To start the new week, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a package of gun control laws on Monday in response to the recent Buffalo and Uvalde, Tex. mass shootings. The legislation attempts to close perceived loopholes relating to the purchase of firearms, large capacity magazines, and gun crime reporting.
“Gun violence is an epidemic that is tearing our country apart,” said Governor Hochul. “Thoughts and prayers won’t fix this, but taking strong action will.”
That strong action takes the form of prohibiting the sale of semiautomatic rifles to those under 21, redefining “large capacity ammunition feeding device” to any magazine greater than 10 rounds, expanding the definition of “firearm,” requiring semiautomatic pistols be capable of microstamping ammunition, and instituting new recordkeeping and reporting requirements on firearm dealers and law enforcement.
Though 10 bills were signed in total, we’ve highlighted five below with the greatest impact on New York FFLs and gun owners.
Requires individuals be 21 years or older to obtain a license prior to purchasing a semiautomatic rifle.
- A license for a semiautomatic rifle, other than an assault weapon or disguised gun, shall be issued to purchase or take possession of such a firearm when such transfer of ownership occurs
- A license to purchase or take possession of a semiautomatic rifle shall be recertified every five years.
- Establishes fines for violations of this requirement by individuals and FFLs.
Under preexisting New York law, individuals must be 21 years or older to acquire a gun license. Thus, by requiring a license to purchase a semiautomatic rifle, all individuals must be of 21 years or older.
Amends the definition of “large capacity ammunition feeding device.”
- “Large capacity ammunition feeding device” means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device, that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than ten (10) rounds of ammunition.
- Eliminates grandfathering of large capacity ammunition feeding devices that were lawfully possessed prior to the enactment of the SAFE Act or manufactured prior to 1994.
In 2015, the 2nd Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals upheld a lower-court ruling issued in 2013 that struck down a provision of the SAFE Act making it illegal for individuals to load more than seven rounds of ammunition into a magazine capable of holding 10 rounds. NY S9229A removes this confusion by removing references to the SAFE Act in penal law.
Amends the definition of “firearm.”
- Adds to the definition of firearm, “or (f) any other weapon that is not otherwise defined in this section containing any component that provides housing or a structure designed to hold or integrate any fire control component that is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by action of explosive.”
By broadening the definition of firearm, the term now includes a “catch-all” for any weapon that fires projectiles by way of explosive, or can be readily converted to do so, such as firearms fitted with an arm brace.
Requires semiautomatic pistols manufactured or delivered to any licensed dealer in the state be capable of microstamping ammunition.
- “Microstamp” means a unique alphanumeric or geometric code that identifies the make, model, and serial number of a firearm.
- “Microstamping component” means a component part of a semiautomatic pistol that will produce a microstamp on at least one location of the expended cartridge case each time the pistol is fired.
- Requires the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services to certify the viability of microstamping-enabled pistols within the next two years.
- Amends penal law affecting FFLs shall take effect four years after certifying microstamping-enabled pistols are technologically viable.
- Establishes fines for violations of this requirement by FFLs.
Unlike California’s microstamping requirements, this bill provides for licensing of companies in New York that can engage in the business of modifying pistols for firearms manufacturers to install microstamping technology into already-manufactured firearms so they may be sold in the state.
Requires the creation and imposition of restrictive commercial practices and stringent recordkeeping and reporting to prevent gun and ammunition sales to individuals with a criminal record.
- Shall develop and make available to each dealer a training course in the conduct of firearm, rifle, and shotgun transfers.
- Dealers shall implement a security plan for securing firearms, rifles and shotguns, including secure and separate storage of firearms and ammunition.
- Dealers shall exclude all persons under 18 from portions of its premises where firearms, rifles, shotguns, or ammunition are stocked or sold, unless such person is accompanied by a parent or guardian.
- Dealers shall submit a copy of firearm purchases, sales and inventory to the New York state police every April and October.
- Dealers shall maintain records of criminal firearm, rifle and shotgun traces initiated by ATF.
- Division of state police shall inspect dealers not less than once every three years to determine compliance with requirements.
- A license to engage in the business of dealer may be revoked or suspended for any violation of general business law requirements.
- Law enforcement shall report seized or recovered guns to the New York Criminal Gun Clearinghouse and arrange for ballistics information of recovered ammunition cartridges be submitted to the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network.
While the ATF sets forth its own requirements of FFLs and law enforcement, new provisions will enact uniform security and reporting standards for firearm dealers and enhance reporting by law enforcement to the state and federal gun databases. They will also implement inspections of gun dealers by state police, in addition to those by the ATF.