New York is a may-issue state with concealed weapons permits issued at the local level by the county sheriff or court system. Local law enforcement has discretion in determining whether or not to issue a concealed weapons permit to an applicant. An applicant must show that “proper cause” exists for the issuance of a carry license.
A permit to purchase, a background check and firearms registration are required to buy a handgun from a private individual in New York. Private sales must be processed by a licensed firearms dealer. It is illegal to possess an unregistered handgun.
Open carry is not addressed in New York state law, although a New York Pistol License (NYPL) is required to possess a loaded handgun outside of the home or place of business.
Concealed carry is only legal with a NYPL. The minimum age is 21, with the exception of honorably discharged members of the military, who can be any age. NY doesn’t recognize permits/licenses from any other states and only residents, part-time residents or anyone who is principally employed or has his or her principal place of business can obtain NYPLs. The one exception are pistol licenses from New York City, which are valid statewide. In addition, a NYPL is not valid in the five counties that make up New York City. No handguns can be taken into the city unless New York City has validated your license. No training is required to obtain a NYPL, except for residents of Westchester county. Some areas are off-limits, including schools and courthouses. There are several types of NYPLs available, but the most commonly 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 traveling to or from target practice. In terms of reciprocity, New York does not honor permits from any other states.
New York has a self-defense law based on the Castle Doctrine. In NY, a citizen has the duty to retreat from attackers if he or she feels one can safely do so.
Use of Physical Force A person may use physical force in self-defense, defense of a third person, in defense of premises, or in order to prevent larceny of or criminal mischief to property.
A person may use physical force when the person reasonably believes it to be necessary to prevent or terminate the commission or attempted commission of a crime involving damage to premises, or to prevent or terminate the commission of a criminal trespass, larceny or of criminal mischief with respect to property. Any degree of physical force other than deadly physical force can be used.
Use of Deadly Force Deadly force can only be used if the actor reasonably believes that:
Another person is using or about to use deadly physical force. However, the actor may not use deadly physical force if he or she can retreat with complete personal safety; except that the actor has no duty to retreat if he or she is in his or her dwelling and not the initial aggressor; or
Another person is committing or attempting to commit a kidnapping, forcible rape, forcible criminal sexual act or robbery; or
Another person is committing or attempting to commit arson or burglary, and the circumstances are such that the use of deadly physical force is authorized.
No. New York does not recognize constitutional carry.
Open Carry Permitted?
Is open carry permitted in New York?
Although open carry is not directly mentioned, New York State prohibits any state resident without a NY Pistol License, over the age of 21, from possessing a handgun without a valid license.
Gun Permit Licensure?
If New York requires a permit to carry a concealed firearm, how are those permits issued?
New York is a may-issue state.
Minimum Age for Concealed Carry?
What is the minimum age in New York to get a concealed carry permit?
You must be 21 to concealed carry in New York.
Weapons Other Than Handguns Allowed?
Can you concealed carry weapons other than handguns in New York with a concealed carry permit (or under permitless carry if applicable)?
No. A New York permit does not allow carriers to conceal weapons other than handguns,
Tasers or Stun Guns?
Is it legal to own a taser or stun gun in New York?
Yes. Based on a U.S. District Court ruling, stun guns and Tasers are legal to purchase and possess without a permit as of 4/2019.
Chemical Spray/Pepper Spray?
Is it legal to buy or use chemical spray/pepper spray in New York?
Yes. The possession of “self-defense sprays” by persons who are not felons and who have not been convicted of an assault, and who are at least 18 years old for the protection of person or property and otherwise lawful use is legal. There are certain labeling requirements.
The active ingredient in any canister of legal pepper spray must be oleo-resin capsicum. The maximum net weight of any canister is 3/4oz. Furthermore, the canister itself may not appear to be anything but pepper spray. Sales require both a seller’s license and the completion by a purchaser of a registration form. New York residents may only purchase defense sprays from licensed Firearms Dealers or licensed Pharmacists in NY state. No more than two sprays may be sold at any one time to a single purchaser.
Does New York have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?
Yes. No more than 10 rounds.
