U.S.A. Bill of Rights, 2nd Amendment: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
New York State Civil Rights Law, Article 2 §4: Right to keep and bear arms. A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms cannot be infringed.
These declarations, part of the foundation of the laws affecting residents of New York State, recognize that for the state to remain free and secure, the residents must be unquestionably permitted to carry arms suitable to that end. There is, unfortunately, much confusion and law regarding what and whether arms may be restricted – even to the point that mere possession of specific arms is punishable as a criminal act. Some arms are illegal to possess in certain locations or under certain conditions, while other arms are illegal to possess at all. Some arms seem wholly legal, yet are significantly obsolete for the purposes of providing for the security of a free state.
The goal of this project is to examine New York State law and determine a modern weapon that is wholly legal to own and carry within the state. Should such an item exist, we may be arguably assured that the right to keep and bear arms is not infringed – at least for one kind of militia-suitable arm. Should such an item not exist, then the right to keep and bear arms has unquestionably been infringed, with all the serious legal consequences that entails. It is my sincere hope, as a responsible, law-abiding, well trained in arms citizen, that such a weapon might be legally discovered, obtained, possessed and carried by an upstanding resident of this great state.
Within this project we make the elsewhere-debatable presumption that, where relevant to the issue, New York State law is wholly and properly consistent with itself, civil rights law, and the federal Constitution. We also make the debatable presumption that New York State may regulate or prohibit some arms, but not all, thus at least tacitly maintaining the premise that one still has the right to keep and bear arms. That such presumptions are in fact laughable shall be ignored, as many do in fact believe such points.
Before we begin, consider that even if such a weapon is wholly legal, one may still, under difficult circumstances, be arrested and compelled to justify the weapon to a judge. The job of the police is not to fully understand the law, but to arrest those who may be violating the law and bring the individual to a judge for legal analysis and final ruling.
Also ignored herein are the issues of particular tightly controlled small locations where possession of any weapon whatsoever is prohibited in the arguable interest that the nature of the location renders weapon possession there particularly dangerous. Courtrooms, airport “sterile” areas, and chemical factories come to mind. Such areas must take particular extreme measures to disarm occupants and at the same time must make particular extreme steps to ensure the occupants’ safety. (A discussion of the legality of disarming occupants of such unique places is not suitable for here. We will assume that it is reasonable, even though it is not.)
The focus of this project shall primarily be upon guns, as they are the most powerful and portable personal weapons. Clubs, knives, tanks, and other weapons may or may not be legal, but lack either power or portability that is not suitable for the modern close quarters combat that a state resident may be faced with.
One is herein presumed to have no criminal record or intent.
The question at hand, then, is: what gun may a resident of New York
State keep and bear throughout the state without violating laws or regulations?
By what tools may one exercise his state-recognized natural right to possess
Does one have the right to possess a firearm in New York State?
The word “firearm” has a specific meaning in NY law:
NY Penal Law § 265.00 Definitions.As used in this article and in article four hundred, the following terms shall mean and include:...3. "Firearm" means (a) any pistol or revolver; or (b) a shotgun having one or more barrels less than eighteen inches in length; or (c) a rifle having one or more barrels less than sixteen inches in length; or (d) any weapon made from a shotgun or rifle whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise if such weapon as altered, modified, or otherwise has an overall length of less than twenty-six inches. For the purpose of this subdivision the length of the barrel on a shotgun or rifle shall be determined by measuring the distance between the muzzle and the face of the bolt, breech, or breechlock when closed and when the shotgun or rifle is cocked; the overall length of a weapon made from a shotgun or rifle is the distance between the extreme ends of the weapon measured along a line parallel to the center line of the bore. Firearm does not include an antique firearm.
According to this definition, the term “firearm” is not used in a way generally understood by most people.
Now knowing what a “firearm” legally is, we determine whether possession
of one is legal:
NY Penal Law § 265.02 Criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree.A person is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree when:...(4) He possesses any loaded firearm.
Various exemptions are provided elsewhere in the NYS Penal Law, but these exemptions are not useful in our goal. An unloaded firearm is simply not useful. A loaded firearm may be legally possessed at home or work, but not elsewhere or even while travelling from one to the other. A loaded firearm may be possessed if one obtains a permit for a specific firearm, but such a permit initially takes several months and hundreds of dollars to obtain and may be arbitrarily restricted. There mere fact that §265.02(4) says what it says wholly and practically terminates any right to keep and bear pistols, revolvers, or any other gun that NY peculiarly defines as a “firearm”.
