New York Gun Laws

The Definitive Guide


New York gun laws are some of the toughest in the US. If you carry a firearm then you need to know these laws to protect yourself.

If you want to stay safe and not break any of New York's gun laws you are on the right page.

Lets dive right in, keep reading...
north carolina state seal

New York state gun laws do not require a firearms license to possess or own long guns, however a license is required if you want to possess or own a handgun. There are separate laws for New York City where you are required to have a license for both long guns and handguns. The New York state gun laws are regarded as very restrictive and operate on a “May Issue” policy at the local county level. This means that the issuance of a pistol license is entirely up to the issuing officer. As a rough rule the higher the population of a county the more restrictive the gun laws become with New York City being the most restrictive. On the other side rural counties tend to have a more permissive attitude towards gun laws. Applications  for a pistol permit are filed at the police or sheriff’s department and can take 4-6 months for approval, some counties are reporting a wait of 14 months. Only handguns listed on the license can be used and all firearms must be registered with the State Police.

The Definitive Guide


New York gun laws are some of the toughest in the US. If you carry a firearm then you need to know these laws to protect yourself.

So if you want to stay safe and not break any laws you are in the right place.

Lets dive right in, keep reading...
new york state seal

New York gun laws are very restrictive and operate on a “May Issue” policy at the local county level. This means that the issuance of a license is entirely up to the issuing officer. As a rough rule the higher the population of a county the more restrictive the gun laws become with New York City being the most restrictive.

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Gun Laws

State Rating
Poor
years license
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is valid
states that honor
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New York honors
States not
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honoring license
POPULATION
0%
WITH PERMIT
% population with a license is 0.57%, too low to register on the counter
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Gun Laws

State Rating
Poor
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honored in
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States license
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population
0%
with license
% population with a license is 0.57%, too low to register on the counter

Quick Facts on New York CCW


This is a quick guide if you do not have time to read all the information on New York gun laws.

However, you will need to read all the information on this page at some stage if you want to stay safe and avoid breaking any laws.
Carry In Vehicle SEE DETAILS
Must Notify Officer NO
State Park Carry NO
Gun Signs Enforced SEE DETAILS
Open Carry SEE DETAILS
Restaurant Carry YES
Constitutional Carry NO
See Details
SubjectHandgunsLong GunsNotes
Carry permit requiredYesNoPolicy is May Issue. Generally it is harder to obtain a permit closer to big NY cities.
Purchase permit requiredYesNoOutside New York city, Suffolk and Nassau counties permits to purchase a handgun are issued by County or State Supreme Court Judges.
Registration of firearmYesNoIt is illegal to possess an unregistered handgun.
Open carry allowedNoYesCarry permit holders must carry their handgun concealed.
Background checks on private gun sales requiredYesYesMust be through a licensed dealer.
Magazine size restrictionYesYesLimited to 10 rounds.

New York Reciprocity With Other States


New York will not honor any other states concealed carry license.

The one exception is a pistol license from New York City which are valid state wide.

Map Key

  • Issuing state
  • NY license honored
  • NY license not honored
  • NY residential license only
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New York Reciprocity States

New York Reciprocity States

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STATES

Resident License
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin

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States
None

Districts & Territories
New York City

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states

California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York City, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming.

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states

California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York City, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming.

Note

A state issued New York Pistol license is not valid in the 5 counties that make up New York City. No handguns can be taken into the city unless New York City has validated your licence.

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How to Get a New York Pistol License


There are seven types of pistol licenses available in New York. Here we list what they are and what requirements are needed to qualify.

Be aware that that the application process for a pistol license varies from easy to difficult depending on what county you reside in.

New York Issue Policy


May Issue

License Issued To


Residents

Cost of CCW License


$0

Years License Valid


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New York Issue Policy


May Issue

License Issued To


Residents

Cost of CCW License


$0

Years License Valid


0

Firearms permit Overview

Although no permit is required to carry in Mississippi the state still offers two types of permits, a standard firearms permit and also an enhanced permit if you wish to gain a few more carry options.