New York prohibits the manufacture, transportation, disposal and possession of any large capacity ammunition feeding device, which New York law defines as a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip or similar device that:
Has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition; or
Is obtained after January 15, 2013 and has a capacity of, or can be readily restored or converted to accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
There are exceptions for attached tubular devices designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition or a feeding device that is a curio or relic.
Yes. Armor-piercing ammunition and any bullets containing an explosive substance designed to explode or detonate upon impact are prohibited. An ammunition seller or firearms dealer may not transfer any ammunition to anyone other than a licensed dealer unless he or she conducts a check against records maintained in the state’s electronic database and receives a number identifying the transaction and signifying that the transferee is not prohibited by state or federal law from possessing the firearm or ammunition. The ammunition seller or gun dealer must also check a valid driver’s license or other photo identification of the prospective purchaser prior to transfer.
Can you carry a concealed handgun in a vehicle in New York?
Yes, based upon the terms of a NYPL only. It is legal to transport a legal firearm through New York under Federal interstate transportation law 18 USC § 926A provided the handgun is unloaded, with neither the firearm nor any ammunition readily accessible from the passenger compartment. In the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment, the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console. If you don't have a NYPL and happen to stop at a motel overnight, then you are in violation of the law and subject to arrest if found with a firearm.
Although a state license to carry a handgun is generally invalid in New York City, a license is valid if the firearm covered by the license:
Has been purchased from a licensed dealer within the city of New York and is being transported out of the city immediately from the dealer by the licensee in a locked container during a continuous and uninterrupted trip; or
Is being transported by the licensee in a locked container and the trip through the city of New York is continuous and uninterrupted.
Can you carry a concealed firearm in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol in New York?
Yes, there is no statute making it illegal to concealed carry with a NYPL in a bar/restaurant, unless posted.
Carry/Possess at a hotel?
Can you carry or possess a firearm on hotel property in New York?
New York statutes don't specifically address firearms at hotels. Please note that each hotel develops their own policies and the individual hotel should be contacted to inquire about it's concealed carry policy. See theHandguns at Hotels pagefor additional information.
Store in a Vehicle in an Employee Parking Lot?
Does New York have laws relating to storing firearms in private vehicles in an employee parking lot?
Are "No Weapons Allowed" signs enforced in New York? If yes, violating the sign would be considered to be a crime. If no, violating the sign would not be considered a criminal offense.
No. Not mentioned in state statutes.
Does New York have preemption laws related to concealed carry (i.e. Does state law supersede local laws regarding the possession of handguns)?
Yes. There is partial preemption primarily for handgun licensing. New York laws confer power upon local governments to adopt laws that relate to, among other things, the “protection, order, conduct, safety, health and well-being of persons or property.” However, local laws may not conflict with the state constitution or general laws. Some counties, New York City, Albany, Rochester and Buffalo have enacted magazine limits and more restrictive gun laws for long guns.
New York has a red flag law. It allows police, district attorneys, family or household members, and school administrators or their designees to petition a court to have an order of protection issued to a person to remove their firearms, suspend any firearm license, and prevent them from purchasing, possessing or attempting to purchase or possess a firearm, rifle or shotgun.
No definition of brandishing was found in New York law. However, a person is guilty of menacing in the second degree when he or she intentionally places or attempts to place another person in reasonable fear of physical injury, serious physical injury or death by displaying a deadly weapon, dangerous instrument or what appears to be a pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or other firearm.
A person is guilty of disorderly conduct when, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof he engages in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior.
Does New York have laws regarding carrying a concealed firearm while using alcohol or drugs?
Not addressed in state statutes.
As a responsibly armed American, regardless of the laws in your state, it is unwise to carry while under the influence of any substance that could impair your judgement, slow your reaction times, or impact your decision-making abilities. Any decision you make while carrying a firearm could have life-altering consequences.
Does New York issue concealed carry permits to non-residents?
Yes for part-time NY State residents or anyone who is principally employed or has his or her principal place of business in the state.
PUBLIC ACCESS TO CONCEALED CARRY REGISTRY?
Does New York allow the public to access concealed carry registry information through public records law?
Yes, although gun owners may request that their application information be exempt from public disclosure. However, local and state law enforcement shall have access to such database in the performance of their duties.
