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New York 80 Percent Lower Laws

80 Percent Arms   |   Jan 19th 2022

Disclaimer: To get started, we want to share a small disclaimer. We are dedicated and proud supporters of everything 2nd amendment, but we are not lawyers. So, before you take what you read here and run with it, you will want to double-check all of your local or state gun laws. Make sure you are up to date on any special regulations that may apply to you and your situation. Gun laws are always changing and always do your part to stay up to date with the newest and current laws.

This information is provided as a service to the public. It is NOT intended to be taken as legal advice and should never be considered as such. Make sure to do your own research as you and you alone are responsible for your own actions.

This is a developing list of information we intend to update regularly to stay accurate and current. If you see a discrepancy or a mistake with your home state’s laws that we’ve covered, feel free to let us know so we can correct it. Thank you and stay safe!

What is an 80% Lower?

An 80% lower receiver is an unfinished and unserialized blank which requires some machining work from the end user to turn it into a 100% lower receiver, otherwise, what is legally considered as a firearm. 80 lowers are missing the trigger pocket and a three holes that need to be milled and drilled out to be completed. Unless states have passed their own laws barring the possession or sales of 80% products; pending the ATF's updated decision from the most recent proposed rule 2021R-05 80% lowers are completely legal, not considered firearms and thus can be shipped straight to your front door. No FFL required. To explore the 80 percent lowers we have to offer, check out our multiple collections.

Are 80 Lowers Legal In New York?

As of this guide’s initial publish date, 80% lower receivers and frames are not considered as firearms by the ATF however, they are not legal to ship directly to buyers residing in New York. The New York Attorney General's office has also previously sent cease and desist letters to 80% manufacturers to stop the sale and shipment of 80% AR lowers. 

Do I Need to Serialize My 80 Lower in New York?

If you build out your own firearms starting with 80 lowers in New York you would be “breaking the law” and would therefore have a difficult time finding a service willing to serialize your 80 lower for you as it would put the servicing company or person at risk along with yourself. Even if you try to send the 80 lower or completed lower receiver to an engraving service out of state, most companies would not be willing to ship it back to you in New York, or accept your order no less.

Key Gun Laws in New York

Other than laws regarding 80 lowers, these are the key gun laws you should be aware of if you reside or are traveling through New York.

Firearm Possession and Purchase Requirements

New York City and State are notoriously restrictive when it comes to gun control law. The state of New York in general is more normal as it requires all long gun buyers to be at least the age of 18 years. Handgun purchasers must be at least 21 years old and have a license to purchase a handgun. NYC also requires a separate permit for purchasing rifles or shotguns (long guns). Permits and licenses are all handled by the New York Police Department. Because one of the requirements to getting a permit or a license in New York City is “to be of good moral character” — this is the catchall phrase commonly used to deny most if not all civilians from being able to purchase firearms or to concealed carry a handgun.

If you are a NYC resident, we strongly suggest you look deeper into New York City’s gun control regulations and restrictions with this guide. Be aware that each New York county is going to potentially have wildly different gun laws and different application fees. All firearm purchases and transfers require a background check including private party transfers (Dealer Record of Sale also known as 4473 form or “DROS”). While federal law requires federal firearm license holders (“FFL’s”:) to initiate background checks on buyers prior to the sale of a firearm, federal law also allows states to serve as their own “point of contact” and conduct their own background checks via state, federal records or databases, as well as the option to use the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) database.

New York is not a point of contact for the NICS and as a result, dealers must conduct their background checks by going through the FBI’s NICS. The only firearms transfers that do not require a background check in New York is if the transfer of ownership is between two immediate family members that both have the proper licenses/permits and are of the minimum age to purchase/possess the firearm in question.

Open and Concealed Carrying

New York is a ”may-issue” state when it comes to concealed carry weapon permits which are offered in the form of “NYPL’s” or New York Pistol License. Open carry is not addressed in New York state law, so best to assume that it’s not legal unless you are hunting with a valid permit or at an established range. The only form of concealed carrying that is legal is with a NYPL.

Applicants must be a minimum of 21 years old. Just because you have a NYPL doesn’t mean you’ll be legally allowed to carry in every county of the state either so be sure to look into the state’s county reciprocity for NYPL holders. New York state does not offer non-resident NYPL’s and does not honor any permits from other states in the country.

However, with the New York State Pistol Rifle Association v. Corlett case currently being reviewed by the Supreme Court there is a chance that the draconian laws inhibiting New York residents from obtaining CCW’s may soon change for the better!

NFA Restrictions

In terms of NFA weapons and related items, only dealers can possess machine guns, everything else (suppressors, any other weapons, destructive devices, short barreled shotguns, short barreled rifles) are all off the table for civilians unless you are a law enforcement officer. New York does have a very comprehensive “assault weapons” ban. To see what details turn a gun into an “assault weapon” in New York see the overview by Giffords.

Magazine Capacity Restrictions

New York state also has large capacity magazine restrictions. In general, all firearms are restricted to 7 rounds per mag. However, if a person is at an established range they then may use 10 rounds per mag. If you’d like to stay within the confines of the law, we carry low capacity magazines like the ETS 10 rounder mags in G17 and G19 length. Or if you need mags for your AR-15 we also carry 10 round Hex magazines for 5.56.

Mandatory Storage Requirements

New York does have safe storage mandates when it comes to the storage of firearms in households that have children under the age of 16. These mandates also require gun owners in general to have the gun locked in a container that is incapable of being unlocked without a key or combination lock. Gun cable locks are also a viable option. The main concern in the home is to make sure those under the age of 16 will not have access to the firearm being stored at home. If you need some more ideas, here are some great storage options.


New York law does not include an overt ‘castle doctrine’ but does not require residents to retreat before responding with force in self-defense so long as they are in their own home or place of business. In terms of stand your ground laws, New York does not have any and forces residents with the duty to retreat before responding with force if absolutely necessary when outside the home or place of business.

Ammunition Purchase

There are several ammunition restrictions and regulations in the state of New York. Minors under the age of 16 are completely prohibited possessing ammunition. All ammo buyers must be at least 18 years old. Armor piercing rounds are restricted and exploding ammo is prohibited as they both fall under “unreasonably dangerous ammo.” In order to purchase handgun ammunition, buyers must already be a handgun owner and be in possession of a license to purchase a handgun to demonstrate to FFL dealers that they are authorized to be in possession of handgun ammo. That also means that handgun ammo buyers must be at least 21 years old.

Start Your Next 80 Lower Build with 80% Arms!

New York residents are unfortunately not able to freely build their own firearms from 80 lowers and frames without any required serialization or FFL transactions. It is perhaps one of the worst states that has tread upon the 2nd Amendment and effectively stripped New York residents of their rights to keep and bear arms. That includes building privately made firearms as well if people so choose to. While we can’t ship any 80 lower related products to New York we can still supply NY residents with AR parts and accessories for your store-bought guns.