June 3, 2022 – New York State has continued its attacks against law abiding firearm owners by rushing to pass gun control legislation in response to the shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde Texas.  Like with the SAFE Act that was rushed through in 2013, New York’s Democratic Governor and the Democratic leaders of the State Assembly and Senate announced and passed numerous gun control laws within the scope of a week.  The following is an overview of some of the major gun control laws being implemented in New York.

A.1023-A / S.4970-A creates onerous requirements for firearms dealers that could threaten their ability to continue doing business.  A new Article 39-BB of the New York General Business Law will require dealers to secure all firearms in a “locked fireproof safe or vault on the dealer’s premises or in a secured and locked area on the dealer’s business premises,” whenever they are not open for business.  It also requires firearm dealers to have a security alarm system installed and maintained by a licensed alarm company, which must meet certain (yet unknown) standards to be established by the Superintendent of State Police.  The required security system must include video recording devices at each point of sale and each entrance and exit to the premises.  The video will have to be recorded and the recordings saved for at least two years.  Special hard drives or cloud based systems are required to store such large amounts of data, and they are extremely expensive.
A.1023-A / S.4970-A also requires dealers to maintain records regarding all firearms they acquire and dispose of in a manner to be specified by the Superintendent of State Police (similar to acquisition and disposition records), and to submit copies of those records to the State Police twice a year.  It also requires dealers to conduct and document monthly physical inventories of all firearms.  It requires all employees involved in the sale of firearms to be at least twenty-one years old, and prohibits persons less than eighteen years old who are not accompanied by a parent from being in certain locations on the premises where firearms are displayed and sold.  It requires a “proceed” response from NICS before a firearm can be transferred (no sales on delay).  This law also mandates certain training be given to employees that will be developed by the Superintendent of the State Police.  It requires dealers to keep copies of all “criminal” traces initiated by the ATF, and to provide information on to whom a firearm was sold in response to a request from law enforcement and the manufacturer of the firearm or its designee.  Violation of any of these new rules would be a Class A misdemeanor.

A.10503 / S.9458 requires a person to obtain a state license before acquiring any semi-automatic rifle.  This license requirement is similar to the regulations and licensing requirements in place for pistols and revolvers in New York.

A.10504 / S.9456 amends New York’s Penal Law by changing the definition of “firearm.” New York defines the term “firearm” differently than federal law, so that only pistols, revolvers, short barreled rifles, short barreled shotguns, and “assault weapons” are considered to be “firearms.”  Regular rifles and shotguns were not considered to be firearms pursuant to New York law.  Similarly, AR-type pistols with stabilizing braces were not considered to be firearms, rifles, or pistols pursuant to New York law, and therefore were not covered by the “assault weapons” ban.  This law expands New York’s definition of a “firearm” to include “any other weapon that is not otherwise defined in this section containing any component that provides housing or a structure designed to and may readily be converted to expel a projectile by action of explosive.” This change is likely to have unintended consequences because New York law generally makes it illegal to possess a “firearm,” except for a pistol or revolver by someone who has a license.
A.7926-A / S.4116-A requires New York to investigate the “viability” of microstamping technology.  If this technology is determined to be viable, this law will mandate that all semi-automatic pistols manufactured and sold in New York be “microstamping-enabled.”

Finally, Gov. Hochul issued Executive Order 19, which directs the State Police to seek emergency orders removing firearms from persons it believes to be “a threat to themselves or others.” In addition, A.10502 / S.9113 authorizes a broad list of medical professionals to file an application for an extreme risk protection order against persons they have examined.  This type of “requirement” placed on the State Police and “red flag” law presents serious constitutional issues, not only related to the Second Amendment, but also due process, equal protection and health information privacy interests for New York firearm owners.  It could also deter people from seeking needed medical treatment.

All of the above bills have already been passed by the legislature and are expected to be signed into law by the governor.  These new laws impose substantial new requirements on firearms dealers in New York.  There is also a potential that other states controlled by the Democratic party may pass similar legislation.

Renzulli Law Firm, LLP will continue to monitor significant firearms legislation in New York and around the country.  If you have any questions concerning the above bills and requirements for complying with these new laws, please contact John F. Renzulli or Christopher Renzulli.