The state of New York has laws governing the use of black powder when it is intended for use in antique firearms or replicas of these guns. The laws specify how black powder must be transported and stored, and include provisions for its sporting uses. New York City's black-powder laws are slightly different than state laws, so if you're planning to transport or possess a black-powder weapon in the city, consult the city first.
Transporting Black Powder
Black powder must be transported in quantities of 5 pounds or less. Vehicles carrying black powder and no other form of explosives must display special markings on both sides of the vehicle, or the front and back. According to the New York State Department of Labor's website, the signs or decals must be at least 6 inches in diameter and have a yellow background displaying "LOW-EX" in black letters standing 1 1/4 inches tall.
Five pounds of black powder can be carried by a trailer attached to another vehicle carrying no other explosives. The placard rules apply, but the signs must be placed on the trailer.
Vehicles carrying 5 pounds or less of black powder and no other explosives can only be parked on public streets near buildings or places where people gather if someone stays with the vehicle to guard the explosive.
If you have passengers in your vehicle when transporting black powder, the explosive must be carried in the trunk or a separate compartment, with no other explosives present in the vehicle. Smoking, if otherwise legal, is allowed when transporting black powder under the conditions described above.
Unloaded firearms are allowed in a vehicle transporting black powder, but the firearms must be kept separate from the explosive, fastened to the vehicle or securely locked in a traveling case.
Uses For Sport
Firearms may not be discharged "at, against or within 100 feet of a black powder storage box," according to the state law.
Minors ages 14 to 17 can use black powder firearms for sport if they have a state hunting license and are directly supervised by a parent, guardian or qualified person adult who has written consent from the minor's parent or guardian.
Registration Of Black Powder Weapons
Muzzle-loading weapons are generally are considered antique weapons by the state of New York. Pistols and revolvers can be considered antiques if they use "fixed cartridges" no longer commercially available, according to the New York State Police website. These weapons don't have to be registered on the owner's pistol permit if he never intends to fire them.
However, they must be registered on his pistol permit if he plans to use the weapons, carries them loaded or has both the weapons and the parts needed to make them fire in his possession at once, according to the New York State Police.
- antique pistol image by Yuri Tuchkov from Fotolia.com