According to the New York State weapons statute, the word “weapon” is defined broadly. It refers to a variety of guns, including spring and air guns. An air gun can be a pellet or BB gun. It is illegal to have any of these weapons on school grounds. For people who are 16 years old or older, it is a violation of NY Penal Code § 265.05 to purposely possess a weapon that has an air, CO2 cartridge, spring or piston as the propelling force while on the grounds of any type of educational facility, unless you have received authorization in writing from the school. Related offenses including criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds and criminal sale of a firearm in the first degree.
Examples of Unlawful Possession of a Weapon Upon School Grounds
A teenage boy named Mark is on the border of his high school’s property, in the woods. He is shooting at trees with his air gun. The school administration contacts the police to tell them that somebody is using a gun on school property. The police arrive at the school and arrest Mark. Since Mark is 16 years old and was still on school grounds, even though he was close to county grounds, he has violated the weapons statute.
A college professor wants to teach his class about self-defense. He brings in a selection of guns to show his students how some people opt to protect themselves. However, he has not received written consent from the college to bring these weapons onto school grounds. The dean of the college drops in on the class and notices the weapons, then calls the local police, who arrest the teacher for unlawful possession.
Defenses Against Unlawful Possession of a Weapon Upon School Grounds
The way “weapon” is defined in this penal code plays a big role in your defense. If you were not using the type of weapon that this penal code refers to, you are not in violation of this statute. It’s important to speak with NYC criminal lawyers, who will be able to determine if the weapon you were using is in violation of the weapons statute. Your location may also be a factor in your defense. If you were close to the county line, it’s possible you were not in fact on school grounds. Additionally, if you did not knowingly have the weapon in your possession – for example, if somebody put the weapon in your backpack without you knowing it – you may be able to use this as a defense. You may also have a defense if you were on a forestry land of a SUNY college or if you were on a school bus that wasn’t yet on school grounds.
Sentence for Unlawful Possession of a Weapon Upon School Grounds
Violating the weapons statute is not considered a crime, but is instead considered a violation, which means that your maximum jail sentence is 15 days. You will also not have a conviction on your criminal record. Although this charge isn’t a misdemeanor or felony, it still needs to be taken seriously. While unlawful possession of a weapon upon school grounds is considered a violation, it’s possible that the prosecutor will try to charge you with something else that is considered a misdemeanor or felony.
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