Following the recent shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, New York became one of the first states in the nation to toughen its existing gun laws. On January 15, 2013, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed new legislation known as the “New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 (“NY SAFE ACT”) (1).

Some of the major things that the NY SAFE ACT does are:

  • It makes NY the state with the strictest ban on high-capacity magazines in the country. The new legislation reduces the limit from 10 down to 7 rounds. It also bans the possession of all pre-1994 high capacity magazines. Owners with banned magazines are required to sell them out of state within one year.
  • It requires that any gun transfer between private parties other than between immediate family members (which includes spouses, domestic partners, children and stepchildren) must go through a federal firearms licensee (or FFL). An FFL will conduct a background check on the transferee (person receiving the gun) against the FBI’s comprehensive federal database –known as the National Instant Background Check System (NICS)—before the transfer can be made. The NICS check is intended to reveal whether there are any criminal or non-criminal grounds which prohibit the person from possessing a firearm (such as whether the person has had a felony conviction, or has previously been involuntarily committed for mental health treatment).
  • It requires mental health professionals (which includes physicians, psychologists, registered nurses, and licensed social workers) to report a current patient to law enforcement officials if the professional has reason to believe the patient is likely to do any act that would cause serious harm to himself or to others. The law enforcement officials may then use the information to suspend or revoke any firearm license that was previously issued to that patient and/or remove any firearm in the patient’s possession.
  • It requires any person with a license to carry/possess a pistol or revolver to have their license recertified every 5 years.

Those are just some of the main requirements under the new law. Unlawful possession of a firearm carries severe penalties under both federal and state law. Higbee & Associates is a national law that helped thousands of individuals in New York and across the country get their gun rights restored. Higbee & Associates, operates, the nation’s leading criminal record expungement law firm.


(1) Senate Bill 2230.