New York Gov Signs Law Banning Assault Weapons, High Cap Magazines, Tracking Ammo Purchases & More

New York Gov. Cuomo
New York Gov. Cuomo
New York State
New York State

Albany, New York – -( Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed into law the NY SAFE Act (Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act) that will give New York State the toughest gun laws in the nation.

The legislation includes provisions to keep guns out of the hands of convicted felons and potentially dangerous mental health patients, and ban high capacity magazines and assault weapons.

Under the legislation, New York will be the first state in the nation to ban any magazine that can hold more than seven rounds and run instant background checks on all ammunition purchases at the time of sale. The legislation will allow authorities to track ammunition purchases in real time to alert law enforcement to high volume buys, and will include a statewide standard requiring recertification of pistol permits every five years. The legislation also closes a private sale loophole to ensure all gun purchases are subject to a background check, and toughens criminal penalties on those who use illegal guns.

“The new law will limit gun violence through common sense, reasonable reforms that include addressing the risks posed by mentally ill people who have access to guns and banning high capacity magazines and lethal assault weapons,” Governor Cuomo said. “This legislation is not about hunters, sportsmen, or legal owners who use their guns appropriately. It is about reducing gun violence and making New York a safer place to live. I thank leadership of both the Assembly and Senate for their action on this important legislation.”

Key provisions of the NY SAFE Act include:

Mental Health Alert: Under the legislation, mental health professionals will be required to report to local mental health officials when there is reason to believe a patient is likely to engage in conduct that will cause serious harm to themselves or others. This information will then be crosschecked against the new comprehensive, and regularly updated, gun registration database. If the patient possesses a gun, the license will be suspended and law enforcement will be authorized to remove the person’s firearm.

Tougher assault weapons ban: The legislation outlines a stricter definition of assault weapons, and implements an immediate ban of defined assault weapons. Under the stricter definitions, semi-automatic pistols and rifles with detachable magazines and one military style feature will be considered assault weapons. Semi-automatic shotguns with one military style feature will also be considered assault weapons. Assault weapons possessed before the effective date must be registered within a year and recertified every five years. Owners of grandfathered assault weapons may only sell out of state or through an in state federal firearms licensee. Under the legislation, the Bushmaster used in the Newtown, Connecticut shooting will be illegal.

Stronger regulations on ammunition: Under the legislation, New York will have the strongest ban on high capacity magazines in the country, with a limit on capacity of seven rounds, down from the current limit of ten. The legislation includes a ban on possession of pre-1994 high capacity magazines, and will require owners to sell the banned magazines out of state within one year. Existing ten round magazines can be grandfathered in, but may only be loaded with 7 rounds.

To track high-volume ammunition purchasers, the legislation will make New York the first state in the nation to track ammo purchases in real time. All dealers in ammunition must be registered with the State Police, and each sale will require both a state background check and transmission of a record of the sale to State Police, so as to enable alerts of high volume purchases. Ammunition records will be purged within a year of submission. Dealers must report any loss of inventory. The legislation will also include a ban on direct internet sales of ammunition. Ammunition ordered over the internet must be delivered in a face-to-face transaction with a firearms dealer and the purchaser will be subject to the state background check. The Aurora shooter reportedly amassed 6000 rounds through direct online purchases.

Statewide recertification of handguns and assault weapons: The legislation will require individuals who have a handgun license or have registered an assault weapon in New York State to recertify every five years through their county of residence. With this more accurate information, the state will establish an electronic gun permit database that may be run against other databases containing the names of people who will be disqualified from possessing firearms, including those with criminal convictions, involuntary commitments, and those subject to orders of protection, as well as death records.

Universal Background Checks – closing the private sales loophole: The legislation will require all gun transfers between private parties, except immediate family, to be conducted through a federal firearms licensee, subject to a subject to a federal National Instant Criminal Background Check.

Webster Provision: Under the legislation, murder of a first responder who is engaged in his or her duties will become a Class A-1 felony, with a mandatory penalty of life in prison without parole. This provision was created to honor the memory of Lt. Mike Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka who were victims of a fatal shooting in Webster, New York, on December 24, 2012.

