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New York’s New Gun Laws Part IV – “Closing Loopholes” Others and Magazines

ANY OTHER WEAPONS

We have written in the past extensively about the Mossberg Shockwave, Remington Tac-14 and AR-15 others.  The basic principle involves a weapon that is not designed to be fired from the shoulder so that it cannot be legallyupdate considered to be a rifle or shotgun and is defined to be fired with two hands so does not meet the legal definition of a pistol.  Therefore, the restrictions on barrel length of shotguns and rifles did not apply as long as the overall length of the weapon was greater than 26 inches.  In addition, since these guns were neither pistols, shotguns nor rifles they could have collapsible stocks, flash suppressors and/or bayonet lugs and not fall into the definition of “assault weapons”.  Despite the fact that these “others” don’t seem to be the source of any significant crime this upset the gun grabbers.  Now under the new law they are regulated and probably need to be added to a pistol license to be kept.

The new law signed by Governor Kathy Hochul on June 6, 2022, redefines the term firearm in New York.  Under New York Law, a firearm requires a license to be issued in order to legally possess the firearm just like any handgun.  The new law amends Penal law sec. 265.00 (3) to include in the definition of firearm: any other weapon which is not otherwise defined in Penal law 265.00 and which is designed or can be converted to fire a projectile by the force of an explosive.

Despite the fact that they changed the definition of firearm, these “other weapons” are not defined as a pistol, shotgun or rifle and so still will not be defined as any type of “assault weapon” in New York.  Rather, they are now defined as “firearms.”  Firearms require a pistol license in order to legally possess in New York.    The question is will any counties be willing to add any types of “other weapons” to pistol licenses.  It seems that there is a fine line between a Mossberg Shockwave or similar gun and perhaps with some minor modifications it can be considered a pistol.

The problem arises with Article 400 and the types of licenses issued.  Penal law sec 400.00 (2) states that licenses are issued for a “pistol or revolver. . .” and we have just spent the last five years arguing that a Mossberg Shockwave is not a pistol.  If a friendly county is willing to add this to a pistol license it seems that you will be able to legally possess any weapon added to your license.  Penal Law sec 265.20 (3) does grant an exemption for the possession of a revolver or pistol to those that possess a valid license.

ELIMINATING THE GRANDFATHERING OF HIGH CAPACITY MAGAZINES

Prior to the enactment of this change.  high capacity magazines or high capacity ammunition feeding devices (which are really standard capacity magazines) which were possessed prior to the enactment of the SAFE Act in 2013 were permitted to be sold out of New York for a one year period.  The failure to sell those magazines out-of-state constituted a misdemeanor as opposed to the class “D” felony for possessing a high capacity magazine that was acquired after the SAFE Act was enacted.  The problem for law enforcement is that gun magazines don’t have serial numbers, don’t have a date of manufacture and are not registered so it may be impossible to prove when a magazine was acquired.

The new law removes the exception from the definitions section of Article 265 of the Penal Law and removes the defenses located throughout Article 265 that created a misdemeanor offense for possessing magazines that were legally possessed prior to enactment of the SAFE Act in 2013.

The law becomes effective 30 days after the law was signed on June 6, 2022  so individuals that possess these magazines only have a few weeks until the beginning of June to get rid of these magazines.

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