Since “firearm” is defined differently than its normal usage, and that
NY denies one any supposed right to such particular devices, permitting
them only as a privilege, we must examine the specific legality of other
classes of guns. When one considers guns in general, one usually envisions
three subcategories of handguns, rifles and shotguns, and with some prodding
some peculiar guns may also be acknowledged. Since handguns, as commonly
understood and legally known as “firearms”, are in fact regulated into
a privilege, let us see if rifles, shotguns, or any other weapons may be
possessed and carried, uninfringed by state law.
NY Penal Law § 265.00 Definitions....11. "Rifle" means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed metallic cartridge to fire only a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger.
This provides a reasonably straightforward description of the common definition of a rifle.
Rifles are clearly more legal than firearms, as there is no law generally
prohibiting the possession of a rifle. There is, however, a prohibition
of possession of a rifle in certain areas.
NY Penal Law § 265.01 Criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.A person is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree when:...(3) He knowingly has in his possession a rifle, shotgun or firearm in or upon a building or grounds, used for educational purposes, of any school, college or university, except the forestry lands, wherever located, owned and maintained by the State University of New York college of environmental science and forestry, without the written authorization of such educational institution;
Thus one may be jailed for simple possession of a rifle upon school grounds. This may seem wholly reasonable to some, but such a view is willfully ignorant of history, wherein it used to be commonplace for students to bring guns to school so they could hunt on the way home, or use the school’s shooting range, and quite notably there was no harm done in either practice. As one who frequents school grounds, I find it disconcerting that I cannot even legally leave my rifle locked in a box in my locked car for later lawful target practice, and must instead either leave it at home (a round-trip inconvenience of some 80 miles) or park off campus (difficult as there is no legal street-side parking for an extended distance. This, among other issues, infringes on the wholesale right to keep and bear rifles.
Pay attention to this definition:
NY Penal Law § 265.00 Definitions....12. "Shotgun" means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell to fire through a smooth bore either a number of ball shot or a single projectile for each single pull of the trigger.
Like rifles, this definition closely – though imperfectly – matches the mundane definition of “shotgun”.
As with rifles, NY PL § 265.01(3) prohibits possession of a shotgun
on school grounds, placing shotguns in the class of arms that one may possess,
but does not have an uninfringed right to keep and bear. There are also
other laws that further regulate the possession of a shotgun.
While the above are the commonly considered guns, there are a few other categories that should be addressed.
Despite widespread belief to the contrary, machineguns are technically legal at the federal level. NY residents, however, do not enjoy the freedom to own one:
NY Penal Law § 265.00 Definitions....1. "Machine-gun" means a weapon of any description, irrespective of size, by whatever name known, loaded or unloaded, from which a number of shots or bullets may be rapidly or automatically discharged from a magazine with one continuous pull of the trigger and includes a sub-machine gun.
As is commonly believed, machineguns are generally illegal in New York:
NY Penal Law § 265.03 Criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree.A person is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree when, with intent to use the same unlawfully against another:(1) He possesses a machine-gun;
Thus, NY residents are denied any right to keep and bear machineguns, which are commonly understood to be the basic arm for maintaining the security of any free state.
In heated arguments about the 2nd Amendment, some people will suggest that during the American Revolution, muskets were sufficient to repel the army of the world superpower at the time: England. Loaded from the muzzle, muskets are also caught up in a NY legal definition:
NY Penal Law § 265.00 Definitions....14. "Antique firearm" means: Any unloaded muzzle loading pistol or revolver with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system, or a pistol or revolver which uses fixed cartridges which are no longer available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.
Notice: “unloaded”. Interesting that a type of gun is defined if it is unloaded, but not defined if it is loaded. This, and other definitions, does not give one faith in the authors of these laws.
Apparently a loaded musket is unregulated. This, however, does not give
one encouragement when faced with maintaining the security of a free state
in the face of an invading army of AK-47-weilding soldiers, or across the
spectrum to a hoodlum demanding one’s wallet while wielding a 17-round
9mm Glock pistol. The suggestion that unregulated possession of a musket
satisfies the right to keep and bear arms shows naiveté in the face
of 200+ years of arms technology.
