsible stock, pistol grip, bayonet lug or flash hider, is forbidden.
- The ability to accept a detachable magazine is not a criteria to the NYC assault weapons ban. This means the FAB-10 is considered an illegal assault weapon.
- As a new change for 2005, the NYPD is now required by law to update the list of assault weapons three times a year.

Trigger Locks

- Trigger locks (or gun safe) is required on all guns when "out of . . . immediate possession or control" of the owner.


- Penalties for illegal possession of a pistol start at Class A misdemeanor or Class E felony and go up from there
- Other violations are ungraded misdemeanors and start at 15 days and go up to 1 year in jail + $1,000 criminal fine + $10,000 civil fine.
- Note: As of 2005, civil penalties for possession of an assault weapon have gone up to $25,000. In addition, if you are found with one assault weapon, all other guns you lawfully own are subject to seizure by the NYPD.

Black Powder Firearms

(section to be added)

Flying out of New York City airports with a pistol

- As per NYSRPA and my own experience, if you are flying through a New York City airport (LaGuardia or Kennedy), you will be asked to show a permit for a pistol in your luggage (or if you are a city resident, for a rifle/shotgun). Without one, expect likely prosecution for weapons violations. Update: 12/24/04 NY Post reports 282 weapons possessions arrests at NY airports since 1/1/04.
- As far as non-NYC residents who have a New York State permit that is not validated in New York City, it is as of now unclear to me as to whether you are permitted to take your pistol with you. We are watching this topic; if you need to do this, check with the Port Authority police in advance (see discussion below).

Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004

- NYPD has issued a bulletin to it's officers regarding LEOSA. The current policy is to verify the identification of any officer from outside New York State in possession of a firearm. The firearm is to be confiscated for safekeeping pending that verification. More detail can be found here in this thread.

Last Notes

- All 5 district attorney's office in the City have a standing policy of not accepting plea bargains on weapons charges unless the offender takes jail time. For felony pistol possession (e.g., carrying a loaded gun outside your home), expect at least one year in the slammer. For the other, lesser violations, typical is a 3-4 weekend stay at Rikers. Weapons crimes are not taken lightly in NYC. For those visiting NYC from out of town, weigh this carefully if you decide to take a gun with you.
- In addition, certain Boroughs have instituted "gun court", a court that only hears weapons cases. A defendant stands very little chance of getting a fair trial in gun court and can expect harsh punishment.

Disclaimer regarding this thread:

This is an internet discussion thread and not a venue for receiving legal advice. You would be foolish to rely on the information in this thread for matters that involve determining whether your actions may put you in jail or not. The information in this thread is provided on an "as-is" basis and is not warranted in any respect, including for accuracy or for errors, and does not constitute legal advice on the laws of New York City, New York State or any other jurisdiction. If you need legal advice on any of these subjects you should hire a qualified attorney for those purposes.

Version Notes
Updated 2-10-05 with Bloomberg's new laws

Some additions from rkbar15:

You can possess pistols, but only if registered on a New York City issued pistol permit or a New York State pistol permit holder who has been issued a special permit granting validity as issued by the police commissioner of the city of New York.

“A license to carry or possess a pistol or revolver, not otherwise limited as to place or time of possession, shall be effective throughout the state, except that the same shall not be valid within the city of New York unless a special permit granting validity is issued by the police commissioner of that city.”

A NYC resident has 72 hours to register a rifle or shotgun acquired outside the city.

"Any resident of the city of New York acquiring a rifle or shotgun outside the city of New York shall within seventy-two hours after bringing such weapon into the city make application for a rifle and shotgun permit, if such person does not already possess such permit, and for a certificate of registration."

Use of safety locking device required under certain circumstances:

"It shall be unlawful for any person who is the lawful owner or lawful custodian of a weapon, as that term is defined in section 10-311, to store or otherwise place or leave such weapon in such a manner or under circumstances that it is out of his or her immediate possession or control, without having rendered such weapon inoperable by employing a safety locking device."

You might want to add this warning about NYC airports if you don't have a NYS PP. I think it was sharky who originally posted it.

From NRA:

The District Attorney in Albany County and Queens 18 months ago issued an order to arrest anyone coming through the airports with a handgun in their luggage, regardless if the handgun was being transported properly by FAA regulations. The criteria is if you do not have a NY license, you are charged. So what's happening is 2 different scenarios:

1. People are flying into New York from other states, most but not all of whom have carry permits from their home states, and are carrying a pistol. When they go to fly home, they declare the gun, which has always been unloaded and locked up properly in their checked luggage, but if they cannot produce a NY license, they are promptly charged with illegal weapon possession, and their gun confiscated forever. (The Albany airport sheriff has been doing it as a lower class misdemeanor, the LaGuardia cases were charged as a felony.) As their home state permit is not reciprocal, and they were in NY state for an amount of time carrying a handgun, this group is screwed.

2. People are DRIVING to the airport from another state where the NY airport is their closest one to fly out of, and are getting popped right off the bat an hour or two from their home. In these cases, we are going to war for them being covered by FOPA, even the Sheriff's office and TSA in Albany have argued over that with the DA, but he won't budge. He did, however, blink on the two cases from Albany, with the people getting a walk. Didn't get their guns back, though, either time.

Bottom line, UNLESS you are in possession of a VALID New York pistol license, DO NOT bring a handgun in your luggage to the airport, you will be charged.

This is not being done in any other state in the country except at Logan international in Boston, (same thing there) but even at O'Hare in Illinois, if you come in from another state and meet FAA guidelines, they feel you are covered by FOPA and off you go a happy camper.