  • Standard Permit - Useful for out-of-state travel and available to residents and non-residents.
  • Enhanced Permit - Allows holders to carry in off-limit areas but not a police, sheriff or highway patrol station, or jail, prison or detention center. Your permit will be endorsed on the back as ENHANCED and the endorsement is valid indefinitely. Only available to Mississippi residents.

Non-Resident Licenses

The state of Mississippi will issue standard permits to non-residents but not the enhanced version. Applicants must meet the following criteria;

  • The applicant has a valid CCW permit from another state or;
  • is a retired law enforcement officer who is going to reside in Mississippi or;
  • is active military personnel stationed in Mississippi.

Further requirements are;

  • The applicant is a least 21 years old or older.
  • If between the age of 18-21 years old they are in the military and hold a valid Mississippi drivers license or ID card endorsed as VETERAN.

Handgun Training

There is no requirement for standard firearms permit applicants to complete a handgun training course in Mississippi unless they opt to apply for the enhanced permit version. The trainer must be certified by an organization that regularly offers firearms training and the trainee must complete an 8 hour course on firearm safety.

Once the course is completed the instructor will issue a Mississippi Department of Safety approved certificate. You must then present the certificate to any permit issuing authority who will then endorse your firearms permit, there is no fee to have your permit endorsed.

View a list of certified instructors.

Pistol license Overview

Applications for a Pistol license are made in the persons County or City of residence to the sheriff or police department or in some cases a separate licensing authority. Most licensing authorities are usually a county judge or sometimes a supreme court judge.

Applicants will be required to supply with their application four personal references from persons that are not related to them.

There are several types of pistol license available but generally the most common types issued are the concealed carry and possess on premises licenses. Both licenses can be endorsed with restrictions such as only to be carried during hunting or travelling to or from target practice.

Non-Resident Licenses

Generally non-residents are not issued pistol permits. However, in 2013 the New York Appeals Court ruled in Osterweil v. Bartlett, 999 N.E.2d 516, that part time residents in New York are eligible for pistol permits under the state laws.

Handgun Training

The requirement to complete a handgun safety course for a new pistol license applications varies with various counties. Some require no training while other counties may ask you to complete a 4 or 8 hour course.

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

  • Must be 21 years of age or older, provided, however, that where such applicant has been honorably discharged from the United States army, navy, marine corps, air force or coast guard, or the national guard of the state of New York, no such age restriction shall apply.
  • Some counties may require you to complete a firearms safety course.
  • Reside or maintain a principal place of business within the county application is filed in.
  • Be of good moral character.
  • Is not subject to a protective court order.
  • Show proper cause exists for the issuance of a carry license, including, for example, target shooting, hunting, or self-defense.
  • Have no prior conviction for a felony or other serious offense under NYS Penal Law.
  • No good cause exists for the denial of the license.
  • Not be residing in the United States illegally or unlawfully.
  • Not have been admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant visa.
  • Have not been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
  • Have not had a guardian appointed for him or her pursuant to any provision of state law, based on a determination that as a result of marked subnormal intelligence, mental illness, incapacity, condition or disease, he or she lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage his or her own affairs.
  • Be free from any mental disorders, defects or diseases that would impair his or her ability to safely possess or use a firearm.
  • Have not been involuntarily committed to a facility under the jurisdiction of the department of mental hygiene.
  • Have not had a license revoked or who is not under a suspension or ineligibility order.
  • Federal Law Requirements

Pistol licenses in NYC & no issue policy

Contacting the licensing officer in the county you intend to apply for a license in and asking what the procedure is should be the first thing you do as the procedure will be different in every county.

There are 55 licensing jurisdictions out  of a total of 59 that issue a pistol license through the court system, a judge serves as the licensing officer. It is left to the local Police to conduct any background checks.

