Assault Weapons: What’s Allowed in New York?
The state of New York has laws on the books that take a strong stance against owning, manufacturing or transporting or an assault weapon through the state. New York defines an assault weapon as a semi-automatic rifle, pistol or shotgun that is powered by a detachable magazine and has either a folding, protruding, thumb-hole or telescoping stock; secondary handgrips; mounts for additional weaponry such as a bayonet or grenade launcher; or a barrel that can accommodate a flash suppressor, muzzle compensator or break, or a suppressor.
Is it Legal to Own an Assault Weapon in New York?
New York’s definition of an assault rifle applies to any and all weapons that have been processed through legal channels prior to January 15, 2013, when new regulations were put in place. These weapons that have been grandfathered into legal status may exchanged disposed of or sold to, but the recipient of the weapon must be authorized to take possession of such a weapon before the transaction is officially recognized by the state. However, the owner of an assault weapon may transfer the weapon to a party that resides in another state provided that the neighboring state permits the transfer of assault weapons and the transfer of possession is made known within 72 hours of transfer.
These sets of circumstances do not permit one party to transfer assault weapons into the country under these permissions, and any caught attempting to do so may be found guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
In order to maintain a legal status of one’s assault weapon, it must have been purchased prior to the January 15, 2013 deadline and an application must be on file to register this weapon with the Superintendent of State Police.
Registering an Assault Weapon
The Superintendent retains all jurisdiction over these matters and sets the conditions for registration of weapons and the issuance of firearms licenses or the amendment of existing licenses obtained prior to January 14, 2014. This will require the submission of one’s name, date of birth, current address, social security number and description of any and all weapons owned by individual that is being registered. The license holder must also have their certifications checked once every five years by the Division of State Police or face revocation of their licensed status within the state. This process is to determine whether or not the individual applying for registration has the legal permissions to do so.
Who Can Register an Assault Weapon
There are legal restrictions may apply to individuals who’ve been convicted of serious offenses that fall under the New York Penal Code that prevent them from owning any firearms regardless of whether they meet the requirements for assault weapon status. Other restrictions may also apply to individuals with mental illnesses who are considered a credible threat to themselves and others as defined by the New York Mental Hygiene Law.
What Happens When You Don’t Register Your Assault Weapon
Failing to register an assault weapon already in one’s possession prior to January 15, 2014, means the individual has knowingly placed themselves in a position to be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. This is in a case where it can be legally proven that the individual knowingly neglected registration. In the instance an individual unknowingly failed to register an assault weapon they are given a warning with a time frame in which they must formally register.
What to do Next?
If you’re thinking of purchasing a weapon or registering one but are unsure of your legal status to own it in the state or your ability to have it registered, consider consulting legal counsel from Raiser & Kenniff. This legal team is well versed in the permissions granted by New York law and can guarantee one has full access to their rights.