New York firearm regulations are strict, and can also be incredibly confusing. What qualifies as a weapon? What documentation do you need to possess a firearm? Below, we have a basic overview of gun laws in New York State, as well as a short list of the possible consequences you may face if convicted for criminal possession of a weapon.
Overview of Gun Laws and Required Documentation
- There are different rules regarding the documentation and procedures required to obtain different firearms. [n.b., the link doesn’t work – this is better: https://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/state-gun-laws/new-york-city/]
- Throughout the rest of our state, you do not need a hunting license or State permit to purchase a rifle or shotgun. However, these documents are required in New York City.
- To purchase a handgun, you must possess the proper license and permits. Handguns must be registered with the State.
- Assault weapons are banned throughout New York State.
- Private parties may exchange firearms, but only after a licensed dealer has recorded the transaction, conducted a background check, and sent proof of the background check to the State Police.
- Background checks are required before purchasing a gun at a gun show.
- There may be exceptions to these rules depending on which county you are in.
- Out-of-state licenses are not considered valid in New York.
You may be facing a variety of charges if you are caught with a weapon in your possession. Below are a list of charges, the different weapons they involve, and the sentences that are typically attached to that charge.
Fourth Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon
- Possession of firearm, stun gun, switchblade, brass knuckles, slingshot
- Possession of dangerous or deadly instrument with intention of unlawful use
- Possession of firearm on campus
- Refusal to relinquish possession under the orders of police
Classified as: Class A misdemeanor
Penalty: up to 1 year in jail
Third Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon
- Fourth degree criminal possession of a weapon with prior criminal history
- Possession of 3+ firearms
- Possession of assault weapon, explosives, bombs, silencer, machine gun
- Possession of weapon outside of home or business after recent Class A misdemeanor/felony conviction
Classified as: Class D felony
Penalty: 1-7 years in prison
Second Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon
- Possession of 5+ firearms
- Possession of any loaded firearm
- Possession of machine gun or loaded firearm with intentions of unlawful use
Classified as: Class C felony
Penalty: 1-15 years in prison
First Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon
- Possession of 10+ firearms
- Explosives with intentions for unlawful use
Classified as: Class B felony
Penalty: 1-25 years in prison
As you can see, a conviction for criminal possession of a weapon has serious consequences. If you have been charged with criminal possession of a weapon, contact a Brooklyn criminal lawyer to discuss your options and defense strategies today.