In the other jurisdictions, Nassua, Suffolk Counties and New York City,  the role of licensing officer is assigned to the Police Commissioner or Sheriff.

As listed in Section 400.00 2. - New York Penal Code

  • (a) Premise Dwelling – Have and possess in his dwelling by a householder.
  • (b) Premise Business – Have and possess in his place of business by a merchant or storekeeper.
  • (c) Bank or Express Messenger – Have and carry concealed while so employed by a messenger employed by a banking institution or express company.
  • (d) Justice of The Supreme Court 1st or 2nd Judicial Dept. or Judge of NYC Civil or Criminal Court – Have and carry concealed by a justice of the supreme court in the first or second judicial departments, or by a judge of the New York City civil court or the New York City criminal court.
  • (e) Employee Of Corrections – Have and carry concealed while so employed by a regular employee of an institution of the state, or of any county, city, town or village, under control of a commissioner of correction of the city or any warden, superintendent or head keeper of any state prison, penitentiary, workhouse, county jail or other institution for the detention of persons convicted or accused of crime or held as witnesses in criminal cases, provided that application is made therefore by such commissioner, warden, superintendent or head keeper.
  • (f) Proper Cause – Have and carry concealed, without regard to employment or place of possession, by any person when proper cause exists for the issuance thereof.
  • (g) Antique Pistols – Have, possess, collect and carry antique pistols which are defined in section 400.00 subd. 2(i)(ii)(1)(2).

Relevant Laws

400.00.2 Types of Licenses • 400.00 License to carry, possess • 400.00.3 Non resident license

Download Your New York Pistol License Forms


All the forms you need for a New York pistol license can be found here.

The processing times vary greatly depending on what county the form is filed in.
Image pistol license forms

New Recertification Laws


All pistol licenses, including lifetime licenses must now be renewed every five years.

Failure to renew your license will render it invalid and leave you liable to prosecution if you continue to carry a handgun.
Image recertification in new york
For all New York Pistol licenses

Deadline

January 31, 2018 for Pistol License's issued before January 15, 2013

Overview

Recertification of New York Pistol Licenses is now required with the introduction of the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act also known as the NY SAFE Act. The law was enacted in January 2013 in response to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The recertification provision was just one of many that as the Governor claimed gave New York the toughest gun laws in the country.

You will need to check the date when your Pistol License was issued. If it was more than 5 years ago then your permit will become invalid on January 31, 2018. Please take note of the following;

  • All holders of a New York Pistol License are now required to re-certify their license every 5 years.
  • This applies to all types of handgun licenses including those issued for a lifetime with no expiry date.
  • Failure to re-certify your pistol license will result in it becoming invalid if it has been more than 5 years since it was issued.
  • You should receive notification in the mail that you need to re-certify.
  • If you receive no letter for recertification that cannot be used as an excuse for not re-certifying your license.
  • It is the responsibility of the license holder to know when their license expires

You can re-certify you pistol license online or by mailing in a form. The online process also allows you to check the status of your re-certification.

Online
Visit the state recertification website and follow the online guide. You will need a state drivers license or ID card and the last four digits in your social security number.

Mail
Download the form in our forms section. Fill out the details and mail to;

New York State Police,
Pistol Permit Bureau,
Building 22, 1220 Washington Avenue,
Albany, New York 12226-2252

Status Check
Go here to obtain a status report on your New York license recertification.

The following counties cannot use the state recertification system;

  • New York City
  • Nassua County
  • Suffolk County
  • Winchester County.

You will need to re-certify through the county your license was issued in.

Places That Are Off Limits in New York


Places listed as off limits apply even if you have a New York pistol license.

