By requiring background checks for private sales, New York State ensures that guns are only sold to individuals legally permitted to have them. By conducting those background checks, dealers can play a vital role in protecting the public by making sure guns don't fall into the wrong hands.

Private Sales

How does the New York State law affect private sales or transfers of firearms?

A background check of a buyer or transferee of a firearm must be performed by a federal firearms licensee (“FFL”) before a firearm is sold or transferred by a private individual, unless the transfer is between immediate family members.

What family members are exempt from the private sale/transfer provision?

Sales or transfers to and between spouses, domestic partners, children and step-children are exempt from the private sale/transfer provision.

How do I complete a private sale or transfer?

Federal law and guidelines govern the process that FFLs must follow if they choose to conduct a background check for a private sale. A printable version of that guidance can be found below.

Firearms Commerce Guidance

Am I required to perform a background check for a private sale or transfer?

No. You are under no legal obligation to facilitate a private sale or transfer.

Is there a cap on what I may charge to facilitate the private sale or transfer?

You may charge up to $10 to facilitate the sale or transfer.

What if I have questions about the process?

Contact the NYS Police at 1-855-LAW-GUNS.

Assault Weapons and Magazines

I have guns in my inventory that are now defined as assault weapons and magazines that can contain more than ten rounds. What can I do with them?

If you are licensed as a dealer under New York law you may continue to possess these weapons and magazines. You can also transfer them to another dealer or sell them out of state or to law enforcement. You can also permanently modify these guns and magazines and sell them in state.

I am a dealer that sells guns to law enforcement that are now classified as assault weapons; can I continue doing this under the law?

Yes, provided you are licensed as a dealer under New York law. Nothing in this law changes the ability of dealers to sell to law enforcement or to transfer weapons to other dealers or out of state.

Federal Firearms Licensees

I am a Federally licensed firearms dealer, but I do not have a New York State dealer’s license or gunsmith’s license. Am I exempt from the assault weapon and high capacity magazine provisions in New York State law?

The exceptions apply only to those individuals or entities that are licensed as dealers or gunsmiths pursuant to section 400.00 of the Penal law. A Federally licensed firearms dealer that does is not licensed under New York law may take possession of an assault weapon or high capacity magazine in order to conduct a NICS check or to facilitate an out of state transfer.