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Federal Firearm Crimes Lawyers

Criminal Possession of a Firearm Laws in New York

Overview of Firearm Laws

In the United States, there are hundreds of millions of individuals who legally possess firearms. The State of New York has some of the strictest firearm laws in the country. Beyond the many different New York state laws, there are a variety of Federal laws that cover a person’s ability to purchase, sell or possess a firearm.

When a person is charged with breaking federal laws covering firearms, they could be facing federal prosecution. When a person is convicted in a federal court of breaking federal firearms laws, the possibility of a long mandatory minimum jail sentence in a Federal prison is a real possibility.

Firearm Definition

The federal definition of a firearm is found under 18 U.S. Code Section 921 (3). A firearm is defined as any weapon that expels a projectile. This must be accomplished utilizing an explosive. This also covers any weapon that is designed to be converted into a device that can expel a projectile with an explosive. A receiver or frame for any such weapon fits this category. It also includes any firearm silencer, muffler or destructive device. Antique firearms are not part of this definition.

Illegal Firearm Possession

It is against federal law for anyone to knowingly makes a false statement involving records that are kept for the purpose of purchasing a firearm. Federal statutes make it against the law for anyone to sell or provide a firearm as well as ammunition to an individual they may have a reason to believe fits one of the following categories and more:

  • If someone has a RESTRAINING ORDER taken out against them, this person cannot purchase a firearm.
  • A person who has been convicted of committing a felony cannot purchase a firearm
  • If a person has a warrant out for their arrest and is avoiding law enforcement, they cannot purchase a firearm.
  • Should a person have renounced their U.S. citizenship, they will not be permitted to purchase a firearm.
  • Should someone have received a dishonorable discharge from the U.S. Military, they are not permitted to purchase a firearm.
  • A person who is in the United States illegally cannot legally purchase a firearm.
  • Any person who has previously been committed to a mental institution is not permitted to own a firearm.

Federal Firearm Crimes

There are a number of different federal firearm crimes. It is illegal for an individual to barter, sell, store, conceal, possess or ship a firearm that has been stolen across state lines. It is also illegal for a person to obtain a firearm from a dealer by providing statements whether written or oral that are false. A person is not permitted to present false identification to a firearms dealer with the intention to deceive. It is also illegal for an individual to carry, discharge, possess a firearm while inside a federal facility. This includes a post office, federal court building and more.

Punishment for Federal Firearm Crimes

The punishment a person could receive for a gun-related crime will vary. It could be determined by which statues were violated. In some cases, a person will receive mandatory minimum sentencing. These prison sentences can range from a five to thirty-year term. They cover everything from firing a gun during a criminal act, brandishing or possessing a firearm and more. Drug crimes involving firearms can also subject a person to mandatory minimum sentencing.

Overview of New York State Firearm Laws

The second Constitutional amendment ensures that every citizen of the United States has a right to bear arms. This amendment is considered a cornerstone of the rights of the American people. However, the amendment has also been the subject of a great deal of controversy and Congressional debates. Even though the right to bear arms is guaranteed by the Second Amendment, every state has the right to regulate the way their weapons are owned and used.

Law enforcement and criminal prosecution officials tend to impose harsh penalties on people who commit firearms related offenses. This is because of the dangers that firearms can pose not just to the individual in question, but also to the general public.

Illegal Carrying of Weapons

Different states have different policies under which a person is permitted to carry a weapon. Some states have open carry laws, in which a person can carry a weapon in the open if they have a permit to do so. Some states have laws that allow people to carry concealed firearms provided they have a permit.

Regardless of the state, there are certain places that you cannot bring a firearm. For example, you will not be permitted to bring firearms into a hospital or clinic. Most banks and businesses also have rules against people bringing firearms inside. Even though you might have the right to carry a firearm, these businesses have the right to restrict your ability to carry that firearm while on their premises.

You should become familiar with the carrying laws of your state. Some states make it illegal for you to carry any loaded and unloaded firearms as long as you aren’t on your property. You also need to have the proper license for the firearm, and you need to make sure that you only use the firearm according to the lawful uses outlined in state laws. It’s also important that you not possess any illegal types of firearms. Machine guns and sawed-off shotguns are two types of illegal firearms. If you possess these, regardless of whether you do so on private property, you could be subject to criminal charges at the federal level.

The same laws that govern firearms also govern the use of other dangerous weapons. These include stilettos, blowguns, daggers, ballistic knives, and other weapons that can cause serious damage.

If you are brought up on firearms charges for carrying an unlicensed weapon, you could be subject to mandatory prison sentences of up to 18 months. If you face firearms charges for owning an illegal weapon like a machine gun, you might face life in prison if you’re found guilty.

For this reason, it’s imperative that you get in contact with an attorney as soon as possible. Make sure your attorney has experience negotiating firearms cases in your state. Because the laws regarding the possession of firearms vary so much from state to state, you need to make sure that your lawyer is familiar with your state’s regulations along with the federal regulations.

You might find yourself subject to multiple firearms charges for the same incident. When this occurs, you may also be subject to more severe penalties. If you’re convicted of multiple offenses, the prison sentences for these offenses must be served concurrently rather than simultaneously. This means that if you receive a three year sentence for one offense, and a five year sentence for another, you’ll be sent to prison for eight years.

Your lawyer will help you examine your options and create the best plan of defense for your particular case. Contact a lawyer immediately if you find yourself facing any kind of firearms charge.

New York Penal Code 265.01-b: Criminal Possession of a Firearm

In the state of New York, possession of a firearm can find you facing a felony conviction. When it comes to firearms, the least serious felony charge is criminal possession of a firearm. Under New York’s Penal Code 265.01-b, you can be charged with the crime if you possess a firearm but there are no additional factors that would contribute to the offense being considered a more serious felony.

What is Considered a Firearm?

The New York penal code 265.01-b considers the following as a firearm:

  • Any type of pistol or revolver
  • A shotgun that consists of one or more barrels measuring in at less than 18 inches in length
  • A rifle that consists of one or more barrels less than 16 inches in length
  • Any weapon made from a rifle or shotgun
  • An assault weapon

However, it should be noted that any antique firearm does not fall under any of the above categories for the purpose of a criminal possession of a firearm charge.

Examples of Criminal Possession of a Firearm

An example of criminal possession of a firearm is that a man is driving down an empty street in the wee hours of the morning and a police officer spots him and finds it odd to see a vehicle there at that time of night. The officer pulls the man over and pats him down to search him. During the pat down search, the police officer discovers that the man has a firearm hidden on his person and arrests him. However, at the same time, the man would probably not be charged with the crime of criminal possession of a firearm under the New York Penal Code 265.01-b because the police officer didn’t have probable cause to stop him for a search. The search, in this case, is unlawful, which would mean that the officer finding the weapon would be inadmissible as evidence.

Another example is police going into someone’s home to search it for something specific, such as drugs. A married couple allows two police officers to enter their home for the search while claiming there are no drugs there. However, during the search, one of the officers digs through a dresser drawer and uncovers a pistol hidden among articles of clothing in one of the drawers. The officer subsequently arrests both the husband and wife of criminal possession of a firearm. In this case, the evidence would be admissible because the couple allowed the officers to enter their home to perform a search.

Defenses for Criminal Possession of a Firearm

One of the possible defenses for the charge of criminal possession of a firearm under New York Penal Code 265.01-b is that the police discovered the firearm during a search but that the search was unlawful.

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