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Understanding gun control laws in New York

New York has strong gun regulations, and people accused of violations could face arrest and prosecution. While the national debate over gun control has received widespread attention, New York State already has some of the strongest gun control laws across the United States. Little movement has been seen in 2018 on proposed new gun regulations, but in 2013, New York passed the SAFE Act, which put in place a number of new restrictions on firearms in New York.

Federal law requires that people must be at least 18 to purchase a shotgun, rifle or other long gun and 21 years old to buy a handgun. In addition, throughout New York state, a license is necessary in order to buy a pistol or revolver. No license is required to buy a shotgun outside New York City, but inside the city, a permit is required for a long gun.

In order to receive a license for a handgun, a person must be at least 21 years old and a state resident as well as have no prior convictions for felonies or serious offenses. If someone lived elsewhere in New York and travel to the city, they must have a license granted by the New York City police.

For people who have a handgun license or a registered assault weapon, they must recertify their license every five years in their home county. In order to buy a gun from a licensed dealer, purchasers must pass a federal criminal background check; the rule also applies to private sales except for those between immediate family.

If someone is caught with a gun in New York outside of these stipulations, they could face charges for weapons crimes. A criminal defense attorney can help an alleged offender facing firearms charges challenge police evidence and present a strong defense before trial and in the courtroom.

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