New York does not require a specific Firearm Bill of Sale or transfer form.
But New York laws on possessing firearms — including long guns and handguns — have recently changed.
- What Is a New York Firearm Bill of Sale?
- What Are The Requirements for Selling a Firearm in New York?
- Documents Needed to Complete a Firearm Bill of Sale in New York
- Additional New York Gun Laws
- Concealed and Open Carry Laws in New York
- New York Firearm Reciprocity
- How to Write a Firearm Bill of Sale in New York
- New York Firearm Bill of Sale Sample
What Is a New York Firearm Bill of Sale?
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.
What Are The Requirements for Selling a Firearm in New York?
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)).
Sellers are required to have a federal firearms license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) and a state license to engage in the business (N.Y. Penal Law §§ 265.00(9), 400.00(2)).
Gun dealers must utilize reasonable controls to prevent the unlawful use, sale, or transfer of weapons and ammunition in the State of New York. Firearms and ammunition must be secured during non-business hours.
Minors under 18 aren’t permitted on the property unless accompanied by a parent or guardian (N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law § 875-C).
Note that New York City has its requirements for buying, selling, and possessing firearms.
Private Parties Selling Firearms in New York
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).
Does the Law in New York Require a Firearm Bill of Sale?
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.
Firearm Inheritance Laws in New York
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.
Documents Needed to Complete a Firearm Bill of Sale in New York
Private sellers must carry out their transactions with a federal firearms licensee. Both parties need proof of New York residency, such as a New York state driver’s license, and the purchaser requires a New York firearms license.
A New York firearm bill of sale should include the buyer and seller’s name, address, contact information, and identifying information about the firearm.
Additional New York Gun Laws
Who Cannot Purchase a Firearm in New York?
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 U.S. 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.
Does New York Have a Waiting Period for Firearm Sales?
New York has no specific waiting period, but you must have a license to possess or carry a firearm.
The State claims that license processing should take at least four months.
Can You Buy a Gun in New York Without Registering It?
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.
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.
Does a Firearm Bill of Sale Have to Be Notarized in New York?
New York does not require a notary for a firearm bill of sale.
Is a Record of Firearms Sent to Police in New York?
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 and Open Carry Laws in New York
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 prohibits a loaded firearm, including concealed carry, from being possessed outside a person’s home or business without a license.
How to Apply to Carry a Firearm in New York
New York is a “shall-issue” state. This means the state will issue a 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.
Firearm license application forms are located on the New York State website.
New York Firearm Reciprocity
New York does not honor any other state’s concealed carry licenses. Twenty-six states recognize New York’s concealed carry licenses.
How to Write a Firearm Bill of Sale in New York
Private buyers and sellers must go through a federal firearms licensee and have a background check conducted on the buyer to complete a firearms transaction in New York.
Because of these steps, having a complete bill of sale will make the sale easier.
Step 1 – Fill In All Parties to the Sale
The bill of sale should state the identities of both parties, including their:
- Contact information (phone number and email)
Step 2 – Describe the Firearm(s) Being Sold
Include a detailed description of the firearm being sold.
The description should include the following firearm details:
- Serial number
- Make and model
- Accessories and customizations
- Present condition
Step 3 – Provide the Details of the Sale
Note the specifics of the transfer, including:
- The date of purchase
- The sale price
- A payment agreement (paid in full, down payment, installment payments)
- The date of transfer, if different than the date of purchase
- The NICS authorization code or number
Step 4 – Sign and Notarize the Bill of Sale
Finally, both parties should sign the bill of sale.
Notarization isn’t necessary, but the parties may include it for their protection.
Although New York State doesn’t require a bill of sale for firearm sales, completing one can help ensure that the sale goes smoothly and that you have all the important information about the firearm and the other party.
Use our online template to create a New York firearm bill of sale for your private transaction.
New York Firearm Bill of Sale Sample
Below is an example of a New York firearm bill of sale.