New York State Police

Gun Locking Devices: FAQs

Q.  Do all guns sold in New York State after November 1, 2000 have to be delivered with a gun locking device?

Yes, all handguns, shotguns and rifles have to be sold with a gun locking devices after November 1, 2000.

Q.    Does this only apply to new guns, or to used guns as well?

The law applies to all retail sales, whether the guns are new or used.

Q.    Does this apply to dealer-to-dealer transfers?

No, it applies to the retail sale of guns to consumers, not to other dealers.

Q.    Does this apply to muzzle-loaders?

No, the law does not apply to antique firearms.

Q.  What types of gun locking devices are acceptable?

There are several types of gun locking devices that are acceptable, such as cable locks and trigger locks. However, they must all meet the following criteria:

Q.  Is there an approved gun locking device list?

No, all gun locking device that meet the above criteria are consider approved.

Q.  Is a gun locking device provided with the gun by the manufacturer considered an approved gun locking device?

Only if the gun locking device provide by the manufacturer meets the above criteria.

Q.    Does a locking gun case qualify as a gun locking device?

No, the law defines a gun locking device as "an integrated design feature or an attachable accessory..." A gun case does not fit that definition.

Q.    Can the customer bring in a gun lock that he currently owns and use that instead?

No, the law specifically requires the retail dealer to provide the lock with every gun sold "at the time of sale, delivery or transfer." A lock provided by the purchaser does not release a dealer of their obligation to provide one under the law.

Q.  Does the gun locking device have to be secured to the gun at the time of purchase?

No, gun dealers are only required to provide a gun locking device with a gun at the time of purchase. There is no requirement in the law that states the gun locking device has to be secured to the gun at the time of purchase.

Q.  Is a gun owner required to secure the gun locking device to the weapon at any time?

New York State Law does not require a gun owner to secure the gun locking device to a gun. However, it is highly recommended that a gun locking device be applied to any gun when it is stored or left unattended.

Note:Gun owners should also check with local authorities to determine if local ordinances or regulations require otherwise. For example, New York City Administrative Code Section 10-312, states that it is a criminal violation punishable by up to 10 days' imprisonment and/or a fine up to $250 for any owner or custodian of a weapon to store or otherwise leave the weapon in such a manner or under circumstances that it is out of his or her immediate possession or control, without having rendered such weapon inoperable by employing a safety locking device.

If the offender has previously been found guilty of this violation, or if the violation is committed under circumstances which create a substantial risk of physical injury to another person, the offense is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days imprisonment and/or a fine up to $1000.

Q.    Does a gunsmith have to provide a locking device when returning a gun to the owner after completing repairs or alterations?

No, the law pertains to gun sales. Returning a gun to the owner does not constitute a sale.

Q.  Are there any other requirements regarding gun locking devices?

Yes, every person, firm or corporation engaged in the retail business of selling rifles, shotguns or firearms must in the place where such rifles, shotguns or firearms are displayed or transferred to the purchaser, post a notice conspicuously stating in bold print that:

"The use of a locking device or safety lock is only one aspect of responsible firearm storage. For increased safety firearms should be stored unloaded and locked in a location that is both separate from their ammunition and inaccessible to children and any other unauthorized person."

In addition, this notice must appear on a label either affixed to such rifle, shotgun or firearm or placed in the container with it when it is sold, delivered or transferred.

Q.    Is the state going to supply these signs and labels?

No, but they can easily be made up on a personal computer or typewriter, or a local printer or sign maker can make them for you. There are no specifications on the size, but customers must be able to read them and they must be in bold print.