Extending and Strengthening Kendra’s Law: Kendra’s law will be extended for two years – through 2017 – and the period of mandatory outpatient treatment will be extended from 6 months to one year. In addition a review will be required before a mentally ill inmate is released.

Protecting Families: When a judge issues an order of protection and finds a substantial risk that the individual subjected to the order will use a gun against the person protected by the order, the judge is required to the surrender of the weapon.

Safe Storage: To better ensure that guns are kept inaccessible to those who are barred from possessing them, the legislation requires safe storage of firearms in households where individuals live who have been convicted of a crime, involuntarily committed, or are subject to an order of protection. Existing state law already requires that all guns sold at retail in the state be sold with a gun lock.

Keeps Guns Out of Schools: Under the legislation, the penalty for possession of a firearm on school grounds or a school bus will be increased from a misdemeanor to a Class E Felony. The state’s SAVE Act (Safe Schools Against Violence in Education) requires school districts to develop school safety plans including evacuation, dismissal, community response, and alerting family, law enforcement and other schools in the area in the event of a violent incident or other emergency. The legislation will allow school districts to submit their school safety plans to a newly created New York State School Safety Improvement Team, consisting of representatives from state agencies with relevant expertise (e.g. DHSES, State Police, DCJS), which will review plans and assist localities in developing plans. Some designated safety system improvements will be eligible for enhanced re-imbursement under the state’s School Building Aid formula. New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, Yonkers and Syracuse will be exempted.

Tougher penalties for illegal gun use: The legislation establishes tougher penalties for those who use illegal guns as well as measures to help combat gang violence. Tougher penalties under the legislation include:

  • Possession of an unloaded gun will be raised from a misdemeanor to a Class E felony.
  • Recklessly injuring a child by a firearm will become a Class D felony.
  • The purchase of a gun for someone the buyer knows to be disqualified because of a conviction of a crime, an involuntary commitment or other disqualifier, will be raised to a Class D felony from a misdemeanor. This also raised to a class D felony the sale or transfer of a firearm to an individual known to be prohibited from possessing a gun.
  • Tougher penalties to permit more effective gang prosecutions, allowing a prosecutor to ask for 25 to life (previously was just 15 years) for an entire group when a gang is involved in murder.
  • Using or carrying a firearm during drug trafficking or a violent felony will include a 5 year mandatory minimum sentence if the gun is loaded and a 3½ year mandatory minimum if unloaded. (The Court could impose a lower sentence in drug trafficking cases depending on mitigating factors).
  • Sharing a gun with an individual who is not authorized to possess a gun and commits a crime will constitute criminal facilitation.
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Ross Campbell

Good place to send the refuges.


The recent tragedy in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, has reignited the debate over the most effective means to deter gun violence. As the President Obama and Congress begin to tackle the controversial issue of gun control, they will undoubtedly look to the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Second Amendment. It states, in relevant part: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” The Supreme Court ruled on Monday, June 28, 2010 in a challenge to Chicago's gun-control law, that Americans in… Read more »

Todd Paris

NY gun owners! Time to move. Come South, the former Confederate States are still free and we have very little snow. Our property values are lower. You can probably sell your real property there, buy the equivalent and still have some left over to invest in blue-chip stocks that pay dividends.

pete k

Now there saying will make a exemption for law enforcement, my thought is these people are trained so they should be expert shots so low capacity clips should be evenly applied and no problem for them. How is it a person that doesn't practice and only uses it for protection should be denied additional rounds in a clip.


if worst comes to worst, HEAD TO ALASKA!!!

Silas Longshot

And this insanity, like all other draconian gun laws will do NOTHING to deter any criminal activity, and in fact probably will drive up the criminal activity because the law abiding citizens are hobbled with this sxit.

Steve Bishop

So Rich, I thought any good gun-owner could change a magazine in seconds, thus any restriction on magazine size is pointless. Yet you say they will now be in danger because they can't get off enough rounds in short order? Which is it?

Tony Cisneros

I Am SO ASHAMED That My Distant 3rd-Uncle, Former HUD-Secretary, Henry Cisneros, Appointed Andrew Cuomo To Succeed Him @ HUD; When He Resigned As Housing & Urban Development Secretary In The Mid-1990s !


