New York Gun Laws [2024 Updated]

In New York, gun laws can be strict. This is to ensure the safety of everyone involved. There are laws that pertain to the possession, purchasing, carrying, and usage of guns. Understanding New York gun laws is crucial in gun ownership to ensure that you are not unknowingly charged with a gun crime.

New York Gun Requirements

Before a person can possess a gun, they must meet certain requirements. These requirements include:

  • They must be at least 21 years of age.
  • They must not have been convicted of a felony or have any other serious offense on their record.
  • They must not be a fugitive.
  • They must not be a current user or addicted to controlled or illegal substances.
  • They are a citizen of the United States, or if they aren’t, they must not be in the country illegally or under a non-immigrant visa.
  • They were not dishonorably discharged from the United States military.
  • If they have suffered from a mental illness, they have disclosed this fact to the appropriate parties.
  • They have not previously had their handgun privileges revoked, or they have been determined unqualified to possess a firearm due to domestic violence accusations.
  • They are in good moral standing and have presented no cause to be denied a license.

Obtaining a License

In New York, a person must obtain a license in order to purchase a handgun. When applying for a license, the individual must complete an application to be submitted to the licensing authority in their area. A background check must also be conducted as part of this process. The applicant will need to submit a current photograph and fingerprints as part of the background check portion.

Generally speaking, if a person meets all the requirements and is granted a license, their license is considered valid until it is revoked. Certain cities have fixed durations for a certain time period. However, all licenses must be recertified every five years. If a license has not been recertified in that timeframe, the individual will usually receive notice from law enforcement. If a person does not recertify, their license will be revoked.

A license revocation can occur for a number of reasons. For instance, if a person is convicted of a felony or a domestic violence crime after they have obtained a license, it will be revoked. If a person’s license is revoked, they must surrender both their license and any firearms to the appropriate authorities.

Guns in Public

According to New York law, it is prohibited to carry a gun outside of the home or place of business without a license. Even if one has a license, there are certain laws that pertain to gun possession in public places.

  • Schools. It is a felony to possess a firearm on school or university grounds, even if the individual has a license to carry. This also applies to school buses unless the person has been granted written permission by the institution.
  • Vehicles. It is illegal to store a firearm in a vehicle unless it is unloaded, securely stowed away, and cannot be easily seen from outside of the vehicle.

There are also certain locations and events where firearm possession is strictly prohibited. These locations include:

  • Governmental buildings, including court
  • Buildings that provide some form of care, such as healthcare
  • Religious buildings
  • Public gathering spaces such as libraries, parks, and zoos
  • Buildings, places, and spaces that provide services to children, such as daycares, preschools, and summer camps
  • Shelters, such as homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, and shelters for runaways
  • Places used for public transportation, like bus or train stations
  • Sporting events
  • Protests

Although these rules apply to the general public, there are a few classes of people that are exempt from these rules. These include law enforcement officers, retired police officers, military personnel on active duty, and lawful hunters.

Stand Your Ground Law in New York

In the United States, Stand Your Ground laws are laws regarding self-defense. Each state determines whether or not it is lawful to use deadly force outside a person’s home if there is reason to believe the gun owner’s life, or someone else’s life, is in danger. In New York, there is no stand your ground law. This means that individuals have a duty to retreat before they use deadly force in a threatening situation outside of their home.


Q: What Are the Laws for Owning a Gun in NY?

A: In New York, a person must obtain a license before being legally allowed to possess a gun, whether it is inside or outside the home. To obtain a license, applicants must meet certain criteria to be eligible. They must also submit to a background check. Some counties have additional requirements to obtain a license.

Q: Can You Keep a Loaded Gun in Your House in NY?

A: In New York, you can keep a loaded gun in your home as long as you have a valid license to do so. However, New York does have laws regarding the proper storage of handguns. This is to ensure the safety of everyone involved and in proximity to the handgun, particularly children.

Q: Can I Carry a Gun in NY Without a License?

A: In New York, it is illegal to carry a gun without a license. The laws regarding gun possession are strict in New York. You must obtain a license in order to legally carry a gun. If you do not, it can result in serious charges and penalties, including jail time and fines.

Q: What Are the Penalties for Violating New York’s Gun Laws?

A: In New York, there are a number of penalties a person can face for violating gun laws. These penalties will range in severity depending on the circumstances surrounding the crime, including the number of victims and how they were affected, the severity of the crime, and the type of crime committed. Penalties include fines, imprisonment, and revocation of a person’s gun license and privileges.

Contact Greco Neyland, PC Today

If you have been accused of a gun crime, don’t wait to act. We are here to defend you and advocate for your rights. Contact Greco Neyland, PC, today to speak with one of our representatives in English or Spanish today.

Avatar photo
About The Author

Jeffery Greco

Jeffery Greco is an attorney providing legal services covering Criminal Defense and Criminal Defense: White Collar and Criminal Defense: DUI / DWI. Jeffery Greco, who practices law in New York, New York, was selected to Super Lawyers for 2020 - 2023. This peer designation is awarded only to a select number of accomplished attorneys in each state. The Super Lawyers selection process takes into account peer recognition, professional achievement in legal practice, and other cogent factors. Prior to becoming an attorney, he studied at South Texas College of Law Houston. He graduated in 2004. After passing the bar exam, he was admitted to legal practice in 2005.

Recent Posts



Get The Help

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.