New York City is off limits for NY state license holders unless they are given a special endorsement by the city.
Image off limits for concealed carry in new york
new york state flag
New York state flag
Image off limit places in new york

Places Off-Limits in New York

Places Off-Limits in New York


  • Courthouses
  • Government buildings – in certain cities and counties
  • New York airports
  • Building or grounds, used for educational purposes, of any school, college, or university
  • Within the city of New York unless a special permit granting validity is issued by the police commissioner of that city
  • At any facility operated or licensed by the Office of Mental Health
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law.
Image places to carry gun in new york

Places Allowed in New York

Places Allowed in New York


  • Forestry lands, owned and maintained by the State University of New York College of environmental science and forestry
  • All areas of the state - except those listed as Off-Limits.

How to Transport Guns Through New York


We advice you to take extreme caution when transporting any handgun through New York state.

If you have a New York pistol license you still need to lock your handgun in a case while traveling through New York City.
Image gun case
Transporting firearms through New York can be a risky business. People have been arrested at airports in New York just for declaring they had a firearm.
Transporting firearms through New York can be a risky business. People have been arrested at airports in New York just for declaring they had a firearm.
travelling through new york with a gun
Jailed for following the rules?

Airports

If you do not have a valid New York Pistol License and try to transport a firearm through a New York airport the chances are good that you will be arrested, even if the firearm is encased correctly and declared.

You cannot rely on the Federal Firearm Owners Protection Act to protect you at airports, it is only valid when traveling in a vehicle. This was confirmed in 2013 when the US court of Appeals, Third Circuit, ruled in case No. 12-3621 that the federal Firearm Owners Protection Act, section 926A of Title 18 does not protect persons travelling through an airport. So if you do not have a New York pistol license then our advice is not to attempt taking any weapon through a New York airport. If you have watched the video on this page then you will see what the consequences are for persons without a New York license.

Federal Law

Even transporting a firearm by vehicle through New York state can be risky if you do not have a New York firearms license. We rely on the federal Firearm Owners Protection Act (FOPA) to protect us on interstate travel. But there have been cases where the New York Police have arrested persons who had fully complied with the law, the police simply ignored the federal law.  The New York State Police and the New York police Department do not recognize the FOPA and will arrest travelers passing through the state even if they have complied with the law. They will leave it up to the courts to sort out. This means you could end up in a jail cell for a few days waiting for the courts to release you.

So how can we avoid that? You could try taking a copy of the FOPA, (Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 44 926A) with you to show any officers if you were stopped. But in my opinion they would be to busy to read it or not even understand the law if they did read it, after all they are not lawyers. And if they have been instructed to ignore the FOPA then no amount of debate with them will help you.

State Law
New York law does provide an exception for persons travelling interstate and through New York if they are transporting a firearm and are able to legally possess the firearm in the place they started from and in the place they are traveling too. The firearm and ammunition must be in separate locked boxes and placed in the trunk. If you happen to stop at a motel overnight then you are in violation of the law and subject to arrest if found with a firearm. 

New York City

If you travel through New York City then you are required to follow the state law. You must have a New York state pistol license with the firearm and ammo in separate locked boxes and placed in the trunk. You are not permitted to stop in the city.

Warning

You will be arrested at New York airports if you try to transport a firearm through the airport without a New York Pistol License

Warning

The New York State Police and New York Police Department do not recognize the federal Firearm Owners Protection Act

Warning

You will be arrested at New York airports if you try to transport a firearm through the airport without a New York Pistol License

Warning

The New York State Police and New York Police Department do not recognize the federal Firearm Owners Protection Act

Warning

The New York State Police and New York Police Department do not recognize the federal Firearm Owners Protection Act

Note

Under New York law a firearm is regarded as loaded if ammunition is in close proximity to the firearm. The firearm does not have to have ammunition in it to be classified as loaded.

Caution

Travel with extreme caution through this state and if possible avoid it if you are transporting a firearm and do not have a New York Pistol License.

New York Gun Laws & Statutes


If you are serious about carrying a handgun in New York then you need to know the laws listed below.

