New York State Gunsmith Laws

By Ana Purna
Gunsmiths in New York follow laws related to permitting and business operations.

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In the New York State Penal Code, a gunsmith is defined as “any person, firm, partnership, corporation or company who engages in the business of repairing, altering, assembling, manufacturing, cleaning, polishing, engraving or trueing, or who performs any mechanical operation” on firearms. The New York State Police has a special bureau for handgun commerce. This group regulates and monitors handgun sales, permits, transaction records and other commerce related to firearms. The laws that they enforce affect gunsmiths in several ways, including packaging and operations.

Federal License

Gunsmiths working in New York must adhere to the federal requirements established by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Anyone who repairs, engraves, or otherwise works directly with firearms in exchange for compensation is considered a “dealer” and must be licensed as such. Firearms left overnight for repairs with a gunsmith must be logged in a permanent “bound book.” In some instances, repairs must be reported to the agency using ATF Form 5.

Gun Locks

Any gun sold or purchased in New York must be accompanied by an approved gun locking device and a label describing safe gun storage. Any gunsmith business or shop that sells firearms is required to post a sign regarding gun safety and locking where the firearms are displayed. The text, in bold print, must read: “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.”

Delivering Firearms

Anyone who sells or delivers a firearm to another person in New York has to pack the gun in a sealed container. You must include in that container a separate sealed container with several items inside, including the shell casing of a round discharged from the gun and any additional printed information that identifies the gun. This container must be forwarded to the division of state police within 10 days of the transaction.

About the Author

Ana Purna has covered outdoor adventure, travel, health and fitness for a variety of publications since 2003. Her work has appeared on the websites FeministReview and PaperDolls. Purna is a writer and radio producer in Texas who graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Arts in history.

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