A New York Firearm Bill of Sale is a document proving gun ownership transfer in New York.
This form includes all the details of a firearm sale and ownership transfer, including the seller’s and buyer’s name and signature and information about the gun transferred.
New York does not require a specific bill of sale or transfer form.
But New York laws on possessing firearms — including long guns and handguns — have recently changed so you must know what documents the state requires for possession.
As an example, keep in mind that New York has no specific waiting period to purchase a gun, but you must have a license to possess or carry a firearm.
The State claims that license processing should take at least four months.
How to Sell a Firearm Privately
New York has some of the most stringent requirements in the country for sales of firearms, which the state defines as handguns (pistol or receiver), shotguns having one or more barrels less than 18 inches in length, rifles having one or more barrels less than 16 inches in length, assault weapons and any other weapon designed to hold or integrate any fire control component (N.Y. Penal Law § 265.00(3)).
Private individuals may not sell firearms in New York without conducting a background check of the purchaser.
A licensed firearms dealer must carry out the background check before any exchange, sale, or transfer, and the background check report must be provided to the state.
An exception is made for transfers between immediate family members, defined as spouses, domestic partners, children, and step-children (N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law § 898).
Note that New York City has its unique requirements for buying, selling, and possessing firearms.
New York does not specifically require a bill of sale for firearms transactions.
However, because only a licensed firearm dealer may sell or transfer firearms and a record of the NICS background check must be provided to the state police, individuals selling a gun should have a bill of sale to document the transaction.
New York prohibits individuals from owning long guns (certain rifles and shotguns) if a doctor has restricted them at a psychiatric facility or have been convicted of a felony or “serious offense” in New York or any other state (N.Y. Penal Law §§ 265.00(17), 265.01).
New York also requires the following from anyone applying for a firearm license under N.Y. Penal Law § 400.00(1):
- At least 21 years of age
- Of good moral character
- Never convicted of a felony or “serious offense.”
- Not a fugitive from justice
- Not an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance
- Legally residing within the United States
- Not dishonorably discharged from the US Armed Forces
- Never involuntarily committed to a facility under the New York Department of Mental Hygiene or civilly confined to a secure treatment facility
- Never had a license revoked
- Not under a domestic violence restraining order
Some counties like Westchester require a firearms safety training course and test. Applicants should check with their local county’s requirements.
Firearm Inheritance Laws
New York’s laws on firearm inheritance vary by county. In general, firearms may only be passed directly to immediate family members, as defined above.
If the firearm is to be inherited by anyone outside that group, the executor must consult an attorney in the county to determine how to proceed.
In most cases, the estate executor has a prescribed period to notify the county sheriff of the firearm inventory and request a NICS background check for the beneficiary named in the will or trust.
If you wish to transfer a firearm by gift or bequest to a non-family member, discuss the matter with your attorney to ensure you meet all the requirements.
Firearms classified as “assault weapons” must be registered with the state. An “assault weapon” is defined more precisely in N.Y. Penal Law § 265.00(22).
There are exemptions for firearms that meet specific federal guidelines regarding “legacy weapons” and firearms purchased after 2013.
Anyone wishing to possess a firearm in New York must have a license issued by the licensing authority in the county or city where the applicant lives or primarily works per NY Penal L § 400.00(16-a).
The license includes the firearm’s make, model, manufacturer, caliber, and serial number and whether the permit is for carry or protection inside a residence.
New York requires all licensed firearms dealers (not including those who only sell long guns) to keep records of all firearms transactions.
These records must include the following:
- The date
- The purchaser’s name, age, occupation, and residence
- A description of the weapon, including the caliber, make, model, manufacturer’s name, and serial number
The purchaser must also present a valid firearms license to possess or carry upon purchase.
The record must be transmitted to the New York State Police within ten days of the transaction date.
Concealed Carry Permit
New York prohibits a loaded firearm, including concealed carry, from being possessed outside a person’s home or business without a license.
New York doesn’t prohibit the open carry of long guns in public.
Loaded firearms may not be openly carried in any public location outside the person’s home or business (N.Y. Penal Law § 265.03). New York does not issue licenses for open carry.
New York is a “shall-issue” state. This means the state will issue a concealed carry license to anyone meeting the basic requirements.
The requirements for a concealed carry license are the same as for a firearms license. The Supreme Court struck down New York’s “proper cause” requirement in 2022 (N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen, 142 S. Ct. 2111, 2124 (2022)).
New York City and the five boroughs have different firearms licensing requirements. 
Individuals with a concealed carry license from New York State are advised to check with law enforcement before attempting to take their gun into the city.
The NYPD must verify your carry license, which may take time.
How to Apply
Firearm license application forms are located on the New York State website.
Step 1 – Fill Out Application
Step 2 – Get Photographed
Attach a photograph taken within 30 days of applying.
Step 3 – Show Cause
Attach proof of a legally recognized reason for your need or want to carry a firearm.
Step 4 – Turn in Application
Submit your application to the county where you live or are employed.
Step 5 – Wait for Approval or Denial
The issuing authority will approve or deny your application within six months of submission.
New York does not honor any other state’s concealed carry licenses.
New York Firearm Bill of Sale Sample
Below is an example of a New York firearm bill of sale.