In some states, residents are permitted to possess “disguised guns”, defined in NY as:
NY Penal Law § 265.00 Definitions....20. "Disguised gun" means any weapon or device capable of being concealed on the person from which a shot can be discharged through the energy of an explosive and is designed and intended to appear to be something other than a gun.
Such items commonly appear to be, and may actually function as, flashlights or pens or other common or presumably non-gun items. Such items are also regulated into prohibition in NY:
NY Penal Law § 265.02 Criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree.A person is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree when:...(6) He knowingly possesses any disguised gun.
NY has gone through considerable effort to specifically define particular arms and regulate them. There are some guns, however, which are not included and are arguably practical for maintaining the security of self and state.
Notably absent from the category of “firearms” is a gun awkwardly called a “pistol-grip-only shotgun”. Like a shotgun, it fires shotgun shells from a barrel over 18” long. Unlike a shotgun – as defined by NY – it is not fired from the shoulder, because it was manufactured without a shoulder stock, and instead has a pistol grip. Shotguns modified into such a form (a.k.a. “sawed-off shotguns”) are specifically regulated into prohibition. While these items with barrels under 18” long (and classified as federally regulated AOWs by the BATF) are arguably pistols, the pseudo-shotgun featuring an over-18” barrel and manufactured sans stock simply does not fall into the category of firearms, and are not defined or specifically regulated elsewhere.
Such short yet powerful items are useful for clearing rooms or trenches,
and are used by police and military alike, though in somewhat limited circumstances.
Pistol-grip-only shotguns are simply unregulated by NY law.
Notice that the definition of “shotgun” specifies a “smooth bore”. It is not unusual for hunters to use “rifled shotguns”, where a rifled barrel is fitted in place of the smooth bore of the common shotgun. If made or remade to use a smooth bore, this shoulder-mounted shotgun-shell-firing weapon is a shotgun – even if such a configuration was only in the past and it now uses a rifled barrel. However, if such a gun is originally built with a rifled bore, and a smooth bore has never been used, such a device is not a shotgun according to New York State law. Such a device is not a rifle either, as rifles are defined as using metallic cartridges, while “rifled shotguns” fire fixed cartridges primarily made of plastic or paper, and which are recognized in NY law as “shotgun shells”.
Firing birdshot or buckshot through a rifled shotgun is considered impractical. The shot sits within a cup, usually plastic, which carries the shot through the bore, and disconnects and falls upon exiting the muzzle. A rifled bore causes this cup to spin, which in turn causes the shot to disperse very rapidly – so much so as to be at best unusable and at worst irresponsible. Rifled shotguns are used only to fire shotgun slugs – roughly 1.5 oz. bullets – lending the more appropriate name “slug gun”.
Thus, a slug gun – a shotgun originally built to fire shotgun slugs
through a rifled barrel – is in fact an unregulated modern firearm, suitable
for militia use, and is not specifically prohibited anywhere in NY law.
During the Revolutionary War, muskets certainly were used effectively to obtain and maintain the security of our free state. To this day, there are apparently no restrictions on the possession of muskets, loaded or not.
While proven effective in the past, and while still quite functional,
the dynamics of combat have significantly changed with the advent of auto-loading
guns, and have rendered muskets practically obsolete. Protecting your family
with a musket against home invaders armed with Glocks is plainly preposterous.
New York State law does not preempt local municipalities from enacting their own arms control laws. Cities that have particular arms laws are New York City, Rochester, and Albany. Other cities and townships do have weapons laws, but they are limited to general prohibitions against discharging weapons within city limits without grave reasons for doing so.
The city of New York presents special problems in this discussion. Regulation of all guns is so extensive (in violation of New York State Civil Rights Law and the US Constitution), and certain weapons are defined differently than in state law, that one must particularly review the above unregulated weapons to ensure their legality in New York City.
A notable difference between New York City and New York State law is
the definition of a shotgun. New York City defines a shotgun as:
Administrative Code for the City of New York10-301 Control and regulation of the disposition, purchase and possession of firearms, rifles, shotguns, and assault weapons.Definitions. Whenever used in this chapter the following terms shall mean and include:
...3. “Shotgun.” A weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder, and, even if not designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder, is not a firearm as defined in subdivision one of this section, and designed or redesigned, and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell, to fire through a smooth bore either a number of ball shot or a single projectile for each pull of the trigger.
