Criminal Defense • Disciplinary Investigations & Hearings

How Do Gun Laws Vary Across New York?

How Do Gun Laws Vary Across New York?

New York has some of the strictest and most complicated gun laws in the country.

Adding to the complexity is the fact that New York City has different gun laws than New York state. Knowing the unique rules of New York City and New York state can help gun owners understand their legal rights and obligations.

The attorneys at Brill Legal Group, P.C., are knowledgeable in the gun laws of New York City and New York state. We can help you understand your rights and protect those rights if you are facing charges for a gun crime in New York.

In New York City, rifles, shotguns and handguns require a permit to purchase. Additionally, owners must be licensed and have a permit to carry. In New York state, only handguns are subject to such requirements. While permits are not required for rifles and shotguns used for hunting in most parts of New York state, New York City does require a permit for hunting guns.
New York has no reciprocal agreements with other states, which means gun permits issued by other states are not recognized.
Our experienced attorneys can help you navigate the complexities of various gun regulations of which you may not be aware.

New York State Laws — Rifles and Shotguns

New York residents do not need permits to purchase rifles or shotguns in New York state, and it is legal to purchase them in neighboring states and carry them into New York, as long as the purchaser is otherwise eligible to possess a rifle or shotgun. However, it is illegal to carry a loaded shotgun or rifle in a vehicle.

In general, New York residents also do not need permits to possess rifles or shotguns in New York, as long as the rifle barrel is at least 16 inches long or the shotgun barrel is at least 18 inches long. However, people with felony convictions and people who have been certified mentally incompetent may not possess rifles or shotguns.

Generally, children under age 16 are not allowed to use firearms except in limited circumstances on shooting ranges.
If you are facing gun charges in New York, the lawyers at Brill Legal Group can fight to protect your rights.

New York State Laws — Handguns

The laws governing handguns differ from those for rifles and shotguns. Residents need permits both to purchase and possess handguns. Residents must be at least 21 years old to apply for a permit to possess a handgun, unless they were honorably discharged from the military, in which case they may apply if they are 18 years old or older. To receive a permit, an applicant must demonstrate his or her need to carry a handgun for self-defense, target-shooting or hunting purposes.

The applicant must also be free of a felony conviction, possess good moral character and previously not have had a license revoked. Applicants for handgun permits are required to undergo criminal and mental health background checks at the state and federal levels, even when purchasing a firearm at a gun show.

After reviewing an application, a licensing officer may issue a handgun permit for home possession only, for possession in the applicant’s place of employment only or an unrestricted permit to carry. With an unrestricted license, a handgun may be carried loaded and concealed anywhere it is legal to do so. A loaded handgun can also be carried in a vehicle by an individual who is properly licensed.

If you live with a person who has a mental illness or is a convicted felon, you are required to secure your gun in your home. Failure to do so is a misdemeanor.

State handgun permits must be renewed every five years. Gun owners who fail to do so can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. Renewal involves submitting an applicant’s contact information, current address, social security number and a list of owned firearms to the New York State Police.

If you are facing charges for gun crime in New York, contact Brill Legal Group. We can provide you with effective representation to obtain a favorable outcome to your case.

Miscellaneous New York State Gun Laws

Possessing a loaded handgun in New York is a felony with a mandatory sentence of 3 1/2 to 15 years in prison. In addition, it is illegal to fire a gun at another person in public, or anywhere another person is likely to be endangered such as within 500 feet of a home, church, school or business, except in self-defense. It is also illegal to deface the serial number of a gun or buy a gun with a defaced serial number.

In addition, it is illegal to carry a handgun, shotgun or rifle in the buildings or grounds of any school, college, university or other premises used for educational purposes. However, it is not a crime to possess a gun in forest areas that are owned and maintained by the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry without obtaining written permission from the institution.

Since the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act was passed, there has been an increase in felony charges filed against individuals carrying guns at the airport. More background checks are also conducted now before a person purchases a gun. The screening and permission process in New York depends on the type of firearm.

All online gun sales must be done through a dealer possessing a federal firearms license. The dealer is also required to conduct a background check on the person purchasing the gun.

Individuals who break gun laws face a number of harsh penalties. Gun offenses include brandishing a gun on a school campus, purchasing guns illegally and using guns in crimes, among others. Anyone who uses a loaded firearm during a drug sale or violent felony faces a minimum prison sentence of five years. An offense involving “straw purchasers,” or people who pass a background check to buy guns for others, is classified as a Class D felony.

Consult a knowledgeable Brill Legal Group lawyer about New York’s gun laws to learn more about your rights.

New York City Gun Laws

A New York City permit and a certificate of registration are required to purchase or possess any type of firearm in New York City, including rifles and shotguns. A permit issued in any other part of the state is not valid in New York City, unless the gun holder is traveling uninterrupted through the city with the gun in a locked container, is in the military, is a peace officer, is a member of a civilian or collegiate rifle club, or is transporting guns as merchandise.

Similar to New York state’s permit system, New York City offers different types of permits, including permits to possess a gun in one’s residence or place of business, permits to possess target handguns and permits to carry guns. To get a license to carry a gun, applicants must demonstrate a need to carry a gun on their person on their applications and, if granted, they must keep their licenses with them at all times when carrying handguns.

To bring a rifle or shotgun in public in New York City, it must be enclosed in a carrying case. To legally have a rifle or shotgun in a vehicle, it must not be loaded and not easily accessible. A rifle or shotgun may be kept without a case in the trunk of a vehicle, but it must be unloaded.

Carrying a loaded rifle or shotgun within city limits is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or a jail sentence of up to one year for a first offense. Carrying an uncased rifle or shotgun is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $50 and/or a 30-day jail sentence for a first offense.

It is illegal to fire a gun within city limits, except for certain areas the police have designated or in self-defense.
The penalties for possessing a gun illegally in New York are severe. If you are facing charges involving gun possession, promptly contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Speak With a Lawyer About Gun Laws

If you are facing gun charges in New York, speak with an attorney at our firm by contacting us online. You can also call us in Suffolk at 631-204-8254, Manhattan at 212-233-4141, Nassau at 516-206-2002 or toll free at 888-315-9841.

The penalties for possessing a gun illegally in New York are severe. If you are facing charges involving gun possession, promptly contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.