New York State has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. For legal gun holders, there are lots of rules and laws that apply. What is permitted when traveling around the state with your weapon? Is it legal?

The answer is: it depends. There are quite a few factors to consider.
(This information is not legal advice, it is simply informational)

Can A Non-Resident Of New York Travel With A Gun Through The State?

The answer to this question is not cut and dry. Essentially, if a person is simply driving through New York State and is permitted to carry a gun in the state where they started and the state where they are ending, they are covered by Title 18-Part 1-Chapter 44 926A of the federal code,

Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle.

The key here is that the gun and ammo are not accessible to the driver or the passenger during transport. Things could get a bit sticky though if the traveler decided to stop at a relative's house or hotel along the way. According to Handgun Laws,

If you stop in NY and spend the night in a motel/hotel/camp ground etc you are in violation of NY law and can be arrested if found with a firearm. Stopping for gas and food would most likely be OK but this is not a given in NY.

Obama Seeks To Tighten Loopholes In Gun Purchasing Regulations
Getty Images

Can A Resident Legally Transport A Gun Within New York State?

The first factor to determine the legality is whether or not the person has a permit for the weapon. If they have no permit, the answer is a resounding 'no'. If they are, in fact, licensed, it still depends. Traveling into New York City with a gun, even if a person holds a permit in another county in New York, could spell trouble if they are stopped by law enforcement. According to the law firm Crotty & Saland,

A person must have a permit and the license for the jurisdictions where they wish to carry it, which is often broken down on a county by county basis. Add to that the fact that New York City has it’s own separate and additional restrictions and laws restricting the possession and transportation of firearms, as one might expect. Someone coming into New York City from Rockland County or Dutchess County, for example someone who is moving to Manhattan, Brooklyn, or the Bronx, must have the requisite permissions and permit, or they cannot transport their firearm into one part of the state to the city.

In New York City, you must have a permit for handguns and long guns. Your best bet may be to call the permit office in the county you wish to travel with your weapon to in order to find out any rules or specifications you need to be aware of. Guns To Carry says,

The New York state gun laws are regarded as very restrictive and operate on a “May Issue” policy at the local county level. This means that the issuance of a pistol license is entirely up to the issuing officer. As a rough rule the higher the population of a county the more restrictive the gun laws become with New York City being the most restrictive.

Photo by Renns Art on Unsplash
Photo by Renns Art on Unsplash


What Is The Firearms Owners’ Protection Act?

Passed by Congress in 1986, it offers very specific protections for legal gun owners. Under FOPA, transportation of guns is protected,

Permits the interstate transportation of unloaded firearms by any person not prohibited by Federal law from such transportation regardless of any State law or regulation.

Crotty & Saland does warn that you could still be arrested for transporting your weapon, but could use FOPA as an 'affirmative defense,' after the fact.

New York gun laws are strict and you don't want to put yourself in any unnecessary legal trouble, especially if you have gone through the legal process to possess a weapon in the state.

(This information is not legal advice, it is simply informational)

92.9 WBUF logo
Get our free mobile app

11 New York Cities With The Most Violent Gun Crimes

10 Most Dangerous and Violent Cities in New York State

Top 5 Crimes In Buffalo for 2021

More From 92.9 WBUF