I can legally carry a concealed firearm in New York City, but can I wear a COVID 19 protective mask while carrying concealed?
Based on our most recent research, the USCCA has identified just two states with statutes against carrying a concealed firearm while wearing a mask: California and Illinois (although sheriffs and county prosecutors in Illinois have made statements indicating that wearing a mask to protect others from COVID-19 while carrying a gun isn’t illegal as long as the wearer isn’t wearing the mask while committing a crime). Due to the large number of inquiries, some states have publicly addressed their laws regarding wearing masks. Some state laws actually refer to individuals concealing their identity with the intention to commit illegal acts or to specifically hide their identity, and do not address wearing a mask while legally carrying a concealed firearm. The following statute was identified in New York City, although it makes no mention of concealed carry.
PEN § 240.35. A person is guilty of loitering when he remains or congregates in a public place with other persons while he is masked or in any manner disguised by unusual or unnatural attire or facial alteration, or knowingly permits or aids persons so masked or disguised to congregate in a public place; except that such conduct is not unlawful when it occurs in connection with a masquerade party or other authorized entertainment.
If you have further questions, we recommend that you reach out to your local law enforcement office, or district attorney.
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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.
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.
New York prohibits the possession of a “loaded” handgun outside of the home or place of business without a permit. While no law specifically bans open carry, a pistol license to carry is issued to carry concealed.
Concealed carry is only legal with a New York Pistol License (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, citizens have the duty to retreat from attackers if they feel they 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 a burglary, and the circumstances are such that the use of deadly physical force is authorized.
No. New York City does not allow constitutional carry.
Open Carry Permitted?
Is open carry permitted in New York City?
Although open carry is not directly mentioned, New York City prohibits the possession of a “loaded” handgun outside of the home or place of business without a carry license. The term “loaded” includes any firearm possessed by a person who also possesses any ammunition which may be discharged by the firearm, whether the firearm is loaded or unloaded.
Gun Permit Licensure?
If New York City requires a permit to carry a concealed firearm, how are those permits issued?
New York City observes a may-issue permit policy.
Minimum Age for Concealed Carry?
What is the minimum age in New York City to get a concealed carry permit?
You must be 21 to carry concealed in NYC.
Weapons Other Than Handguns Allowed?
Can you concealed carry weapons other than handguns in New York City with a concealed carry permit (or under permitless carry if applicable)?
No. An NYCPL does not permit the carrying of weapons other than handguns.
Tasers or Stun Guns?
Is it legal to own a taser or stun gun in New York City?
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 City?
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 City 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 within New York City.
Public Access to Concealed Carry Registry?
Does New York City 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.
Can you carry a concealed handgun in a vehicle in New York City?
Yes, based upon the terms of a NYCPL only. If you travel through New York City, 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. Transport within NYC must be continuous and uninterrupted. You are not permitted to stop in the city.
Although a NY 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.
If you don't have a NYCPL 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.
Can you carry a firearm in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol in New York City?
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 City?
New York City 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 City have laws relating to storing firearms in private vehicles in an employee parking lot?
Does New York City have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?
No more than 7 to 10 rounds. It's complicated, with U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny in Erie County & the 2nd Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals rulings striking down the component that had made it illegal for individuals to load more than 7 rounds of ammunition into a magazine capable of holding 10 rounds. However, the law hasn't been changed.
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;
Contains more than 7 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 7 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. There are also grandfather provisions for devices that have the capacity of, or that can be converted to accept, 8-10 rounds, so long as they were lawfully possessed prior to January 15, 2013, and do not actually contain more than seven rounds of ammunition.
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.
Are "No Weapons Allowed" signs enforced in New York City? 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 City 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.
No. 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.
Not currently. However, an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) law was signed by the Governor on February 25, 2019 and will go into effect in about 180 days. It will allow police, district attorneys, family or household members, or 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.
Carry While Using Alcohol or Drugs?
Does New York City have laws regarding carrying a 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.
Handgun Purchase & Possession
Is a permit required to purchase a handgun in New York City?
Yes. Pistol permits are prerequisites to purchase handguns and long guns. To buy a gun in New York City, you must first obtain a New York City Pistol License. After you have been interviewed and approved, you can then purchase a handgun from any licensed handgun dealer. After you have purchased your new handgun, you will be required to return to the License Division with your new handgun to have the handgun's make, model, and serial number recorded on your license.
Background Checks for Private Gun Sales? Exceptions?
Are background checks required for private gun sales in New York City? 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 law enforcement in New York City or Nassau or Suffolk counties (whichever is appropriate).
