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Can I legally transport my firearms through New York City?

New York state and New York City both have extremely restrictive laws concerning the possession and transport of firearms across their state lines and within city limits. While most locals are aware of this, travelers passing through the borders may not know of the penalties they could face simply for being in possession of their own legally purchased firearms.

Even though there are federal laws in place to protect those travelers in transit with their guns, the various authorities at JFK, LaGuardia, Newark and Albany airports have in the past enforced their own local and state firearm ordinances against airline passengers traveling through these jurisdictions.

There have even been arrests of people who were fully compliant with federal laws. Still others have been needlessly detained, missing connecting flights at times, while being threatened with arrest. Because of this, it may be more prudent for those traveling through New Jersey and New York airports to ship their firearms to their final destinations as opposed to risking bringing them through any of these airports.

Even traveling over the road with legally owned firearms can be problematic in this state. Within the limits of New York City, Yonkers and other locations throughout the state, local regulations on the transport, possession and registration of firearms are enforced. To legally possess a handgun in New York City requires a special city license or permit that is issued by the New York City police commissioner that validates a state license within city limits.

In many cases, New York state handgun licenses are invalid within the city without special exemptions. Some provisions may apply if "the firearms . . . are being transported . . . in a locked container and the trip through the city . . . is continuous and uninterrupted."

Possessing a rifle or shotgun or rifle within New York City is legal only with a permit and registration certificate. Nobody is allowed to possess a loaded shotgun or rifle in public within the city limits. Non-residents without permits may possess unregistered long guns for no longer than 24 hours in the city if traveling elsewhere and the firearm is:

-- Unloaded

-- In a locked case or automobile trunk

-- Possessed lawfully by a person in accordance with the laws of that person's place of residence.

If accused of a gun crime in New York City. seek criminal defense representation ASAP.

Source: National Rifle Association - Institute for Legislative Action, "Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms" Jan. 06, 2015

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Robert D. DiDio
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