STATE OF NEW YORK
2019-2020 Regular Sessions
January 23, 2019
Introduced by Sens. GIANARIS, BRESLIN, KRUEGER, MONTGOMERY, RIVERA,
SERRANO, STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed
to be committed to the Committee on Codes
AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to requiring persons possess-
ing a firearm to hold a firearms safety certificate
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Subdivisions 6, 7 and 8 of section 265.01 of the penal law,
2 as amended by chapter 1 of the laws of 2013, are amended and a new
3 subdivision 9 is added to read as follows:
4 (6) He or she is a person who has been certified not suitable to
5 possess a rifle or shotgun, as defined in subdivision sixteen of section
6 265.00 of this article, and refuses to yield possession of such rifle or
7 shotgun upon the demand of a police officer. Whenever a person is certi-
8 fied not suitable to possess a rifle or shotgun, a member of the police
9 department to which such certification is made, or of the state police,
10 shall forthwith seize any rifle or shotgun possessed by such person. A
11 rifle or shotgun seized as [herein] provided in this subdivision shall
12 not be destroyed, but shall be delivered to the headquarters of such
13 police department, or state police, and there retained until the afore-
14 said certificate has been rescinded by the director or physician in
15 charge, or other disposition of such rifle or shotgun has been ordered
16 or authorized by a court of competent jurisdiction[.]; or
17 (7) He or she knowingly possesses a bullet containing an explosive
18 substance designed to detonate upon impact[.]; or
19 (8) He or she possesses any armor piercing ammunition with intent to
20 use the same unlawfully against another[.]; or
21 (9) He or she possesses a firearm, not being the holder of a valid
22 firearms safety certificate issued pursuant to section 400.15 of this
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
S. 2291 2
1 § 2. The penal law is amended by adding a new section 400.15 to read
2 as follows:
3 § 400.15 Firearms safety certificate.
4 1. For the purposes of this section:
5 (a) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of the police department of
6 a city having a population of one million or more.
7 (b) "Sheriff" means the sheriff of the county in which an applicant
8 resides, except in a city having a population of one million or more.
9 2. No person shall possess a firearm unless such person holds a
10 firearms safety certificate issued pursuant to this section.
11 3. Every person applying for a firearms safety certificate shall
12 submit an application to the sheriff or the commissioner if such person
13 resides in a city with a population of one million or more. Such appli-
14 cation shall be in such form and content as shall be established by the
15 sheriff or the commissioner, and shall include:
16 (a) the applicant's name, address, residence telephone number, gender,
17 race, height, weight, date of birth, citizenship, thumbprint and driv-
18 er's license or non-driver identification card number;
19 (b) the applicant's signature; and
20 (c) an oath that all information in the application is true, subject
21 to the penalties of perjury.
22 4. The course of instruction for the issuance of a firearms safety
23 certificate shall include the successful completion by the applicant of:
24 (a) not less than five hours of classroom instruction on:
25 (i) the safe use and handling of firearms;
26 (ii) the methods for safely storing and securing firearms, and keeping
27 children safe when such weapons are present; and
28 (iii) the applicable federal, state and local laws relating to the
29 purchase, sale, possession, transportation and storage of firearms;
30 (b) not less than two hours of live firing instruction at a shooting
31 range using the type of firearm the applicant anticipates purchasing,
32 possessing or acquiring; and
33 (c) a safe-handling of a firearm demonstration as attested to by a
34 duly authorized instructor.
35 5. Every firearms safety course, for the completion of which an appli-
36 cant is granted a firearms safety certificate, shall be approved by the
37 sheriff or the commissioner and shall be conducted by a duly authorized
38 instructor. The sheriff or the commissioner may, for the purposes of
39 firearms safety courses required by this section, provide for the
40 approval of firearm safety courses required or provided for pursuant to
41 any federal or state law.
42 6. Upon the successful completion of a firearms safety course by an
43 applicant, the duly authorized instructor of such course shall provide
44 the applicant with a signed affidavit attesting to the applicant's
45 successful completion of the course. Such affidavit shall include the
46 name, address and telephone number of the duly authorized instructor;
47 the name of the applicant; and the dates and places that the course was
49 7. Upon receipt of the affidavit required by subdivision six of this
50 section, the applicant shall submit a copy of such affidavit to the
51 sheriff or the commissioner and he or she shall administer a written
52 examination, established by him or her, demonstrating knowledge of
53 firearms safety and laws applicable to firearms.
54 (a) A firearms safety certificate shall be issued to an applicant who
55 scores seventy-five percent or higher on such examination.
S. 2291 3
1 (b) If an applicant fails such written examination, he or she may
2 retake such examination at least twenty-four hours after a prior
3 attempt. The same version of such written examination shall not be given
4 to an applicant upon any two consecutive takings thereof. No applicant
5 shall be offered the written examination more than three times. After
6 the third failure by an applicant, he or she shall be required to again
7 successfully complete the requirements of subdivisions four and six of
8 this section.
9 (c) Applicants may be charged a fee to cover the costs of administer-
10 ing the written examination.
11 8. Upon successful completion of the requirements of subdivision seven
12 of this section by an applicant, the sheriff or the commissioner shall
13 issue such applicant a firearms safety certificate. Firearms safety
14 certificates shall not be transferable. The holder thereof shall store
15 such certificate in the place where his or her firearms are stored,
16 except that such certificate shall be carried on the person of the hold-
17 er if a firearm is possessed outside of the holder's residence or place
18 of business. Upon request of a police officer, a firearms safety certif-
19 icate shall be displayed by the holder to such officer.
20 9. Every firearms safety certificate issued pursuant to this section
21 shall be valid for a period of two years, and may be renewed upon
22 completion of the requirements of this section.
23 10. No person shall sell or transfer possession of a firearm to any
24 person who does not hold a firearms safety certificate.
25 11. A firearms safety certificate shall be revoked:
26 (a) for the violation of any provision of law relating to firearms;
27 (b) for fraud, misrepresentation or bribery in the application for and
28 issuance of the firearms safety certificate;
29 (c) if the holder is disqualified from possessing a firearm; or
30 (d) the occurrence of any circumstance which would have disqualified
31 the holder from being issued a firearms safety certificate.
32 12. This section shall not apply to:
33 (a) police officers as defined in subdivision thirty-four of section
34 1.20 of the criminal procedure law, or retired police officer, who upon
35 separation from a law enforcement agency was immediately entitled to
36 receive retirement benefits pursuant to the retirement and social secu-
37 rity law or the administrative code of the city of New York;
38 (b) peace officers as defined in section 2.10 of the criminal proce-
39 dure law;
40 (c) licensed manufacturers, transporters and sellers of firearms who
41 possess such weapons for purposes of wholesale or retail sales, while
42 engaged in the scope of their licensed activities;
43 (d) nonresidents of the state participating in any lawful recreational
44 firearms related activity, and while in the course of traveling to and
45 from such recreation activity; or
46 (e) any person who temporarily possesses a firearm in the residence or
47 place of business of the holder of a firearms safety certificate, and
48 such possession occurs in the course of using deadly physical force
49 authorized by article thirty-five of this chapter.
50 § 3. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed-
51 ing the date on which it shall have become a law; provided, however,
52 that the provisions of subdivision 9 of section 265.01 of the penal law,
53 as added by section one of this act, and subdivision 2 of section 400.15
54 of the penal law, as added by section two of this act, shall not apply
55 to any person who possesses a firearm on the effective date of this act,
56 until the ninetieth day after such date.