Saturday, April 9, 2016

Legal Authority for Youth Activity on a Range in New York


     Periodically it makes sense to review a complicated legal issue, if for no other reason as a refresher.  Operating a shooting range in New York is not for the faint of heart.  With all of the laws and regulations that may effect the successful operation of a facility, it is important to stay up to date on controlling laws.  Today we will discuss the legal authority authorizing youth activity on a range. 

      Below you will find a brief summary of the controlling law in New York State and a simple explanation of the same.  Feel free to contact us if you have any further questions regarding this matter.
     Section 265.20 of the New York State Penal controls exemptions to permit requirements and other legal preclusions from possessing a pistol, rifle or shotgun in New York State.   

     BLUF (Bottom-line up front):  There are special exceptions under New York State Law that allow youths (greater than 12 and less than 21 years old), to be educated, train and compete with firearms on properly organized range facility

  

Relevent New York State Statute Sections:

New York Penal Law § 265.20 Exemptions

a. Paragraph (h) of subdivision twenty-two of section 265.00 and sections 265.01, 265.01-a, subdivision one of section 265.01-b, 265.02, 265.03, 265.04, 265.05, 265.10, 265.11, 265.12, 265.13, 265.15, 265.36, 265.37 and 270.05 shall not apply to:

7.         Possession, at an indoor or outdoor shooting range for the purpose of loading and firing, of a rifle or shotgun, the propelling force of which is gunpowder by a person under sixteen years of age but not under twelve, under the immediate supervision, guidance and instruction of;

(a) a duly commissioned officer of the United States army, navy, air force, marine corps or coast guard, or of the national guard of the state of New York; or

(b) a duly qualified adult citizen of the United States who has been granted a certificate as an instructor in small arms practice issued by the United States army, navy, air force or marine corps, or by the adjutant general of this state, or by the national rifle association of America, a not-for-profit corporation duly organized under the laws of this state; or

(c) a parent, guardian, or a person over the age of eighteen designated in writing by such parent or guardian who shall have a certificate of qualification in responsible hunting, including safety, ethics, and landowner relations-hunter relations, issued or honored by the department of environmental conservation; or

(d) an agent of the department of environmental conservation appointed to conduct courses in responsible hunting practices pursuant to article eleven of the environmental conservation law.


7-a. Possession and use, at an indoor or outdoor pistol range located in or on premises owned or occupied by a duly incorporated organization organized for conservation purposes or to foster proficiency in small arms or at a target pistol shooting competition under the auspices of or approved by the national rifle association for the purpose of loading and firing the same, by a person duly licensed to possess a pistol or revolver pursuant to section 400.00 or 400.01 of this chapter of a pistol or revolver duly so licensed to another person who is present at the time.

7-b. Possession and use, at an indoor or outdoor pistol range located in or on premises owned or occupied by a duly incorporated organization organized for conservation purposes or to foster proficiency in small arms or at a target pistol shooting competition under the auspices of or approved by the national rifle association for the purpose of loading and firing the same, by a person who has applied for a license to possess a pistol or revolver and pre-license possession of same pursuant to section 400.00 or 400.01 of this chapter, who has not been previously denied a license, been previously convicted of a felony or serious offense, and who does not appear to be, or pose a threat to be, a danger to himself or to others, and who has been approved for possession and use herein in accordance with section 400.00 or 400.01 of this chapter;  provided however, that such possession shall be of a pistol or revolver duly licensed to and shall be used under the supervision, guidance and instruction of, a person specified in paragraph seven of this subdivision and provided further that such possession and use be within the jurisdiction of the licensing officer with whom the person has made application therefor or within the jurisdiction of the superintendent of state police in the case of a retired sworn member of the division of state police who has made an application pursuant to section 400.01 of this chapter.

7-c. Possession for the purpose of loading and firing, of a rifle, pistol or shotgun, the propelling force of which may be either air, compressed gas or springs, by a person under sixteen years of age but not under twelve, under the immediate supervision, guidance and instruction of:

(a) a duly commissioned officer of the United States army, navy, marine corps or coast guard, or of the national guard of the state of New York; or

(b) a duly qualified adult citizen of the United States who has been granted a certificate as an instructor in small arms practice issued by the United States army, navy or marine corps, or by the adjutant general of this state, or by the national rifle association of America, a not-for-profit corporation duly organized under the laws of this state; or

(c) a parent, guardian, or a person over the age of eighteen designated in writing by such parent or guardian who shall have a certificate of qualification in responsible hunting, including safety, ethics, and landowner relations-hunter relations, issued or honored by the department of environmental conservation.

