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NY SAFE Act - Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act


The Peace Officer Training Academy does not take any official position regarding the NY SAFE Act. The information presented here and throughout this website is provided for the convenience of our visitors, who should become informed and make their own decisions.

The New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013, commonly known as the NY SAFE Act, is a gun control law in the state of New York. The law was passed by the New York State Senate on Monday, January 14, 2013, and by the State Assembly on Tuesday, January 15, 2013. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law half an hour after it passed the legislature. Cuomo described the law as the "toughest" gun control law in the United States. The NY SAFE Act contains a number of firearms regulations, and a severability provision, in case the broad prohibitions against weapons are invalidated by the courts. To view the full text, click here.


The SAFE Act includes the following provisions:

  1. Bans possession of any "high-capacity magazines" regardless of when they were made or sold. The maximum capacity for all magazines is 10 rounds. .22 caliber tubular magazines are exempt from this limit. Previously legal "pre-1994-ban" magazines with a capacity of 30 rounds are not exempt, and must be sold within one year to an out-of-state resident or turned in to local authorities. The magazine limit took effect April 15, 2013. Originally the law allowed only seven rounds to be loaded into a magazine, but this provision was struck down by a federal judge on December 21, 2013. To view the full text, click here.

  2. Ammunition dealers are required to do background checks, similar to those for gun buyers. Dealers are required to report all sales, including amounts, to the state. Internet sales of ammunition are allowed, but the ammunition will have to be shipped to a licensed dealer in New York state for pickup. Ammunition background checks were scheduled to begin January 15, 2014, but were put on hold indefinitely because the required "seamless" technology that would not inconvenience vendors or customers could not be put in place. The superintendent of state police, charged with creating such technology, is working on development, but a release date is still unknown. So while out-of-state vendors are required to ship ammunition to a NYS licensed dealer, the buyer can still pick it up with no check of any kind required, or walk into any registered ammunition dealer (now required under the act to sell ammunition) and buy ammunition providing he/she is over 18.

  3. Requires creation of a registry of assault weapons. Those New Yorkers who already own such weapons would be required to register their guns with the state. Registration began on April 15, 2013 and must be completed before April 15, 2014.

  4. Requires designated mental health professionals who believe a mental health patient made a credible threat of harming others to report the threat to a mental health director, who would then have to report serious threats to the state Department of Criminal Justice Services. A patient's gun could be taken from him or her.

  5. Stolen guns are required to be reported within 24 hours. Failure to report can result in a misdemeanor.

  6. Broadens definition of "assault weapon" from two identified features to one. The sale and/or transfer of newly defined assault weapons is banned within the state, although sales out of state are permitted. Possession of the newly defined assault weapons is allowed only if they were possessed at the time that the law was passed, and must be registered with the state within one year.

  7. Requires background checks for all gun sales, including by private sellers - except for sales to members of the seller's immediate family. Private sale background checks began March 15, 2013.

  8. Guns must be "safely stored" from any household member who has been convicted of a felony or domestic violence crime, has been involuntarily committed, or is currently under an order of protection. Unsafe storage of assault weapons is a misdemeanor.

  9. Bans the Internet sale of assault weapons.

  10. Increases sentences for gun crimes, including upgrading the offense for taking a gun on school property from a misdemeanor to a felony.

  11. Increases penalties for shooting first responders (Webster provision) to life in prison without parole.

  12. Limits the state records law to protect handgun owners from being identified publicly. However, existing permit holders have to opt into this provision by filing a form within 120 days of the law's enactment. There also may exist issues with respect to "registered" owners in the new regulations vs "permit" holders under previous law.

  13. Requires pistol permit holders or owners of registered assault weapons to have them renewed at least every five years.

    • The New York State Police have now provided the website link for information on the NYS Pistol Permit Recertification program, in compliance with the S.A.F.E. Act. Please visit their website and read the information carefully.

  14. Allows law enforcement officials to pre-emptively seize one's firearms without a warrant or court order when there is probable cause the individual is mentally unstable or intends to use the weapons to commit a crime.