Is a permit required to purchase a handgun in New York?
Yes, for handguns. No for long guns.
A concealed carry permit or a permit to possess a pistol or revolver is required to purchase a handgun.
Background Checks for Private Gun Sales? Exceptions?
Are background checks required for private gun sales in New York? Are there exceptions?
Yes. For firearms transfers between private parties, a licensed dealer must conduct a background check, provide documentation of the check to the New York State Police and keep a record of the transaction. New York law requires anyone who intends to transfer a lawfully possessed handgun to first notify in writing the state police or local law enforcement.
There is an exception for transfers between immediate family members.
New York Permit Exempts from Background Check?
Does my current New York concealed carry permit exempt me from needing a background check when I purchase a firearm?
Is there a waiting period after purchasing a handgun in New York?
Although there is no specific waiting period prior to the purchase of a firearm in New York, all handgun purchasers must obtain a NYPL or permit to possess, and such licenses/permits may take up to 6 months to process. In addition, Bill A02690 took effect on September 12, 2019, requiring that firearm sales be suspended for a maximum of 30 days in those cases where the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) issues a "delayed" result, allowing time for the background check to be completed.
Do handguns need to be registered in New York?
Yes, all handguns need to be registered. There is no registration for long guns. Handguns are identified on a person's NY Pistol permit by caliber, make, model, manufacturer’s name and serial number. The permit also indicates if the handgun may be carried on the person or possessed in a particular location. A permit holder may apply at any time to their local licensing officer to amend their permit to add newly purchased handguns or remove handguns they have sold.
Minimum Age to Possess and Transport?
What is the minimum age to possess and transport a handgun in New York?
You must be 21 years old to possess or transport a handgun in New York state.
Handgun Purchase Process New York law requires that a NICS background check be completed by a licensed firearms dealer before the sale, exchange or disposal of any firearm, unless the transaction is between members of an immediate family.
Before taking possession of a firearm you must supply the dealer with a purchase document. These can be obtained from the County Police Pistol License section. Before issuing a purchase document they will require a bill of sale from the dealer which includes the make, model, type, caliber and serial number of the firearm, plus confirmation the purchaser has passed a NCIS background check.
Upon completion of the background check by the licensed dealer, the dealer must finalize a document that confirms that such a check was performed. All dealers must maintain transaction records on their premises and the records must be open at all reasonable hours for inspection by law enforcement. A dealer may charge a fee of up to $10.00 per transaction.
Purchase documents are valid for 20 days. The firearm must be presented to the state licensing unit within that period for inspection so it can be entered into the database.
Note: Firearms must be carried in accordance with the laws of the state you are visiting. Be sure to check the laws of the other state before traveling there with your firearms.
States That Have Restricted Reciprocity with New York
New York offers resident and non-resident (part-time NY State residents or anyone principally employed or with their principal place of business in the state) permits. If indicated with “Resident only” below, that state only honors New York resident permits (and not those issued to non-residents).
Anyone who can legally possess a firearm may carry it concealed in permitless carry states without a permit/license. The minimum age* for permitless carry is shown. Check each state’s page for more information and any restrictions that may apply.
*PC-18 = permitless carry if at least 18 years old
*PC-21 = permitless carry if at least 21 years old
Be 21 years of age or older except there is no minimum age for honorably discharged members of the U.S. military;
Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident;
Not have been admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant visa;
Be of good moral character;
Show proper cause exists for the issuance of a carry license, including, for example, target shooting, hunting or self-defense;
Reside or maintain a principal place of business within the county in which the application is filed;
Some counties may require successful completion of a firearms safety course;
Not have been convicted anywhere of a felony or a serious offense;
Not be a fugitive from justice;
Not be subject to a protective court order;
Not be an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance as defined in section 21 U.S.C. 802;
Be free from any mental disorders, defects or diseases that would impair his or her ability to safely possess or use a firearm;
Not have had a license revoked or not be under a suspension or ineligibility order;
Not have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence;
Not have been involuntarily committed to a facility under the jurisdiction of an office of the department of mental hygiene;
In the county of Westchester, have successfully completed a firearms safety course and test as evidenced by a certificate of completion issued in his or her name and endorsed and affirmed under the penalties of perjury by a duly authorized instructor;
Not have 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;
Not have good cause that exists for the denial of the license; and
Part-time NY State residents or anyone who is principally employed or has his principal place of business in the state may apply to the licensing officer where such place of business is located. The process is the same as for residents.
