Legal Info

Keeping it Legal in NY

  • NYS law requires that people who possess a firearm (even temporarily) must pass a background check
    • An exception is if the firearm was transferred from an immediate family member (defined as spouse, domestic partner, child, stepchild).
  • NYS law also requires that people who possess a handgun must have a license for that particular gun.
  • Not every adult can legally hold onto a gun for someone else.
  • Under federal law, things that disqualify a person from legal possessing a firearm include:
    • A felony conviction
    • A domestic violence restraining order against you or a DV misdemeanor conviction
    • History of Involuntary commitment to a mental health or substance abuse treatment facility
    • Being found mentally incompetent by a court
    • Dishonorable discharge from US Armed Forces
  • NYS law adds some other offenses to the list, like a conviction for stalking, possessing burglars tools, and criminally possessing stolen goods.

What if Voluntary Steps Aren’t Working?

New York State’s ERPO law (Extreme Risk Protection Order) may help.

When your loved one or you are in extreme danger of being shot, you can ask a judge for an emergency order to have the guns taken away temporarily.

  • This is a last-ditch option in extreme cases.
  • Doing something against another person’s will is an extreme step that should rarely be resorted to.
  • But there are times when it may be called for. For example, your loved one is addicted to methamphetamines, having hallucinations, actively suicidal, and unwilling to get help.