Are Crossbows Legal in NYC? New York City Regulations

Are Crossbows Legal in NYC? New York City Regulations

Are crossbows legal in NYC? It's a question that might have crossed the mind of many an archery enthusiast or anyone with a keen interest in the sport.

Before you go ahead and unleash your inner Robin Hood, it's essential to understand the rules and regulations surrounding crossbows in the city that never sleeps.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll dive deep into the nitty-gritty of New York City's crossbow laws, answering FAQs, and providing valuable insights to keep you on the right side of the law.

Are Crossbows Legal in NYC? The Short Answer

In a nutshell, crossbows are not legal in New York City. Crossbows, along with other weapons such as switchblades and brass knuckles, are classified as “prohibited weapons” under New York City Administrative Code ยง10-131.

This code prohibits the possession, sale, or transfer of crossbows within city limits. Violators may face fines and even imprisonment.

However, New York State does have specific provisions for crossbow usage in hunting, subject to certain conditions and limitations.

As a result, it's essential to familiarize yourself with these regulations to avoid any legal pitfalls.

Crossbow Regulations in New York State

While crossbows are illegal within New York City limits, the rest of the state has more lenient laws in place. Crossbow hunting is permitted under specific conditions, as outlined below:

  • Crossbow hunters must be at least 14 years old.
  • Crossbows must have a draw weight between 100 and 200 pounds.
  • The crossbow's overall length must be at least 24 inches.
  • The use of an optic sight is allowed, but not a light or a laser.
  • Hunters must carry a valid hunting license and a muzzleloading privilege (for those hunting during the muzzleloader season).

Crossbow Hunting Seasons and Restrictions

Crossbow hunting is allowed during specific seasons, including:

  1. Regular big game season
  2. Early and late muzzleloader seasons in the Northern and Southern zones
  3. Special firearms season in the Suffolk County

Do note that crossbows are not allowed during the regular archery season or within bowhunting-only areas.

FAQs: Are Crossbows Legal in NYC?

Q: Can I own a crossbow for target practice in NYC?

A: Unfortunately, crossbows are illegal for any purpose within New York City limits, including target practice.

Q: Can I use a crossbow for self-defense in NYC?

A: No, crossbows are prohibited weapons in New York City and cannot be used for self-defense or any other purpose.

Q: If I live outside NYC, can I bring my crossbow into the city?

A: It's best to avoid bringing a crossbow into New York City, as possession is illegal and may result in fines or imprisonment.

Q: Are crossbows legal for hunting in other parts of New York State?

A: Yes, crossbows can be used for hunting in New York State, provided you adhere to specific regulations and restrictions. These include age requirements, draw weight limitations, and designated hunting seasons.

Q: Can I transport a crossbow through New York City if I don't use it within city limits?

A: While it's technically illegal to possess a crossbow within NYC, you might be able to transport it through the city if it's properly secured and stored in a case. However, it's recommended to avoid transporting a crossbow through the city if possible, to prevent any potential legal issues.


So, are crossbows legal in NYC? The answer is a resounding no.

Crossbows are considered prohibited weapons within the city limits, and their possession, sale, or transfer is strictly forbidden.

However, for those living or hunting in other parts of New York State, crossbow usage is permitted under certain conditions.

As an archery enthusiast or hunter, it's crucial to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations in your area.

Make sure to consult local authorities or legal experts if you have any doubts about crossbow ownership and usage.

By staying informed and responsible, you can enjoy the sport of archery without running afoul of the law.