Airsoft Laws in New York

Airsoft Laws In New York

Have you been curious about New York’s airsoft regulations? Do you need to register your airsoft gun with the authorities? The answers to these questions might influence whether the state of New York views you as a law-abiding citizen or a criminal.

The response to this query could be a bit unclear to you. With some, like New York City, declaring the selling of Airsoft Guns illegal and putting an age limit on who may use these guns, the various counties within the state of New York usually have varied limitations. 

People who want to start playing airsoft or those who simply like the idea of airsoft replicas and want to own one in the secrecy of their home frequently have questions about New York airsoft and firearm laws.

In such a case, you can check whether it is wise to use airsoft guns in your backyard once you understand the New York law. Any regulation that prohibits or restricts the use or ownership of airsoft guns was put in place as a result of intentional crimes that individuals have committed in the past using them.

Let’s look at the laws in New York and see how you can use airsoft guns in general. 

Airsoft Laws in New York

By definition, an airsoft gun is considered a firearm if it is unmarked with an orange strip. (I will explain that below)

Here is an excerpt from the law:

1. “Firearm” as used in this section shall have the same meaning as that term is defined by subdivision three of section 265.00 of the penal law and shall include machine guns, rifles, and shotguns as those terms are defined by subdivisions one, eleven and twelve, respectively, of section 265.00 of the penal law.

2. “Imitation weapon” means any device or object made of plastic, wood, metal, or any other material which substantially duplicates or can reasonably be perceived to be an actual firearm, air rifle, pellet gun, or “B-B” gun; unless such imitation weapon

(a) is colored other than black, blue, silver, or aluminum,

(b) is marked with a non-removable orange stripe which is at least one inch in width and runs the entire length of the barrel on each side and the front end of the barrel, and

(c) has a barrel at least one inch in diameter that is closed for a distance of not less than one-half inch from the front end of its barrel with the same material of which the imitation weapon is made. “Imitation weapon” does not include any nonfiring replica of an antique firearm, the original of which was designed, manufactured, and produced prior to eighteen hundred ninety-eight.

The Airsoft laws in New York are different from other states.


1. Bright Makings

In other words, unless it has an orange stripe running the whole barrel length or is vividly colored with colors different than those used in traditional guns, an airsoft gun is not considered a legitimate firearm.

The yellow strip ought to be:

To comply with the legislation, you must either entirely change the airsoft gun’s color or label it with an additional orange strip when you buy one.

  1. Permanent (Non-Removable)
  2. Running through the entire barrel of the airsoft gun
  3. Be at least 1 inch thick

By disregarding New York’s Airsoft laws, you may unintentionally violate the state’s rigorous regulations on the sale, transportation, and use of guns.

2. Age Restrictions

The state law also sets the age limit for playing airsoft.

According to state legislation, you must be at least 12 years old and be under the supervision of your parents, guardians, or instructors to play airsoft on any airsoft field.

3. Selling and Trading

The sale of “paint pellet guns” to anyone under 16 is prohibited, and violators will face the following penalties.

According to the legislation, anyone, business, or company that sells an airsoft pistol to a minor under the age of 16 is breaking the law and will face a civil fine of up to $500 as a result.

New York’s airsoft laws forbid anyone under 16 from owning an airsoft gun. When a youngster is apprehended for breaking the law, they are considered juvenile offenders. They are expected to face charges in a juvenile court.

4. Potential Penalties

Suppose a juvenile uses an airsoft gun 16. In that case, they can anticipate community service hours and a more severe penalty if they are a repeat offender.

Airsoft laws in New York

Airsoft Laws in New York City

Unless you have used your airsoft pistol to commit a crime or behaved recklessly, you shouldn’t anticipate getting into trouble with the authorities.

1. Usage Restrictions 

The following are the restrictions that apply to using your airsoft gun in New York City:

  1. Using it in Public- It would be best if you do not use your airsoft gun in public places like parks or public places.
  2. Bringing it within School Grounds- Never bring an airsoft gun to a school.
  3. Using it irresponsibly- Never act irresponsibly with your airsoft gun, whether in public or private.

2. Sale Restrictions

Together with the previously mentioned additional criteria for bright colors is what some localities in the state of New York have unique regulations. As a result, buying, selling, and trading airsoft weapons in New York City are strictly prohibited.

In general, New York sellers cannot sell most airsoft weapons. Identifying the precise kind of gun you’re looking for could be challenging because airsoft guns and other toy weapons must adhere to strict branding regulations to be marketed.

