New York State Police

Firearms Dealers FAQs

Q - May firearms dealers purchase handguns from individuals who possess them unlawfully, such as war souvenirs, heirlooms, etc.?

Yes, provided that certain steps are taken.

Penal Law section 265.20 provides for the surrender of unlawfully possessed firearms, without fear of prosecution, under certain circumstances. If an individual innocently finds him or herself in possession of a handgun, this law provides amnesty from prosecution if the weapons are voluntarily surrendered to a law enforcement agency.

Once the handgun has been surrendered, the receiving agency must investigate whether the weapon is a nuisance property and must be destroyed. If this is not the case, then the weapon may either be possessed by the person who surrendered it (if properly licensed) or he/she may arrange for the sale of the weapon to a licensed firearms dealer.

Q - Is it lawful for firearm dealers and gunsmiths to transport the weapons they purchase, sell or repair off premises?

Both of these types of licenses are Premises Licenses and do not authorize the possession of handguns anywhere outside of the licensed premises.

Q - How may a gun dealer, when moving to a new location, transfer his dealer's license to the new location?

A dealer's license is a Premises License and, as such, is not transferable from one location to another. In the event of a move, a dealer must apply for a license for the new location prior to conducting business there.

Q - How is it lawful for gun dealers in New York to attend gun shows for the purposes of displaying and selling guns and ammunition?

The Penal Law provides an exemption for gun dealers to participate in gun shows, provided that it is temporary and at an organized, formal gun show. Sales involving rifles, shotguns and ammunition are generally not regulated by state law. The sale of ammunition designed exclusively for use in handguns, to individuals who do not possess a pistol permit, is prohibited.