The notable difference is that while NYS defines a shotgun as fired from the shoulder, NYC does not. This difference renders the pistol-grip-only shotgun a regulated weapon in NYC.
Slug guns, on the other hand, do not fall under the NYC definition of shotguns as they fire non-metallic cartridges through a rifled bore.
Muskets are also unregulated in NYC. As before, though, they are largely impractical in the face of weapons which assailants are likely to use.
Thus, slug guns are the only high-end unregulated weapons in New York
The western New York city of Rochester also has weapons laws that must be considered. While firearms, rifles and shotguns are prohibited in parks and other city-owned public locations, the slug gun remains undefined, as the closest definition (“shotgun”) specifies a smooth bore instead of a rifled bore:
City of Rochester Municipal CodeSection 47-5. Firearms, shotguns, rifles and other dangerous weapons.B. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:...SHOTGUN – A weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell to fire through a smooth bore either a number of ball shot or a single projectile for each single pull of the trigger.
While Albany does have gun laws, those laws only apply to so-called “assault weapons”. Slug guns are not addressed.
Aside from general possession of arms, New York State has special restrictions on the possession of arms in certain areas during hunting seasons. These should be considered, as our goal is to determine a weapon which may be possessed essentially anywhere anytime sans restrictions.
Muzzle-loading arms are defined as:
Environmental Conservation Law11-0103 (26) “Muzzle loading firearm” means a gun which is loaded through the muzzle shooting a single projectile and having a minimum bore of .44 inch.
This definition is interesting in part because the term “firearm” in the item’s name is not used the same was as defined in the Penal Law, i.e. as a handgun or other concealable gun under 26 inches long. This indicates that the Environmental Conservation Law does not adhere to the Penal Law’s definition of firearm, and care must be taken to remember which definition is relevant during interpretations.
Similarly of note, varying from Penal Law definitions, is the law’s
first reference to a shotgun with a rifled bore, a.k.a. slug gun:
Environmental Conservation Law11-0901 ... 4.b. No person shall hunt deer or bear:...(4) with a shotgun of less than twenty gauge or loaded with shells other than shell each carrying a single round ball or a single slug, provided however, the use of a shotgun of twenty gauge or larger having a rifled barrel or a smooth bore barrel fitted with a rifled choke, loaded with shells each carrying a single round ball or a single slug, shall not be prohibited so long as only shells having a non-metallic case, except for the base, are used....
A subsequent law is similar:
Environmental Conservation Law11-0907 ... 2. Regular seasons.a. ... Where taking of big game by shotgun is permitted by this chapter such shotgun may contain rifling in all or a portion of the barrel, provided, however, if the barrel or a portion thereof does contain rifling only shells having nonmetallic cases, except for the base, may be used....
Thus New York environmental conservation law recognizes the existence of “shotguns” as having rifled barrels. This potentially concerns our examination of the slug gun, though as this reference exists only in environmental law as a strict prohibition against prohibitions of “rifled shotguns”, and does not reflect upon the Penal Law, the strict legality of the slug gun should not be in jeopardy.
While we are apparently concluding that possessing a slug gun is quite
legal under NY Environmental Conservation Law, whether it may be loaded
at all times is a concern:
Environmental Conservation Law11-0931 Prohibitions on the use and possession of firearms...2. No firearm except a pistol or revolver shall be carried or possessed in or on a motor vehicle unless it is unloaded in both the chamber and the magazine ...
This presents an interesting problem: while you may carry a slug gun anywhere, you may not carry it loaded when in a motor vehicle. Though this section is intended to apply to hunting-related concerns, it does not formally differentiate between possession of a loaded long gun as a matter of self-defense vs. hunting.
This section is also of note as it differs from the Penal Law definition
NY Penal Law 265.00 ... Definitions...15. “Loaded firearm” means any firearm loaded with ammunition or any firearm which is possessed by one who, at the same time, possesses a quantity of ammunition which may be used to discharge such firearm.
While this section, per the Penal Law definition of “firearm”, only refers to handguns and not long guns, it does set a variation of specific and perceived definitions which are different than the Environmental Conservation Law, which later interestingly exempts pistols and revolvers from the prohibition against carrying loaded guns in motor vehicles.
You may carry a slug gun anywhere, but when in a motor vehicle the ammunition must be kept outside the gun, say on a “side-saddle” or carrying sling.