Complete an Address/Employment Change Report within 10 days. A $3 fee will be charged. Submit the form along with a recent utility bill for the current address. Failure to report an address change within 10 days may result in the suspension/revocation of your license. Take the documents to:
License Division— Renewal Unit Rm 152 One Police Plaza New York, N.Y. 10038
If your license is stolen, you must immediately report such information to the precinct of occurrence or local police agency where the theft occurred and obtain a complaint number. If your license has been lost, stolen or mutilated, you must notify the Pistol Licensing Bureau immediately after notifying the appropriate authorities as indicated above, and respond to the office for a replacement license. You will be required to submit a $5.00 check or money order for a replacement license.
Moving to New York and interested in applying for a resident license? How soon can you apply? New York issues licenses to residents, part-time residents and anyone who is principally employed or has his principal place of business in the state. You can apply for your license to the county sheriff or court system where you or your business is located once you have established your residence or business in that county.
Moving from New York and have a New York resident license? Does that license transfer to your new state? Is there a grace period during which your New York license remains valid? If a person with a New York pistol license establishes residency in another state, the pistol license expires upon the establishment of residence in the other state. Business licenses expire if employment is terminated or the business relocates outside of the state.
Complete the forms. You will need four character references.
Have passport-style photographs taken. You will need two photos.
Go to your county sheriff or courthouse to submit your application. You will be fingerprinted.
You will undergo various background checks by New York State and the FBI, and will be interviewed by local police.
Your application is then submitted to one of the licensing judges, police commissioner or sheriff for consideration.
You will be notified by mail of your approval or denial.
If approved, you can then purchase and/or co-register a handgun.
New York State has seven types of restricted pistol licenses available. The application process may differ depending on the type of license and the issuing county. As of July 16, 2019 Bill A7752 was passed resulting in NYPL 400(6) being amended to allow a licensee to transport their handguns and ammunition in separate locked containers, directly to another residence or place of business where the licensee is authorized to possess the handgun, to and from an authorized range, shooting competition or hunting location. Transport within NYC must be continuous and uninterrupted.
Premise Dwelling – Have and possess in his dwelling by a householder. Premise Business – Have and possess in his place of business by a merchant or storekeeper. Bank or Express Messenger – Have and carry concealed while so employed by a messenger employed by a banking institution or express company. 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. 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. 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. Antique Pistols – Have, possess, collect and carry antique pistols which are defined in section 400.00 subd. 2(i)(ii)(1)(2). An unrestricted Pistol license may also be issued which will allow you to carry without restrictions anywhere it is legal to carry your registered handgun unless posted otherwise.
Check with your local authorities for regulations specific to your county.
New York does not generally require applicants for a license to carry a handgun to undergo firearms safety training. However, some counties may have requirements. The USCCA recommends that anyone who makes the choice to carry a concealed firearm obtain as much training as possible in order to be a responsibly armed American.
The pistol permit recertification provision of the SAFE Act was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor in 2013. Its goal is to strengthen and improve the accuracy of recordkeeping at both the state and local levels. Letters were sent to permit holders over a year ago, reminding them of the January 31, 2018 deadline and additional reminders have been made public through the press and social media.
The State Police are now working to process all recertifications and update its database. This process is expected to take between 9-12 months, after which, local licensing authorities will be provided with the updated, accurate licensing information. As the goal is compliance, the State Police will not take criminal enforcement action against individuals who have unknowingly failed to recertify, instead they will continue to accept recertifications throughout 2018.
If you currently have a New York City, Nassau County, Suffolk County or Westchester County permit, you must follow the requirements that are in place in your county, rather than use the New York State recertification system.
Out of state residents who do not possess either a New York State Driver License or a Non-Driver Identification Card must use the paper form to recertify and must attach a copy of their driver's license or non-driver identification card from their state of issuance.
Complete the form with your updated contact information.
