Brooklyn Criminal Lawyer Explains Criminal Possession of a WeaponNew 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.

Possible Charges

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

Result of:

  • 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

Result of:     

  • 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

Result of:

  • 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 

Result of:

  • 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.

CategoryWeapons Charges

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