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Gun laws vary by state, know yours in New York

New York has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the United States. To possess a pistol, you have to obtain a pistol license and have a background check performed. You won't need a license to get a rifle or shotgun outside New York City, but if you intend to buy one there, make sure you have a license ready.

What's interesting about New York is that it is one of few states that allows local legislation to vary from that of state law. That means that the laws in your local area could differ from other parts of the state, making it hard to know exactly what is or isn't allowed in terms of weapon ownership.

How do local laws vary in New York?

Here's an example. In New York City, you have to renew a pistol license every three years. It costs $340 to do so as of February 2018. However, if you lived in a county like Suffolk or Nassau, your license would only need to be renewed every five years.

New York City also has strict requirements when it comes to gun storage. Trigger locks are required when a gun isn't attended there. However, in other parts of the state, you can simply place an unguarded weapon in your safe and leave it.

New York also passed new restrictions after the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting. Known as the SAFE Act, the act bans assault-style weapons from the state. However, there are exceptions. If you owned one before January 2013 or have an antique assault-style weapon, then you may still possess it even today. To take gun laws further, New York has also banned magazines that hold 11 or more rounds.

If you have a weapon that is from before the statewide ban, it is necessary to register it with the state. You may still own bump stocks despite automatic weapons being illegal within the state's boundaries.

While federal law makes it a requirement to be 21 to purchase a gun from any licensed dealer and New York laws agree, other states may allow those under 21 to purchase semiautomatic weapons and rifles. That means that if you purchase a gun out of state, you may be violating the law by possessing it if you are under the age of 21. This is something to consider if you are traveling into the state from another.

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Robert D. DiDio
& Associates

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