There is an exception for transfers between immediate family members.
New York City Permit Exempts from Background Check?
Does my current New York City 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 City?
Although there is no specific waiting period prior to the purchase of a firearm in New York, all handgun purchasers must obtain a NYPL, and such licenses may take up to 6 months to process.
Do handguns need to be registered in New York City?
Yes. New York City requires every handgun to be registered.
Minimum Age to Possess and Transport?
What is the minimum age to possess and transport a handgun in New York City?
You must be 21 years old to possess or transport a handgun in New York City.
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 City
New York City offers resident and non-resident (part-time NY State residents or anyone principally employed or with their principal place of business in NYC) 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
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Part-time NY City residents or anyone who is principally employed or has his or her principal place of business within New York City can apply using the same process are residents.
Complete an Address/Employment Change Report within 10 days. 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. See the form for detailed information regarding the various permit types.
Contact the Handgun Section of the NYPD License Division at (646) 610-5560.
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 NYC. You can apply for your license to the NYPD License Division once you have established your residence or business in the city.
Moving from NYC and have a NYC resident pistol 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 NYC 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 city.
New York City Concealed Carry Permit Application Process
How to Apply for a New York City Concealed Carry Permit
Determine the type of license for which you would like to submit an application.
You must first register/create a profile using your email address.
Upload the necessary documents and submit completed application. Documents include:
New York State driver’s license;
Social Security card;
Proof of date of birth;
Proof of residence;
Acknowledgement of Person Agreeing to Safeguard Firearms form;
Affidavit of Co-Habitant form;
Affidavit of Familiarity with Rules and Laws;
Law Enforcement Firearm Removal Inquiry;
“Good guy” letter;
If you are applying for a Special Carry license, upload the front and back of your county license; and
If you have more than 4 guns, you must upload a photo of your safe open and closed.
After submission, additional documents must be uploaded. Finalize and submit your application.
NYPD License Division will contact you to schedule a date and time for you to come to NYPD License Division to pay applicable fees and be fingerprinted. You must bring with you originals of all uploaded documents.
After your application and all required documents/forms have been received and reviewed, you will be scheduled for an in-person interview.
Within approximately 6 months of receipt of your handgun application and all required documents/forms, you will receive a letter informing you whether your application was approved.
New York City has five types of pistol licenses available. 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.
There types of NYC licenses including the following:
Premises License - This is a restricted type of license issued for your residence or business. The licensee may possess a handgun ONLY on the premises of the address indicated on the front of the license. Licensees may also 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.
Carry Business License - This license permits the carrying of a handgun concealed on the person valid for the business name, address and handguns listed on the license.
Limited Carry Business License - The licensee may only carry the handgun indicated on the license in accordance with the specific limitations listed on the license. At all other times, the handgun must be safeguarded within the confines of the address listed on the front of the license stored unloaded in a locked safe.
Special Carry License - This license is valid for the business name, address and handguns listed on the license, only while the licensee has in his possession a valid carry county license issued according to the provisions of article 400 of the N.Y.S. Penal law.
Carry Guard License - Applications for this type of license must be made with the documentation provided by a company's gun custodian. It is issued only for the handgun listed on the license and only carried while the licensee is actively engaged in employment for the company whose name appears on the license and/or while licensee is in transit directly to or from residence and place of employment. At all other times, the handgun must be stored unloaded in a locked container, at either the address on the license or at the employee's legal residence.
There are no training requirements for New York City handgun licenses. However, 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.
Once your registration is complete you can complete and submit your application
After submitting your on-line renewal application, you must mail the appropriate renewal fee to the address listed on the “Payment Authorization” form. The License Division will not review your submitted renewal application until your renewal fee has been received.
The License Division may also request any additional documents/forms needed to process your application. As soon as a decision is made regarding your renewal application, you will be notified.
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 City?
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 City?
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
The circumstances surrounding the carrying of the knife is what makes its possession illegal. New York City administrative code asserts that any knife carried openly is illegal unless it is being used for or transported immediately to or from a place where it is used for hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, picnicking or any employment, trade or occupation customarily requiring the use of such knife.
The following are circumstances which make carrying a knife illegal:
It’s illegal to possess, in any public place, street or park any knife which has a blade length of 4 inches or more.
It’s illegal to openly carry in a public place, street or park, any knife with an exposed or unexposed blade unless such person is actually using such knife for a lawful purpose as defined.
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.
It is illegal to sell folding knives with a blade length of 4 or more inches that when opened are locked in an open position and cannot be closed without depressing or moving a release mechanism.
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@example.com 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.
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