Air pistols are non-lethal guns used primarily for sport.
According to the Brady Campaign to Stop Gun Violence, New York State has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the United States. In certain municipalities in New York State, these laws extend themselves to the purchase and possession of air pistols, which are not firearms, but non-lethal guns where a projectile is propelled by compressed air.
NY State General Air Pistol Laws
Unless a particular municipality specifically requires the owner to procure a firearm license for any type of firearm, the purchase and use of an air pistol does require the user to have a firearm license in New York State. The only statewide restrictions regarding air pistols are that the user may not be under the age of 16 and may not possess the air pistol on any school grounds, including universities.
Municipality Specific Laws
In the 5 boroughs of New York City and the City of Yonkers, the possession of an air pistol is illegal, unless the user obtains a firearm license from the local police department.
In the upstate cities of Buffalo and Rochester, a license for an air pistol is not needed. However, air pistols are required to be stored as if they were lethal firearms. Additionally, anyone carrying an air pistol automatically consents to impairment testing, should they encounter police.
Laws Regarding Air Pistol Dealers
There are no statewide laws regarding dealers of air pistols. However, in the five boroughs of New York City and the City of Yonkers, dealers are required to be licensed by the city police department and must follow regulations similar to those for lethal firearm dealers.