New York’s strict gun laws are well known and often debated, but many are unaware that the gun regulations within New York City limits are stricter than the state’s.
Sweeping gun control legislation, the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, was enacted Jan. 13. The changes included the expansion of background checks before someone buys a gun, a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, as well as imposed registration of assault weapons that are grandfathered in.
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There has been a significant increase in felony charges filed against people who carry their guns to the airport since the act passed, and many of the arrests were people who reportedly did not understand the law, according to The New York Times
In 2012, 42 people were arrested in New York airports for possessing guns. These people would often pack their guns per the directions of the Transportation Safety Administration to fly into New York, but when they left, “all hell broke loose,” said Martin Kane, a Queens criminal defense lawyer.
“You were arrested, spent several hours or overnight in custody, appeared before a judge where the D.A. asked for humongous bail, and you were finally released and told to come back with a lawyer,” Martin told the Times. “Now you’re scared and fighting mad at the same time. What’s going on?”
New York City gun laws are so strict that the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action
said even people with handgun licenses accepted by New York state often aren’t allowed to carry their guns into the city.
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“Possession of a handgun within New York City requires a New York City handgun license or a special permit from the city police commissioner validating a state license within the city,” the NRA-ILA said. “Even New York state licenses are generally not valid within New York City unless a specific exemption applies, such as when the New York City police commissioner has issued a special permit to the licensee or 'the firearms covered by such license are being transported by the licensee in a locked container and the trip through the city of New York is continuous and uninterrupted.'"
NRA-ILA also said possession of a shotgun or rifle in New York City requires a permit and a registration certificate. But no one can carry a loaded rifle or shotgun “anywhere in public within New York City limits.”
The ILA said New York recognizes no reciprocal agreements with other states, meaning they don’t recognize gun permits issued by others.
In its website section comparing state gun laws, the NRA-ILA breaks New York state and New York City
into separate jurisdictions. The primary difference between the two is that rifles and shotguns, along with handguns, in New York City are required to have a permit to purchase, to be registered, and owners must be licensed and have a permit to carry.
In New York state, however, only handguns must meet those requirements.
This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws of your state and destination before travel.
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