Law enforcement officers (LEOs) and Retired LEOs (RLEOs) may choose to carry under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), often referred to as HR 218. Under 18 U.S. Code §§ 926B & 926C, qualified LEOs and qualified retired LEOs, or those separated from service in good standing, can carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with some exceptions. For details check out our Federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) page.
RLEOs who are residents of New York and have been issued retired credentials in accordance with LEOSA may be qualified by a state-certified LEOSA instructor. Residents can check with their County Sheriff’s office regarding firearms qualification as several counties provide this service.
Where Can I Carry a Concealed Firearm in New York?
Carry in bars/restaurants that serve alcohol? Yes.
Carry in my vehicle without a permit/license? No. It is illegal to possess a loaded firearm in any motor vehicle without a valid NYPL. It is legal to transport a legal firearm through New York under Federal interstate transportation law 18 USC § 926A provided the handgun is unloaded, with neither the firearm nor any ammunition readily accessible from the passenger compartment. In the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment, the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console. If you don't have a NYPL and happen to stop at a motel overnight, then you are in violation of the law and subject to arrest if found with a firearm. You are not permitted to stop in NYC.
Carry in roadside rest areas? No.
Carry in state/national parks, state/national forests, and WMAs? No.
Carry in Forestry Lands owned by State University of New York College of environmental science and forestry? Yes.
Carry in places of worship? There is no State statute prohibiting concealed carry in places of worship. However, since places of worship are private property, they may post signs prohibiting firearms.
Where Can't I Carry a Concealed Firearm in New York?
Any facility of the Department of Mental Hygiene, or any residential facility which has an operating certificate issued by the department, except with permission of the director of the facility [14 CRR-NY 45.1];
Government buildings in certain cities and counties;
Within the city of New York unless a special permit granting validity is issued by the police commissioner of that city; and
It is legal to openly carry or conceal any legal knife provided there is no intent for unlawful use against another person. It is illegal to own a switchblade, pilum ballistic knife, metal knuckle knife, cane sword and any knife adapted for use primarily as a weapon in New York. While it is legal for U.S. citizen not previously convicted of any crime to own a gravity knife (as of May 30, 2019), dirk, dagger, dangerous knife, razor or stiletto, it is illegal to carry them with the intent of unlawful use against another. There are knife/weapon limitations and prohibitions for schools, school buses, court facilities, correctional facilities and some airports. New York City has its own laws, which can be viewed on the New York City webpage. A number of other municipalities also have restrictions including Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse.
NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority rules prohibit any weapon, dangerous instrument, or any other item intended for use as a weapon from being carried in or on any facility or conveyance. A weapon or dangerous instrument includes, but is not limited to, a firearm, switchblade knife, gravity knife, boxcutter, straight razor or razor blades that are not wrapped or enclosed in a protective covering and sword. Shotguns and rifles that are unloaded and carried in an enclosed case, box or other container which completely conceals the item from view and identification as a weapon are allowed.
I can legally carry a concealed firearm in New York, but can I wear a COVID 19 protective mask while carrying concealed?
There is no known statute in New York making it illegal to wear a COVID mask while carrying concealed. One state law referring to loitering in public places while congregating with other masked individuals was identified, however it does not address wearing a mask while legally carrying a concealed firearm.
Yes. Interference with lawful taking of wildlife, such as hunting, fishing or trapping, is prohibited. This includes travel, camping, and other acts preparatory to taking, which occur on lands or waters upon which the affected person has the right or privilege to take such wildlife.
Here at the USCCA, it is our mission to provide responsible gun owners with the tools they need to be educated and trained. Our team is constantly working to provide you with the most up-to-date and comprehensive list of self-defense laws available for every state.
If you have any questions that you don’t see answered here — let us know! Just email [email protected] and we will be sure to get your question resolved. Your feedback matters to us, and we appreciate you helping to make this page the best possible resource for responsible gun owners!
Permit numbers were obtained from the Crime Prevention Resource Center’s publication entitled, “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States.” Numbers include resident and non-resident permits for those states that issue both.
The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.
If you have any questions regarding USCCA Membership, Delta Defense, handguns laws or the lawful process of carrying concealed, please contact the award-winning Delta Defense Customer Engagement Team.
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