Citation(s) from the literature library

Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2021 ‘Universal Background Checks in New York.’ Background Checks. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 8 May

Relevant contents

Private Sales in New York

New York law requires a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check by a licensed firearms dealer prior to any transfer, sale, exchange, or disposal of a firearm, except between immediate family members. The dealer must provide a report of the NICS background check to the state.

A record of the NICS check must be maintained by the dealer (for no specified period) for inspection by any peace or police officer. The record is not considered a "public record."

A dealer may require that any transfer conducted under these provisions be subject to a fee of not more than $10.00. A violation of these provisions is punishable as a misdemeanor.

A license to possess a handgun must specify each handgun the license holder owns. License holders who obtain additional handguns must apply to amend their licenses to specify those handguns, and license holders who sell or otherwise transfer their handguns must apply to cancel the listing of those handguns on their license.

New York law requires anyone who intends to transfer a lawfully-possessed handgun, short-barreled rifle or shotgun, or assault weapon, to first notify in writing the State Police or, if appropriate, the licensing officer in New York City or Nassau or Suffolk Counties.

Finally, New York law includes the following catch-all prohibition: "No person shall except as otherwise authorized pursuant to law dispose of any firearm unless he [or she] is licensed as gunsmith or dealer in firearms."

[Editor's note: The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence regularly updates its webpages with new data as US gun regulation evolves state by state. For the most up-to-date information on US gun laws, please refer to the Giffords URL below]

ID: Q7428

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