The Importance Of Knowing Your State and City Laws

I recently had someone contact me on MorphMarket wanting to purchase a ball python, now as i was on my way to vend at a reptile expo i was unable to ask him a lot of questions until after he had sent the money and i was home. This customer lives in new york city limits, which bans the selling and owning of all pythons species, as well as almost everything else. I had to refund him his money after i found this out. As not only sellers but also as responsible owners i feel it is important for all of us to know the laws in areas we live. If you live in an area that bans the ownership of these animals no matter how much we disagree with it we must uphold it and not put everyones ownership at risk. I am interested in hearing everyone else’s perspective on this. :slightly_smiling_face:


A lot of people living in NYC are actually shocked when you tell them it’s illegal, somehow they believe because so and so lives in NYC and has one or breeds they are legal.

Seems like a lot of people are unaware.


Yep fully agree. i had to look it up to be sure and then still ask around. The only information i found stated inside new york city limits and the 5 boroughs. It also stated in is best to look up each cities laws to be sure. So some cities in New York you can own and sell, BUT NOT ALL.

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As a seller does the burden of all state and locality laws regarding reptiles fall to you? Can FedX tell you if its permitted or not based on zip code? I can understand needing to know state laws, but locality laws sound like a headache. How do you manage that?

I don’t think local laws should fall onto the breeder, but mainly the buyer. Yes, a breeder could look into local laws if he believes something might not be right, but that’s not really something I would expect a breeder to do. Anyone wanting to buy a snake should first know their local laws, and see if it’s even permitted. If people were proactive like that then maybe we wouldn’t hear or see as many issues.


FedEx would not be any help they do not regulate nor are aware of specifics in each states.

The burden really falls on the buyer, obviously a breeder cannot know every single laws, however many breeders are aware of the most well known ones such as NYC, and other state laws when it comes to specific species.

I can tell you that years ago when I wanted my first snake, the first thing I did was to research whether what I wanted was legal or not (turned out it was not). That should be anyone’s first step.


We have a fair amount of regulation regarding reptile ownership & sales here in Florida. Most non-venomous can be kept by anyone, but some species do require a permit to own and ALL reptile sales in Florida require the seller to have a permit from FWC (Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission). Maybe I should start a post on it. In the meantime, if anyone has questions about it, feel free to ask me. I have a FWC permit for Class III Wildlife Public Sale/Exhibition.

Is the permit for sells within florida or how does it work for someone sending into florida?

It’s my understanding that private sales where a reptile is shipped in from an out of state seller directly to the buyer do not require the seller to have a permit. But if you come in from out of state to conduct public sales, like having a table at an expo, you will need to have a permit for sale/exhibition.