New York City Criminal Attorneys Will Defend Your Gun Charges
There are a wide variety of charges associated with the possession and/or sale of a FIREARM in the City of New York. New York City has extremely strict laws in regards to firearm possession and distribution be it rifles and shotguns or handguns.
You must obtain a permit to own any type of firearm, and if you are found in possession of a firearm in NYC without a permit or in violation of the laws governing their transportation and distribution you can be charged with either a MISDEMEANOR or a FELONY. Moreover, if you are an out-of-state resident driving through New York you are also required to have a firearm permit. This has been of particular interest in the news this year after former US Marine Ryan Jerome was arrested for handing in his registered firearm over voluntarily to security personnel at the Empire State Building. Jerome had a license from his own state to carry the weapon but because it was not a New York License he was charged with a felony weapons possession. It was was later pled down to a misdemeanor charge, but the case did raise interesting questions regarding Full Faith and Credit.
New York Gun Laws
New York State doesn’t require a hunting license to possess long guns. The state law does require a permit to possess a pistol. In 2012, a federal appeals court ruled that New York’s law requiring gun owners seeking a concealed-weapon permit to prove a special need does not violate the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms.
Most of New York’s gun laws are made known in two sections of New York Penal Law, Article 265. In January 2013, the state’s assault weapon ban got more restrictive. Certain rifle magazines are banned and any semi-automatic rifle or shotgun is banned if they include one of these features:
- Pistol grip
- Bayonet lug
- Telescoping/folding stock
- Flash suppressor
- Threaded barrel
- Grenade launcher
- Muzzle compensator
- Thumbhole stock
- All semi-automatic types of “assault” style rifles purchased before January 2013 are grandfathered but must be registered.
Enforcement of New York firearm laws varies widely across the state. Law enforcement officials in, and around, New York City and other urban centers are stricter and normally will arrest and prosecute anyone found illegally possessing a firearm. Local law enforcement authorities in rural jurisdictions will arrest and prosecute someone for unlawful weapons only if there is a plain demonstration of malicious intention.
New York State has the strictest handgun licensing procedures and policies in the country. NYC has laws that are stricter than those at the state level. The laws include regulating firearms kept strictly at home, making it impossible for ordinary citizens to obtain, possess or carry firearms legally within the city. The result is a near total ban on buying, transporting and owning of firearms by citizens living in New York City. The non-refundable application fee for a New York City concealed carry permit averages $5000. There are no guarantees the individually apply will be issued a permit.
Only individuals who hold a valid New York State Pistol Permit can purchase a handgun in New York State. The state law does not have any provision for an out-of-state handgun owner to carry a handgun within the state.
Application for a handgun license is made through the person’s county, or city, of primary residence. After initial approval at the initial level, the application is then sent to the New York State Police for further approval. Individuals will be required to provide names and contact information for friends and associates so they can serve as personal references. The proposed references may also be required to complete forms and pistol licenses can take more than six months for approval.
Weapon Charges are Actively Prosecuted in NYC
Illegal firearm possession can include:
- Procurement of the weapon outside officially recognized dealers and distributors
- Falsifying information on permit applications
- Being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm (this could mean that you are the owner of a vehicle in which a firearm is present –regardless of whether you are the owner)
Penalties for Illegal Firearms
There are two main offenses in New York concerning weapons: Criminal Possession and Criminal Use
Criminal use of a firearm is the showing, or using, a firearm during the commission of a crime. Criminal use in the second degree is normally charged as a class C violent felony if;
- The accused possessed a deadly weapon, or
- Displayed a firearm during commission of the crime
Criminal use in the second degree is a Class C Felony and brings up to 15 years in prison
Criminal use in the first degree is a class B violent felony involves committing any class B felony while:
- Possessing a deadly weapon, or
- Displaying a firearm during the course of committing the base crime
An individual may be charged with criminal possession in the fourth degree if the prosecution can prove:
- You merely possessed a firearm, electronic dart gun, switchblade or even metal knuckles
- Possession a knife, razor, stiletto, imitation pistol and had the intention of using it
- You were in possession of a firearm on school grounds
- You are not a US citizen when in possession of a firearm
- You have not been determined suitable for gun ownership
- You possessed any armor piercing ammunition
Criminal possession in the fourth degree is a Class A misdemeanor and carries up to 1 year in jail.
Carrying up to 25 years in prison, Criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree is the most serious weapons charge. You are facing this charge if the prosecution believes you:
- Own ten or more firearms, or
- Own any explosive with the intention of using it against a person or property
Possession of a weapon (loaded firearm or gun) within the city is considered by law enforcement and the courts as a violent offense that has mandatory jail terms associated with this offense. There are countless, notable, newsworthy cases regarding individuals (even celebrities) who were incarcerated on charges of weapon possession simply because they were in the same vehicle (or driving a vehicle) wherein a passenger was carrying a loaded firearm without the consent or knowledge of the other passengers/driver.
You cannot take any weapons charges within the New York City limits lightly. The courts certainly do not. When you have been charged with any firearm-related offense you must have the best NYC gun attorney at your disposal.
Weapons charges are a serious matter and the courts make an extra effort to keep the streets of New York safe.
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