In New York, the Superintendent of State Police (Superintendent) is authorized to issue rules and regulations reasonably necessary to prevent the manufacture and assembly of unsafe handguns, short-barreled shotguns or rifles, and assault weapons.1 Pursuant to regulations promulgated by the Superintendent, a person who is engaged in the business of manufacturing or assembling handguns must obtain a certificate of compliance for each specific handgun model he or she wishes to manufacture or assemble in New York.2 Certificates of compliance are granted subject to a prototype of the handgun passing a series of tests. If the handgun does not perform satisfactorily during the tests, the certificate will be revoked or suspended to allow the manufacturer to remedy the deficiency.3 The prototype must meet requirements based on materials and parts, and safe functioning.4
Material and parts requirements include:
• Basic structural component specifications including melting point and tensile strength; • An absence of cracks, bulges or splits in or on the barrel, chambers of the cylinder, slide, cylinder-frame and/or receiver after firing; • The existence of safety devices to prevent firing; • A specified amount of space between the barrel and cylinder in a revolver after firing; and • A specified chamber diameter.5
Safe functioning tests include:
• A proof test which includes visual examination of a cartridge after firing to ensure there are no splits or other defects; • An endurance test consisting of firing 1,000 rounds of ammunition and a test of the safety device after all firing is completed; and • A drop test, performed a total of five times after the endurance test is complete, to determine whether the safety device will withstand the impact of a weight equal to that of a firearm dropping from a distance of 36 inches.6
In addition, members of the state police must be permitted on any business day, during business hours, to inspect a manufacturer’s premises and records pertaining to the firearms manufactured or assembled within the premises.7 The purpose of such inspections is to ensure that the manufacture and assembly of firearms are being conducted in accordance with the certificate of compliance.8
See our Design Safety Standards policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
- N.Y. Penal Law § 400.00(12-a).
- N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 9, § 482.2.
- See N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 9, § 482.3.
- N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 9, §§ 482.5 and 482.6.
- N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 9, § 482.5.
- N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 9, § 482.6.
- N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 9, § 482.4.