NEW YORK—Caution: New York state`s general approach is to make the possession of handguns and so-called "assault weapons" and "large capacity ammunition feeding devices" illegal and then provide exceptions that the accused may raise as "affirmative defenses" to prosecution. The only exceptions to the "assault weapons" and "large capacity" magazine bans are provisions which allow possession of otherwise banned items manufactured on or before September 13, 1994, or ammunition feeding devices "capable of operating only with .22 caliber rimfire ammunition." The possession or transport of any other "assault weapon" or "high capacity" magazine is a felony. The prohibited ammunition feeding devices include not just magazines that have a capacity of more than 10 rounds but those "that can be readily restored or converted to accept more than 10 rounds."
Possessing a loaded handgun outside one`s home or place of business without a license is a felony. This applies not only to those who possess loaded handguns, but also to anyone who merely possesses a handgun and "at the same time … a quantity of ammunition which may be used to discharge such firearm." Licenses to possess and carry handguns are not issued to out-of-state residents, unless they are principally employed or own a business in New York.
A nonresident who "has in his possession a pistol license or firearms registration card issued in accordance with the laws of his place of residence" may transport a handgun to and from, and possess a handgun while attending, "an organized competitive pistol match or league competition" approved by or conducted under the auspices of the National Rifle Association or the International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association or at a "an organized convention or exhibition for the display of or education about firearms" approved by or conducted under the auspices of the NRA, so long as all of the following apply: (1) the person is a competitor in the match or a registered participant in the exhibition or display; (2) the possession occurs during or within 48 hours of the event; (3) the person has never been convicted of a felony or a crime that within New York would constitute a felony; and (4) the handgun is transported unloaded in an opaque container together with a copy of the match or exhibition program, schedule, or registration card. A person may also possess or transport a handgun if he or she is a member or coach of an accredited college or university target pistol team who is transporting the handgun into or through New York to participate in a collegiate, target, or Olympic pistol competition approved by or under the auspices of the National Rifle Association. During transport the handgun must be unloaded and in a locked carrying case, and any ammunition for the handgun must be locked in a separate container.
A number of localities, including Albany, Buffalo, New York City, Rochester, Suffolk County, and Yonkers, impose their own requirements on the possession, registration, and transport of firearms. 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. 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." Possession of a shotgun or rifle within New York City requires a permit, which is available to non-residents, and a certificate of registration. No person may possess a loaded rifle or shotgun anywhere in public within New York City limits. A non-resident without a permit may possess an unregistered long gun for up to 24 hours in New York City if in transit to a destination outside the city, provided that the firearm is at all times unloaded and in a locked case or locked automobile trunk and the person is "lawfully in possession of said rifle or shotgun according to the laws of his or her place of residence."