Skip to Main Content
Last updated .

New York law prohibits anyone under age 21 from obtaining a license to possess or carry a handgun1 or purchase or possess semiautomatic rifles.2

Persons under the age of 16 generally may not possess any firearms or ammunition in New York.3

New York penalizes transferring a firearm to a person who is or reasonably appears to be less than nineteen years of age if the seller is not legally authorized to possess a firearm.4

 Federal age restrictions  impose stricter limits.


Our experts can speak to the full spectrum of gun violence prevention issues. Have a question? Email us at

  1. N.Y. Penal Law § 400.00(1)(a).[]
  2. Id. at (1)(a), (2); 265.65.[]
  3. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.05. This law does not apply to the possession of a rifle or shotgun (or the appropriate ammunition) by the holder of a hunting license or permit used in accordance with state law. Id. In addition, persons between the ages of 12 and 15 may use and possess firearms (not including assault weapons) at a shooting range if under the “immediate supervision, guidance and instruction” of a military officer, certified instructor, parent, guardian, or otherwise qualified person as provided by statute. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.20(a)(7), (16).[]
  4. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.16.[]