NYPD Tricking Gun Owners Out Of Their Lawfully Owned Property

NYPD Tricking Gun Owners Out Of Their Lawfully Owned Property
By Rob Firriolo



Ney York, NY –-(Ammoland.com)- The New York City Police Department’s License Division is sending letters to handgun license renewal applicants telling them that they may be in violation of New York State’s ban on “large capacity ammunition feeding devices” without telling them that pre-ban magazines are legal to possess.

Here’s the text of the letter:

Dear License Renewal Applicant:

A review of the application you submitted reflects that you possess a handgun that may be in violation of the New York State Penal Law. This violation pertains to the number of bullets{sic} that can be stored in the magazine used to supply your handgun. New York State Penal Law § 265.02(8) makes it illegal to possess of a ‘large capacity ammunition feeding device’ which is defined to include, among other items, a magazine that has the capacity to hold more than ten rounds of ammunition. This provision of state law took effect November 1, 2000. A violation of this section of the Law is a class ‘D’ felony.

If your handgun is equipped with a ‘large capacity feeding device,’ you must acquire a magazine that complies with state law. After your handgun is modified you must report to the License Division for a handgun inspection prior to renewal of your license. Gun Inspections are performed Monday through Friday (except holidays) between the hours of 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. at One Police Plaza, Room 152. If you fail to either (1) modify your handgun; or (2) surrender it to a local police precinct; or (3) supply a detailed letter setting forth reasons that exempt you from this provision of the Penal Law, within 30 days of this notice your handgun license will be cancelled{sic}.

If you have any questions related to this correspondence, please direct them to Sergeant Chris Gonzalez of my staff who may be contacted at (646) 610-5872.

Very truly yours,

Andrew Lunetta
Deputy Inspector


A form accompanying the letter states, “YOUR RENEWAL APPLICATION CANNOT BE PROCESSED FOR THE FOLLOWING REASON(S):” and the “OTHER” box is checked with the explanation, “MAGAZINE INSPECTION.”

The letter misstates the law because it omits the crucial language in Penal Law § 265.00(23) that defines a “large capacity ammunition feeding device” as “a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device manufactured after September thirteenth, nineteen hundred ninety-four…” that holds more than ten rounds. In other words, a pre-ban magazine is legal in New York State regardless of its ammunition capacity as it is not considered a “large capacity ammunition feeding device” under the law.

Read most charitably, NYPD’s letter potentially contains only a vague allusion to the distinction between the possession of a pre-ban and a post-ban magazine in option number three, which allows the applicant to “supply a detailed letter setting forth reasons that exempt you from this provision of the Penal Law.” Even that option does not fully make sense since possession of a pre-ban magazine is not an “exemption” from the ban, such as police officers have. A pre-ban magazine is simply beyond the scope of the ban.

One is left to wonder just how much detail is necessary in the response letter. If NYPD is dealing fairly with its licensees, all that should be necessary is a simple statement that the applicant is not in possession of any “large capacity ammunition feeding device,” or — to be more “detailed” — any magazine of over ten-round capacity that was manufactured after September 13, 1994.

Word from one gun shop on Long Island is that New York City licensees are rushing to dispose of their pre-ban magazines, either unaware that their possession is lawful, or simply fearful of dealing with NYPD in light of its warnings of felony charges and non-renewal of licenses.

Gun owners can only wonder if forced disposal of full-capacity magazines is the intent of sending such a letter, and whether it comes in the wake of the Tucson shootings as another of Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s anti-gun (and anti-gun-owner) initiatives. Despite his routine assurances that he is only “against illegal guns,” this latest effort is apparently an attempt to cow legal gun owners into disposing of their lawfully possessed firearm accessories under the pretense that their possession is illegal.

Following is the actual letter:

New York City Police Department’s Misleading Large Capacity Ammunition Ban Letter[Redacted]

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