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Video:What Are the Gun Laws in New York?

with Robert Heilbrun

Want to learn about gun laws in New York state before you purchase a firearm? Here, see helpful information about gun laws in NY.See Transcript

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Transcript:What Are the Gun Laws in New York?

Hi. I'm Robert Heilbrun. I'm a criminal defense attorney with the legal aid society, in New York City, here for About.com.

Facts About Gun Laws in New York

New York State has among the harshest gun law in the country. Gun laws regulate the possession of guns and they basically eliminate the possession of a handgun in New York State. It is virtually impossible to possess a handgun that you can carry on the street in New York State. Unless you are in law enforcement or a private investigator or have some very particular need for it, just saying you like one is not good enough.

More Facts About Gun Laws in New York

It's much easier to possess a gun in your home. If you want to use a gun at a gun club, you have to go through a lot of steps. But it's quite doable. You go to the gun club you get certified, trained to using the gun. Once the gun club vouches for your training you can then apply. That permits you to keep a gun in a locked box, unloaded, separate from the bullets in your house. And you are allowed to carry it in that manner, in the box, locked, to the gun club. Where you are then allowed to do target practice. It does not allow you to put it in your belt, or have it loaded, or carry it in a way that you could use it.

Gun Laws in New York: Sales

And sale of guns. You can't sell guns in New York State unless you are a licensed gun shop. And, it's the same level felony as possessing. Now, if you are caught with a gun, in your home, it's not a serious offense, even if it's an unlicensed gun. It's a misdemeanor with a maximum of a year in jail. Much less serious. But, if you are caught with a loaded gun, on the street, the minimum is three and a half years. And, the maximum is fifteen – assuming you have no prior felonies. And, in fact.

We have a lot of very sympathetic cases, where somebody's traveling to New York and has a legal gun, from a state in the south and as soon as they cross the border into New York state they're looking at state prison.This all only applies to handguns. You can go – you can walk into K-Mart and buy an assault rifle. You can conceal a handgun – handguns are only – they're not for hunting. They're only for shooting people. And, if you want to defend your home you're allowed to have a rifle or a shotgun. You can't have a gun.

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