Truthfully, Honestly & Sincerely Yours,

Tony Cisneros

2011 Candidate For City Treasurer,

City Of Chicago,

State Of Illinois,

United States Of America.

Michael E Wagner

I do belive this law will not effect mass murders of an kind, it will put on the street all types of banned firearms. The fact is that most of rifles are bought from private owers and not be traced to them. So a ban fire arm will bring 3xs as must as it was worth 3 days ago. Hi cap mags are selling in this state at 10xs there price a while back. The state never enforced the 94 fire arm law. So how are they going to be able to enforce this one? Why will I become a… Read more »

Concerned Citizen

F Cuomo, He's a socialist piece of [email protected]*. I hope he gets aids or hit by lightning or something


I hate this state so much. I'm 13 right now. I can't wait untill I'm 18 so I can get the hell out of this gun owners hell hole. Imay not own any guns myself but my dad owns a few and we shoot often. As a pro gun person, I want to leave this state at the speed of light headed west. Maybe ill go to pa, pick up an ar15 first thing when I get there.

john lock

really allof this is a joke. making it harder for people who actually follow the lwas is not the way mabey we should just kill all mental people becuase they r the trouble no thats not it either nothing will help except borrowing money from china hahah ok this country is screwed

Tory II, Illinois

Most of the provisions are unConstitutional. Yes, a NY federal Judge ruled they were not, but an appeal may be in the works.

vito labella

Incorrect statement"Existing ten round magazines can be grandfathered in, but may only be loaded with 7 rounds", this is not correct. In the signed law, which I read in it's entirety, these magazines must be sold out of state in one year. Also there is not one line in this law that protects our schools. This was a 100% gun grabber bill.


The new laws will kill many residents that try to defend themselves and run out of ammo at 7 rds. Send the lawsuits to the Governor. Of course his bodyguards have sun machine guns. He has assured himself a loss at a Presidential run. That speech shows he needs to be committed to a mental hospital. He is a rageing meniac.


If I were in the management of Remington Arms in Illion, NY, I would take the comoany and move to Pa, Oh, Tx, Wy, or just about any gun friendly state. Their whole tax, spend, and no freedom states will collapse sooner or later.


Unfortunately NYS has never been gun friendly. Cuomo looked like a rabid hound signing this legislation. You vote NYC politicians to NYS you get NYC gun laws.

The 10 round to 7 round limit is asinine IMO.

When the oil furnance blew-up Dad packed us up and off to Florida we went.


Using or carrying a firearm during drug trafficking or a violent felony will include a 5 year mandatory minimum sentence if the gun is loaded and a 3½ year mandatory minimum if unloaded. (The Court could impose a lower sentence in drug trafficking cases depending on mitigating factors).

Are you kidding me …?! All this harassment of legal gun owners while armed drug traffickers and violent felons are only looking at a 3.5 to 5 year enhancement.

Cuomo is a joke.

Folks, vote with your feet. Leave NY and the let the apple rot from within.


I guess their"Keeps Guns Out of Schools" will involve more signs because more signs keep crazy people from shooting up Schools. Plus the Class E Felony charge means nothing considering they always commit suicide.

Brian H

Cuomo is Insane,Punishing law Abiding Citizens for Criminal Acts,They're argument is that it will b harder for criminals to get guns,NY is Real hard already,Criminals don't follow Laws,He needs to B Tried for Treason Along w Bloomberg n Obama


Frightening. Megacities influence should be limited to city limits. Way too much BS gets passed in WA because of Seattle.

Bryan Larrimer

Lou leave NY and move to TEXAS ! thats what my NY family did 41 years ago . I'm 39 , and every time I go to NY I come back saying why did I go ?

Said to see this a July of 1788 a beginning state that was a state to be among the first few US states take away freedoms

Lou Sawyer

Rochester NY is where i reside, Im 18 and loved guns my whole life and Im going to school to be a gunsmith&weapons designer. Im still in shock to be honest.

Eric Blair

Alas a victory for the gun grabbers. I feel for the patriots in NY.

Bill Baker

I feel sorry for the more rural folk in upstate New York who now get screwed by the liberals in the city. Not really a shock that Illinois, New York, New Jersey or California aren't gun friendly.