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Child Access Prevention & Safe Storage

New York has no law that imposes a penalty on someone who fails to secure an unattended firearm and leaves it accessible to an unsupervised minor.

New York has a safe storage law. 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 is under sixteen years of age;1
  • knows or has reason to know that a person under sixteen years of age is likely to gain access to the gun;2 or
  • knows or has reason to know that a person the owner lives with is prohibited from possessing a gun because of an extreme risk protection order or other protective order, a felony conviction, a mental health adjudication or commitment, or a conviction for a serious misdemeanor.3

A violation of this law is punishable as a misdemeanor where the person lives with the individual who is under the age of sixteen or is prohibited from possessing a firearm, and as a violation where the person knows or has reason to know that a person under the age of sixteen is likely to gain access.4

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).5 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.”6 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.7

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.8 These regulations can be found at the New York State Police website.9

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  1. New York Penal Law § 265.45.[]
  2. Id.[]
  3. Id..[]
  4. New York Penal Law §§ 265.45, 265.50.[]
  5. New York Gen. Bus. Law § 396-ee(1).[]
  6. New York Gen. Bus. Law § 396-ee(2).[]
  7. New York Gen. Bus. Law § 396-ee(2).[]
  8. New York Gen. Bus. Law § 396-ee(1).[]
  9. See also N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 9, § 471.1 et seq.[]