Gun owners should be aware of the federal, state, and local laws that govern the ownership, sale, and use of firearms in New York State.
Some laws are obvious: i.e. If you use a firearm to commit a felony, you face prison time.
Others are less so: i.e. If you enter New York State with a handgun, even if it’s legally owned out of state, you can potentially be charged with a felony.
Whether you are charged with criminal possession, use, or sale of a firearm, or any related charge, enlisting the help of Astoria gun lawyer Mike Schillinger is crucial to the success of your case. Mike is well-versed in New York State’s gun laws, and will fight tirelessly to protect your rights and your freedom.
License Required To Carry Firearms in New York
In 2022, the New York State Legislature revised the laws governing gun permits, and included the following provisions:
- There are restrictions on firearms being carried in certain locations, even if you hold a valid carry permit. This can include many public places, such as universities, hospitals, churches, public transportation, bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, homeless shelters, entertainment venues, or places where children are present.
- Concealed carry permit applicants must present a certificate validating firearms training.
- Applicants’ good moral character and mental competence must be evaluated by an interview, and character references must be provided.
- Applicants must ensure safe gun storage in their homes and cars.
- Local background checks can even exceed FBI requirements.
- Enhanced restrictions are being required on using bullet-resistant gear.
Under this legislation, gun owners risk their concealed carry permits if they are convicted of misdemeanor weapons possession or menacing behavior. Because firearm laws are complicated and can change at any time, you should bring any weapons charge to a skilled attorney in Astoria for help navigating this difficult area of the law. If you have any questions regarding firearms licensing, contact us today.
Common Gun Charges
Some firearm charges are more common than others. Depending on prior convictions and the severity of the crime, the mandatory prison sentence can be severe. Additionally, New York judges often have broad discretion when sentencing people to jail, and potential prison sentences can exceed a decade depending upon the specifics of your case. Mike Schillinger is an experienced Astoria criminal defense lawyer that knows the sentencing guidelines and can help you evaluate the potential penalties you may face when charged with a crime.
Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree
Under New York Penal Code § 265.01, simply possessing certain weapons, regardless of whether you intend to use them against another, can cause you to be charged with a class “A” misdemeanor and face potential jail time. Some of these weapons include nunchuks, stun guns, brass knuckles, and even wrist-braced slingshots.
Additionally, under PL § 265.01, if you possess a rifle, shotgun, or even an antique firearm, while having been previously convicted of a felony or serious offense, you can potentially be charged with a misdemeanor. Even someone simply possessing ammunition may find themselves charged with this crime, if that ammunition is armor piercing and the police can allege that he/she intended to use it unlawfully against another person.
While a misdemeanor may not sound like a serious offense, the bottom line is that a class “A” misdemeanor carries serious potential consequences, including a year in jail, three years of probation, and significant fines. Being convicted of a misdemeanor will also give a person a criminal record that will stick with them for life.
While these are just some of the charges that fall under PL § 265.01, there are many others. Unfortunately, in New York City, we even see clients being arrested for merely carrying a box cutter and telling the police that they intended to use it “for protection.” While cases like this may be able to be resolved with a non-criminal resolution, having a skilled weapons attorney like Mike Schillinger on your side can tilt the scales in your favor. If you or a loved one has been charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon, contact us today.
Criminal Possession of a Firearm
Unlawfully possessing a firearm in New York State can result in someone being charged with significant felony offenses that carry mandatory jail time. Depending on the specific allegations that the District Attorney and the Police Department have made against you, the class of felony can vary greatly.
For instance, under NY PL § 265.01(b), you can be charged with a class E felony for just possessing a firearm unlawfully. This section of the law neither requires you to use the firearm, nor even to intend to use it against another individual. For simple possession, you can be charged with a class E felony which carries a potential indeterminate prison sentence of 1 – 4 years of incarceration.
With that being said, under certain circumstances, folks charged with possession can even be charged with a class “D” violent felony, which carries a mandatory minimum period of incarceration of two (2) years and a maximum of seven (7). Under NY PL § 265.02, possessing an assault weapon, possessing a weapon in the fourth degree (see above) and having previously been convicted of any crime, possessing a defaced weapon, and even possessing a large capacity magazine can result in a person having to fight against class “D” violent felony charges.
Furthermore, when the police and the D.A. are able to claim that you intended to use the firearm against another person, then you may find yourself being charged with even more significant charges. Charges brought under NY PL § 265.03 are one of the most common charges that we see in New York State, and more often than not they are brought under the provision that a person intended to unlawfully use a firearm against another. What many people do not realize is that you do not even have to fire, point, or even say that you intended to use the gun to be charged with this crime. In fact, more often than not, people find themselves charged with a violation of PL § 265.03 when they are caught carrying a loaded firearm unlawfully. Oftentimes the D.A. argues that by unlawfully possessing an operable, loaded firearm, the jury can infer that you had the intent to use it against another individual. If convicted of PL § 265.03, even a first-time offender is looking at mandatory prison time.
Possessing multiple weapons (specifically 10 or more) or explosives can result in someone being charged under NY PL § 265.04 criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree – a class “B” violent felony. This is the most serious possession charge (under NYS law) and carries anywhere from a minimum of five (5) years incarceration up to twenty-five (25) years depending upon the facts and circumstances of your case. If you’ve been charged with possessing a firearm, Mike can help. Contact us today to discuss the specifics of your case and to start working towards a resolution.
Criminal Use of a Firearm
Criminal use of a firearm can be classified as either a class “C” violent (NY PL § 265.08) or class “B” violent (NY PL § 265.09) felony in New York, and both carry significant mandatory sentences. While both charges involve people who possess or display loaded guns while committing other felony offenses, the class of the charge varies based upon the underlying allegations. Either way, both of these charges should be taken very seriously as they carry mandatory prison sentences (3 ½ years for a class “C” and 5 for a class “B” violent felony), along with significant fines, post release supervision time, as well as potential collateral consequences such as deportation for non-citizens, and potential restrictions on a person’s ability to get employment in the future.
Criminal Sale of a Firearm
Under Section 265.13 of the New York Penal Code, law enforcement can charge a person with criminally selling a firearm in the first degree for illegally selling, exchanging, or giving 10 or more guns to others. They can also charge a person with this crime if the allegations include unlawfully selling three firearms in under a year. This Class “B” violent felony is punishable by 5 to 25 years of imprisonment, along with serious fines and post release supervision time.
This is just one of the sale charges in New York State, and depending upon the circumstances, a person could also be charged with selling a firearm to a minor, selling a ghost gun, and even selling a frame or receiver of a firearm.
A Gun Attorney in Astoria Fights for Your Future
All firearms and weapons charges are serious charges. Even misdemeanor weapons related charges can have significant impacts on your future, including your ability to get employment, your immigration status, and of course, your freedom.
The bottom line is when it comes to weapons and firearm related charges, your future is at stake. With your freedom on the line, you deserve a tenacious lawyer in your corner to help you. Mike Schillinger is an Astoria gun lawyer who will fight to protect your rights, your future, and most importantly your freedom. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and to find out how Mike can fight for you.