Governor Cuomo Extends Waiting Period for would be Firearms Purchasers

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation to establish an up to 30-day waiting period for individuals who are not immediately approved to purchase a firearm through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (S.2374/A.2690) and to close existing statutory loopholes to prohibit ownership or sale of a bump stock (S.2448/A.2684).

Extending the Background Check Waiting Period

Current federal law requires gun dealers to conduct a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background check on a potential purchaser prior to selling a firearm, which immediately provides the dealer with one of three possible notifications. These notifications include “proceed,” “denied,” or “delayed.” In the case of a “delayed” response, the dealer must wait three days before completing the sale.

The FBI may continue to investigate the individual past the three-day timeframe but oftentimes by the time law enforcement has determined that the potential purchaser is ineligible, the sale has already been completed. By extending the waiting period up to 30 days, law enforcement is provided with sufficient time to complete a background check and help ensure that only those eligible to purchase and own a firearm are able to do so.

This legislation builds on New York’s strongest in the nation gun laws, including the Red Flag Bill signed in February that prevents individuals who show signs of being a threat to themselves or others from purchasing or possessing a firearm.

For too long gun violence has plagued communities across our nation and while the federal government turns a blind eye, New York continues leading the way forward to protect our families and our children,” Governor Cuomo said. “By signing these measures into law we are strengthening our nation-leading gun laws – banning devices whose sole purpose is to create the most bloodshed in the shortest timeframe and providing law enforcement the tools they need to stop firearms from falling into dangerous hands.”

“As gun violence continues to affect communities across the state and the nation, we are advancing our efforts to strengthen our laws and protect New Yorkers,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “This legislation extending the background check waiting period and banning bump stocks will help to ensure that firearms do not get into the wrong hands and bans the use of devices that have been used to wreak havoc. We are committed to building on our nation-leading policies to stop senseless gun violence and save lives.”

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