7-d. Possession, at an indoor or outdoor shooting range for the purpose of loading and firing, of a rifle, pistol or shotgun, the propelling force of which may be either air, compressed gas or springs, by a person under twelve years of age, under the immediate supervision, guidance and instruction of:

(a) a duly commissioned officer of the United States army, navy, marine corps or coast guard, or of the national guard of the state of New York; or

(b) a duly qualified adult citizen of the United States who has been granted a certificate as an instructor in small arms practice issued by the United States army, navy or marine corps, or by the adjutant general of this state, or by the national rifle association of America, a not-for-profit corporation duly organized under the laws of this state; or

(c) a parent, guardian, or a person over the age of eighteen designated in writing by such parent or guardian who shall have a certificate of qualification in responsible hunting, including safety, ethics, and landowner relations-hunter relations, issued or honored by the department of environmental conservation.

7-e. Possession and use of a pistol or revolver, at an indoor or outdoor pistol range located in or on premises owned or occupied by a duly incorporated organization organized for conservation purposes or to foster proficiency in small arms or at a target pistol shooting competition under the auspices of or approved by an association or organization described in paragraph 7-a of this subdivision for the purpose of loading and firing the same by a person at least fourteen years of age but under the age of twenty-one who has not been previously convicted of a felony or serious offense, and who does not appear to be, or pose a threat to be, a danger to himself or to others;  provided however, that such possession shall be of a pistol or revolver duly licensed to and shall be used under the immediate supervision, guidance and instruction of, a person specified in paragraph seven of this subdivision.



Background & Analysis:

1.      Subdivision (a)(7) was repealed and re-enacted in 1985 with changes designed to ease the prohibition on juveniles firing a rifle or shotgun at a shooting range under supervision.  In essence, the enactment:

(1)   repealed the specification that the rifle be not more than twenty-two caliber rim fire;

(2)   permits possession of a shotgun as well as a rifle;

(3)   requires that the supervision be “immediate,” and

(4)   includes among eligible supervisors: a properly-trained parent, or guardian, or a person over the age of eighteen designated in writing by such parent or guardian.



2.      Subdivision (a)(7-a) (not involving youth but worthwhile to know), was added in 1978 to fill an alleged gap in the law as applied to those duly licensed to possess a firearm.  Its sponsors posed two possible scenarios which, it was claimed, would render an innocent party subject to conviction for illegally possessing a firearm. First, a licensed shooter in a pistol match finds that his gun is disabled. This provision would permit him to borrow someone else's gun to complete his firing. The second possible situation involves a gun licensee who is considering the purchase of another licensee's gun or one like it, but wishes to fire it before investing his money. Under the limited circumstances authorized by this subdivision, the licensee in both cases would be permitted to do so legally.



3.      Subdivision (a)(7-b) (not involving youth but worthwhile to know), was added in 1985 to parallel the provisions of subdivision (a)(7-a) for a person who is not licensed to possess a firearm, but who has applied for a license and in the interim has received authorization for “pre-license possession” pursuant to Penal Law § 400.00(3)(b).



4.      Subdivision (a)(7-c) and subdivision (a)(7-d) were added in 1996 to deal with the authorized possession of certain firearms by a person under 16 years of age but not under 12 (subdivision (a)(7-c)), or by a person under 12 years of age (subdivision (a)(7-d)), under the immediate supervision of those specified in the statute.



5.      Subdivision (a)(7-e) was added to offset the addition in the same legislation of a provision making 21 the minimum age for a license for a pistol or revolver. See Penal Law § 400.00(1). Thus, by this provision, a youth between 18 and 21 who meets the qualifications set forth in the statute can, under the limited circumstances provided for, possess and use the pistol or revolver.  In 2006, the statute was amended to reduce the age from 18 to 14 of those permitted to possess a pistol or revolver at a certain type of pistol range for practice or competition.

No comments:

Post a Comment