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New York State Provides Guidance on Banned Assault Weapons

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Pursuant to the recently adopted Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 (NY SAFE Act), New York State has expanded its ban on assault weapons by significantly broadening its definition of assault weapon.  New York State previously banned assault weapons using a "two-feature" test taken from the now-expired federal assault weapons ban.  This has been replaced with a “one-feature” test.

The NY SAFE Act:

  •  Bans the in-state acquisition of assault weapons, effective as of January 15, 2013. 
  • Grandfathers the prior ownership of assault weapons, but requires that they be registered with the State by April 15, 2014 and recertified every five years.  Registration and recertification of grandfathered assault weapons will be subject to review by the New York State Police for “disqualifiers,” which have not yet been defined.
  • Requires that owners of grandfathered assault weapons may only sell these firearms out-of-state or through an in-state federal firearms licensee.

The New York State Governor’s office has prepared initial guidance about which firearms will or will not be considered assault weapons for purposes of the NY SAFE Act, which can be accessed by clicking on the hyperlinks below: 

          Pistols

Banned features
Restates the statutory definition, with illustrations.

Pistols classified as assault weapons
Provides a non-exhaustive list of examples.

Pistols NOT classified as assault weapons
Provides a non-exhaustive list of examples.

Images of pistols NOT classified as assault weapons
Provides pictures of representative examples.

           Rifles

Banned features
Restates the statutory definition, with illustrations.

Rifles classified as assault weapons
Provides a non-exhaustive list of examples.

Rifles NOT classified as assault weapons
Provides a non-exhaustive list of examples.

Images of rifles NOT classified as assault weapons
Provides pictures of representative examples.

           Shotguns

Banned features
Restates the statutory definition, with illustrations.

Shotguns classified as assault weapons
Provides a non-exhaustive list of examples.

Shotguns NOT classified as assault weapons
Provides a non-exhaustive list of examples.

Images of shotguns NOT classified as assault weapons
Provides pictures of representative examples.


Any questions you may have about the NY SAFE Act should be directed to John F. Renzulli or Christopher Renzulli.

Additional information about the Firm’s litigation, counseling and consulting services for the firearms industry is available here.