Firearms dealers in New York are required to transfer a locking device with each firearm, and include a warning label (either affixed to the firearm or placed in the container in which the firearm is transferred).1 The warning must state: “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.”2 In addition, dealers are required to post, in the place where firearms are displayed or transferred to the purchaser, a notice conspicuously stating in bold print the warning quoted above.3
The term “gun locking device” is defined by New York law as:
[A]n integrated design feature or an attachable accessory that is resistant to tampering and is effective in preventing the discharge of such rifle, shotgun or [other] firearm by a person who does not have access to the key, combination or other mechanism used to disengage the device.4
The Division of State Police must develop and promulgate regulations setting forth the specific devices or minimum standards and criteria which constitute an effective gun locking device.5 These regulations can be found at the New York State Police web site.6
New York law requires locking a gun in a safe storage depository, defined as a container that is incapable of being unlocked without a key or combination lock, or use of a trigger lock when not carried or under the immediate possession or control of the owner if the owner lives with someone who the owner knows is prohibited from possessing a firearm because the individual:
- Has been convicted of a felony;
- Has been adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution;
- Is subject to a protective order; or
- Has been convicted of an enumerated serious misdemeanor crime of domestic violence or completed his or her sentence for an enumerated serious misdemeanor crime of domestic violence within the prior 5 years.
A violation of this law is punishable as a misdemeanor.7
See our Safe Storage policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.