While we have already rejected the standard rifle as already regulated,
it is interesting to note:
Environmental Conservation Law11-0931 Prohibitions on the use and possession of firearms...5.a. ... If a person be found carrying a rifle in the woodlands on Long Island or in Westchester County, that fact shall be presumptive evidence that he is illegally using it for hunting in that area.......b. In the counties, or parts of counties, where the use of a rifle other than a muzzle loading firearm is not permitted in the taking of deer, a person afield shall not possess a rifle larger than twenty-two caliber rim-fire other than a muzzle loading firearm during the open season for deer.c. In the Northern Zone no person, while engaged in hunting with the aid of a dog or while afield accompanied by a dog, shall possess a rifle larger than .22 caliber using rim-fire ammunition....
In certain areas, one may only be afield with a rifle if permitted to hunt with it at that place and time.
The above section 5.c. continues on:
...or possess a shotgun loaded with a slug, ball or buckshot...
Now we are on the verge of becoming seriously restricted. By simply being accompanied by a dog – hardly an unusual practice – one is prohibited from possessing a slug gun (or shotgun or rifle) in certain areas. Perhaps in the wilds of the Northern Zone we finally find a complete violation of the right to bear arms in New York State, as the one gun – the slug gun – permissible everywhere else is here limited; arguably, it is the dog which is prohibited, and as one does not have a Constitutional right to dogs, perhaps New York state law is still in the clear. Likewise for the next section:
6. No person while engaged in hunting deer or bear pursuant to a bowhunting stamp, and no person accompanying him or a member of his party, while he is so engaged during a special longbow season, shall have in his possession a firearm of any kind, and no person while engaged in hunting deer or bear pursuant to a muzzle-loading stamp, and no person accompanying him or a member of his party, while he is so engaged during a special muzzle-loading firearm season, shall have in his possession a firearm of any kind other than a muzzle-loading firearm.
Under these conditions, one may simply not possess a slug gun or other firearm. One may contend that carrying a slug gun remains wholly legal, and it is the already licensed act of hunting with particular weapons which is restricted.
The most disturbing law follows the above:
7. During any open season for deer, a person afield shall not possess shotgun shells loaded with a slug or ball unless he holds a valid license or permit to take deer or bear.
Such a violation is a misdemeanor, a serious crime. Possession of the slug gun while afield during deer season is still strictly speaking legal, although possession of effective and appropriate ammunition for the weapon is not. Perversely, it is a misdemeanor to possess a slug round while afield during deer season, even if one has no gun to fire it from!
From the various points of New York Environmental Conservation Law we
must conclude two critical points affecting effectively unrestricted possession
of a slug gun: that the gun must not be loaded while in a motor vehicle,
and that possession of appropriate ammunition (slug shells) while afield
during deer season is prohibited. While the former point is tolerable,
as the ammunition may be stored outside the gun on a sidesaddle or sling,
the latter point is gravely difficult to accommodate; perhaps the reader
may know of ammunition which is appropriate yet does not use slug or ball.
Should a “state of emergency” be declared, possession of any gun may be in jeopardy:
Executive Law 24. Local state of emergency; local emergency orders by chief executive.1. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law, general or special, ... chief executive may proclaim a local state of emergency ... . Following such proclamation and during the continuance of such local state of emergency, the chief executive may promulgate local emergency orders to protect life and property or to bring the emergency situation under control. Such orders may ... provide for ... d. the suspension or limitation of the sale, dispensing, use or transportation of ... firearms ... .
Whether “firearms” uses the definition under Penal Law or the common definition, and whether such a suspension would be inconsistent with Civil Rights Law, is unclear. As our possession of guns under a state of emergency would presumably be intended to protect life and property, and as one may presume that civil rights are not suspended even under a state of emergency (a complete breakdown of law and order may occur if civil rights are so suspended), we shall presume that possession of our defensive weapon will remain legal.
We have determined that New York State does not specifically regulate slug guns. However, failing such a specific regulation, and faced with a prosecutor bent on conviction by any means, one may be subject to:
NY PL 265.01 Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth DegreeClass A MisdemeanorA person is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree when:...(2) He possesses any ... dangerous or deadly instrument or weapon with intent to use the same against another
“Intent” is, perversely, later circularly proven by:
NY PL 265.01 Presumptions of Possession, Unlawful Intent and Defacement...4. ... The possession by any person of any ... weapon, instrument or substance designed, made or adapted for use primarily as a weapon, is presumptive evidence of intent to use the same unlawfully against another.