Here is what New York City’s Administrative Code 10-131(b) says about selling airsoft guns in the city.

g. 1. It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or offer for sell, possess or use or attempt to use or give away, any toy or imitation firearm which substantially duplicates or can reasonably be perceived to be an actual firearm unless:

(a) the entire exterior surface of such toy or imitation firearm is colored white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright blue, bright pink, or bright purple, either singly or as the predominant color in combination with other colors in any pattern; or

(b) such toy or imitation firearm is constructed entirely of transparent or translucent materials which permits unmistakable observation of the imitation or toy firearms’ complete contents; and

(c) the barrel of such toy or imitation firearm, other than the barrel of any such toy or imitation firearm that is a water gun, is closed with the same material of which the toy or imitation firearm is made for a distance of not less than one-half inch from the front end of said barrel, and;

(d) such toy or imitation firearm has legibly stamped thereon, the name of the manufacturer or some trade name, mark, or brand by which the manufacturer can be readily identified; and

(e) such toy or imitation or firearm does not have attached thereto a laser pointer, as defined in paragraph one of subdivision (a) of section 10134.2 of this code.

2. Paragraph one of this subdivision shall not apply to:

(a) the possession or display of toy or imitation firearms by a manufacturer or dealer solely for purposes of sales that are accompanied by delivery to a point without the city;

(b) any toy or imitation firearm that will be used only for or in the production of television programs or theatrical or motion picture presentations, provided, however, that such use of any toy or imitation firearm complies with all applicable laws, rules, or regulations concerning request and receipt of waivers authorizing such use;

(c) non-firing collector replica antique firearms, which look authentic and may be a scale model but are not intended as toys modeled on real firearms designed, manufactured, and produced prior to 1898;

(d) decorative, ornamental, and miniature objects having the appearance, shape and/or configuration of a firearm, including those intended to be displayed on a desk or worn on items such as bracelets, necklaces and key chains, provided that the objects measure no more than thirty-eight (38) millimeters in height by seventy (70) millimeters in length, the length measurement excluding any gun stock length measurement.

Simply said, you may only legally purchase an airsoft pistol if it is brightly colored or has a bright orange strip on both sides of the barrel in addition to the standard colors that conventional weapons have.

soldier holding rifle

If you want to purchase an airsoft gun in New York City legally, you can do it online or outside the city. Most online merchants ship to New York City. However, before placing your order, you might want to check with your merchant on Amazon or another merchant site.

3. Penalties

Since New York has robust firearm laws, breaking the airsoft gun laws might get you into some difficulty. If you do not adequately mark your airsoft gun as a toy, not a real firearm, you might be in serious trouble.

First-degree criminal possession of a weapon is punishable by up to 25 years in prison, while fourth-degree criminal possession of a gun has a maximum sentence of one year in jail.

Therefore, the overarching maxim is “Don’t Be Stupid.” Be responsible and ensure your airsoft gun is well labeled and kept out of sight of the public.


In conclusion, regardless of the law, you must remember that an airsoft gun is not a toy. It should be treated with the same care you would go for a real handgun because it is dangerous equipment.

This article should make it easier for you to stay informed about New York’s airsoft regulations. Be careful not to misuse your Airsoft rifle. Check out the Airsoft legislation in the other US states. 

Take precautions, exercise common sense, and have fun at your next airsoft game!

A Final Word

Whatever the law states, you need to always remember that an airsoft gun is not a toy. It is a dangerous tool and should be treated with the same respect you would have for an actual firearm.

In Addition to this, the fact that most airsoft guns are made as exact replicas of actual firearms means that a person who does not know airsoft would mistakenly assume that you are carrying an actual firearm.

For this reason, It is really important to always carry your airsoft gun in a gun bag or case. If you don’t have one, check this bag now on Amazon. The links below have a list of affordable cases or bags that you might want to consider.

1. Plano Gun Guard SE Series 48-Inch Single Rifle Case

2. Allen Company Triumph Ripstop Range Bag & Handgun Mat

The key to playing airsoft is to always practice safety precautions in and outside of the field. There will always be dangers in most sports but if you know how to safeguard yourself and act responsibly, these dangers are lessened or even eliminated.

Tell Me What You Think

We have compiled all the Airsoft Laws by State. Find out what the law in your state says about Airsoft Guns.


Take a look and tell us if our posts are accurate for the state that you live in. Please also leave a comment on whether your state enforces these laws or not. We would love to hear your feedback. We’ll strive to keep these laws updated. Let us know if this is not the case in the comment section below.

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