ARs in New York

My understanding in New York is a gun is not a gun until it can go boom. Therefore, a complete Lower Assembly for an AR even with a detachable magazine is legal so long as it is not assembled to an upper (can’t go boom). Can this be confirmed? Can you purchase and transfer a complete AR lower assembly and later modify it to be fixed mag? Or does the ffl have to make it fixed NY Compliant before it can be transferred?

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I am not an attorney, I do not play an attorney on TV. Not did I spend the night at a Holiday Inn Express.

My advice would be to ask a NY 2A attorney. May or may not be your intent but sounds like a way around some NY specific regulation regarding an AR


Is legal how? To purchase? To carry?

I second @Zavier_D’s suggestion about checking with a 2A attorney in NY. I’ve purchased an AR lower in Wisconsin and had to go through all of the same background checks as a handgun because it could be made into a handgun as well.


I have heard from various FFLs that a complete lower assembly is legal to purchase but must be modified (NYS Compliant) before it is assembled to an upper assembly.

It sounds like it comes down to how NY State defines a firearm. Federally, the Lower Receiver is the Firearm (we can all agree to this). However, the State of NY says it is not a firearm unless it can fire in it’s existing condition. If this definition is accurate and a Lower Assembly cannot fire a cartridge without being assembled to an Upper Assembly, then in NY the Lower Assembly cannot be defined as a FIREARM. Therefore, the SAFE ACT does not apply to the purchase of Complete Lower Assemblies.

I am not an attorney, I do not play an attorney on TV. Not did I spend the night at a Holiday Inn Express. (and yes I stole that from @Zavier_D )
I just moved from Albany to Los Angeles (yeah I know big change as far as gun laws, if your in albany pm me and I’ll send you to a great shop and they’ll help you out)
This is my understanding, the lower is considered the weapon, even with nothing in it.
Not to get into the grey area of well the upper and lower aren’t attached because as we all know (and with GREAT respect to the LEO’s out there) not everyone knows all the rules, so depending on who ya get…yadda yadda. As far as you building your own YEAH GO NUTS (I built a NY compliant AR-15 and a 300 black out…no prob)

Here’s the rub…and here is what you need to check to make it compliant.

  1. No adjustable stocks, it has to be pinned
  2. You can’t have a brake, no flash suppressor, if you have a threaded barrel
    you have to get it capped.
  3. ya get one bell and one whistle, ya can’t have both. if you want a pistol grip
    your magazine needs to be locked in and you have to side load. if you want a
    mag release, you can’t have the pistol grip. (I absolutely love my sparrow grips
    all my rifles have them now)

I would head down to the local mom and pop shop and just ask.
hope that helps!

Welcome to NY! California’s angrier bitchery sister!