Weapons are not inherently illegal to possess, as one must have unlawful intent to break the law. To simplify proving such intent, the law states that a court may presume intent by simple possession. As such, one may possess a weapon, including the previously deduced slug gun, but must do so only for lawful purposes and should be prepared to explain oneself if caught doing so.
Is there a modern militia-suitable gun that a New York resident may legally keep and bear anywhere in the state without restriction? The answer apparently is a qualified “yes”.
Available on the shelves of most stores catering to hunters are weapons intended for taking deer: slug guns. This highly portable gun typically is capable of firing 1-9 commonly available large caliber bullets (slugs) in rapid succession at moderate distances, an ability suitable for militia and self-defense use. Widely available at reasonable costs, these guns are completely unregulated throughout New York State. The civil rights law stating “...the right to keep and bear arms cannot be infringed”, while certainly attacked by significant legal infringements on one’s rights to carry most particular weapons, is upheld by residents being allowed to possess and carry a slug gun without infringement.
The hoped-for freedom from infringements is barely and arguably achieved, however. When transported in a motor vehicle, the ammunition must not be in the slug gun itself; use an ammunition sling or sidesaddle to keep the ammunition handy at all times. The only grave restriction upon this weapon is that one may not, while afield during deer season, possess ammunition appropriate to this gun (regardless of whether one possesses the gun itself). This singular restriction (NY ECL 11-0931 7), while arguably not prohibiting the weapon itself, renders it impotent under specific conditions – an imposition which may be alleviated by finding alternate ammunition or by obtaining a deer or bear hunting permit. If, as New York State contends, the right to arms is not infringed, slug guns are the only unrestricted militia-suitable weapons, and hence the only tool usable for exercising one’s right to “keep and bear arms” in a modern context. This legal freedom, unfortunately, is highly strained.
Despite the apparent pervasive legality of slug guns, a few cautionary words are in order. Just because something is legal doesn’t mean you can’t be arrested for it: police are in the business of arresting people that they believe are breaking the law; a cop is certainly not expected to understand and ponder the legal nuances discussed at length above. If a cop catches you carrying a slug gun in New York City, for instance, be prepared to be arrested – and be prepared for the judge to be less than sympathetic with your protestations and perceived legal cartwheels. Also be aware of the two restrictions listed in the previous paragraph: it must be unloaded when in a vehicle, and slug/ball ammunition may not be possessed while sans deer or bear license when afield during deer season.
Ultimately, both the US Constitution and NY Civil Rights Law guarantee the right to keep and bear arms, and that the right may not be restricted. Those of us who believe that the foundational law says what it plainly says certainly have the right to own and carry weapons – though doing so discretely and in carefully considered compliance with subordinate laws will enhance your chance of freedom as you come up against laws, law makers, and law enforcers who oppose your God-given rights. The one gun wholly lawful in New York State is a slug gun.
Given all the above, I submit the "New York Special Gun" as a general-purpose
defensive arm for possession in NY:
Lawfully exercise your civil rights - have a New York Special Gun made today!
"Gun Control in New York" New York's Firearms and Weapons Laws, Lt. Lee O. Thomas and Jeffrey Chamberlain, Looseleaf Law Publications Inc.
I am not a lawyer. I am just a common resident of New York State, and have simply tried to study and understand the law with the goal of lawfully, reasonably, and responsibly exercising a natural, Constitutional, and civil right. The above article was written in good faith. Despite my best efforts of understanding and accuracy, I may have missed one tiny point of law that could render the whole document wrong. Apply the conclusions accordingly.
I believe that every citizen has a basic responsibility to provide for the armed protection of his/her self, family and dependents. The above document is simply an attempt to identify which reasonable weapon may be possessed with minimal hassle by responsible innocents; the sheer length of the document indicates how difficult it is to remain law-abiding and still prepare to ward off realistic criminal threats in New York State.
Ultimately, applying the conclusions of this article is 100% your problem.
It is up to YOU to know what the law actually says; if you don't, that
is your problem, not mine. If you follow the advice and conlusions, and
subsequently get in trouble, that's your problem, not mine. Go get the
law text and read it yourself. I hope what I wrote is correct; maybe I'm