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Open Carry in New York State

July 20, 2016

Openly carrying a firearm is illegal everywhere in New York City for civilians. Outside the city, open carry is allowed only while hunting or on a shooting range. Concealed carry permit holders must keep their weapons concealed. New York has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country, and New York City generally follows state law.

Handguns versus Long Guns:

New York City laws, consistent with the rest of the state and most of the country, makes a distinction between handguns and rifles and shotguns. Under New York law a handgun is any firearm that is readily concealable. New York Penal Law § 400.00(7) and (2) define the conditions placed on carrying a handgun. Under no circumstances is it legal to openly carry a handgun in the city. Unlike some parts of the states, it is also illegal to carry a rifle or shotgun in public, unless it is an antique. New York City does not allow concealed carry permit holders to openly carry their handguns in the city limits.

New York State allows open carry of unloaded antique firearms, specified as a muzzle loading pistol or rifle. Percussion cap revolvers and flintlock pistols may also be carried unloaded in public. Walking around New York City with a musket would be strange, but would theoretically be legal, as would carrying a cap-and-ball revolver in a holster. However, there are places where even that form of open carry is not going to fly.

Prohibited Areas:

Carrying a gun, concealed or not, is prohibited in the obvious areas like federal buildings and schools. Open carry is not generally permitted anywhere in the City. Unlike many states and localities,

New York is one of few states and the District of Columbia where open carry is not allowed at all. The other states to allow open carry are California, Illinois, and South Carolina. Texas banned open carry until a new law went into effect in January of 2016.

Carrying in Vehicles:

Open carry in a vehicle is legal, but only for concealed carry permit holders, so only for handguns that are specifically named in the owner’s license. If you own a handgun that is not covered by a concealed carry permit, this gun cannot be openly carried inside a vehicle. Openly transporting loaded rifles and shotguns will vary in legality, but is not allowed in New York City.

Legislative Action:

Cities and states constantly consider new gun laws and modifications to existing laws. New York City is no exception, but as of July 2013, there is nothing before New York City officials that would modify the City’s strict open carry laws. A Web search failed to find any ballot initiatives or proposed legislation that would change the city’s open carry rules.

New York City regulations forbid the open carrying of handguns and long guns under almost all circumstances. The only exception of any value to the modern firearms owner is the right for a handgun permit holder to openly transport the permiited handgun in their vehicle. There are appears to be no legislative activity at the state or local level that would loosen New York open carry laws.



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