Summary of New York City Gun Laws
New York is a may-issue state with concealed weapons licenses 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 license 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 license. 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.
[N.Y. Pen. Law §§ 35.10, 35.15, 35.20 and 35.25]