There are so many laws and regulations in New York regarding firearms. If you only make yourself familiar with the laws in this section you will be off to a good start.
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new york state capitol building
New York state capitol building
Image important new york gun laws

New York Gun Laws To Know

New York Gun Laws To Know

YES/NO

Without license - NO
With license - YES

It is illegal to possess a loaded firearm in any motor vehicle without a valid New York License to Carry. See the transporting firearms section on this page for more details.

If you have a New York pistol license then you can carry a loaded concealed handgun in a vehicle.

YES/NO - with or without a permit

There are no laws in New York statutes that mention open carry. Technically you could say it is legal by default. You may get away with it in some rural counties but if you try to open carry in town you will get a whole lot of problems. You could also raise the argument that a license is issued to conceal carry, hence the weapon must be concealed.

NO - Must Inform Officer

There is nothing in New York gun laws that state you must inform a law enforcement officer you have a firearm when approached on official business. You are legally required to carry your permit at all times during which the permittee is in actual possession of a concealed handgun.

The Law
400.00.8 NY penal code

NO
It is illegal to carry in the following areas;

  • State Parks: NO - Section 190 Dept. Lands
  • State/National Forests: NO - Section 190 Dept. lands
  • State Wildlife Management Areas: NO - Section 190 Dept. lands
  • Road Side Rest Areas:  NO - 17 CRR-NY IV C 156.12

?

We could not find any information in New York gun laws regarding NO WEAPONS signs.

GunsToCarry recommends that you do not enter a property displaying a “No Weapons" sign whether the law is for or against signage. If asked to leave a property and you refuse to do so then you are breaking the law and put yourself at risk of being charged.

YES

"Yes" or "No" states if you can carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Some restaurants may be posted with "NO GUN" signs. Check with the staff if this means just the bar area. If we have indicated a "Yes" then it should be legal to have a meal without drinking alcohol.

NO

New York does not have constitutional carry.
“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
(NY Civ. Rights Law § 4)
“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
(NY Civ. Rights Law § 4)
no weapons sign in new york new york off limits statutes

Off-Limits Statutes

Off-Limits Statutes


new york gun statutes new york gun statutes

Other CCW Statutes

Other CCW Statutes

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Miscellaneous Info

Miscellaneous Info

PRIVATE SALES

All private handgun sales must be processed through a licensed firearms dealer. The dealer is required to run a background check on the purchaser and then to provide documents relating to the check to the New York State Police. Furthermore, the purchaser must have a valid New York pistol license, a purchase document, and the handgun must be purchased within New York state.

It is a crime to transport a handgun purchased outside New York state into New York. The only legal way you can do this is to have a licensed dealer in another state ship the handgun to a dealer in New York state. This way you can obtain a receipt from the New York dealer and then register the handgun with the New York Police. The seller is required to visit the pistol permit office to have the sold handgun removed from their license. A receipt of the sale from the dealer will be required. We advice you to keep all documents relating to the sale or purchase of handguns just in case the weapon turns up at a future crime scene. You will need the following to buy a handgun;

  • New York Pistol License.
  • Purchase document for each handgun.
You can only possess handguns registered with the state.

Frequently Asked Questions on New York Gun Laws


If you have a question on New York gun laws then you may find the answer in our list of frequently asked questions below.

Image faq
Image Frequently asked questions on new york gun laws

Have a Question?

Have a Question?

New York Pistol License Contacts


Quickly locate the office where you can apply for a pistol license.

There are 23 offices in New York where you can apply for a pistol license. Click on the button below for a full list.
Image new york pistol license contacts

Erie County Clerks Office

Hours


Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm

Saturday Closed

Sunday Closed

Contact


Address 92 Franklin St.

CityBuffalo, NY 14202

Phone (716) 858-6600

Contact


Address 92 Franklin St.

CityBuffalo, NY 14202

Phone (716) 858-6600

Updates & Data Sources

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