With all the shootings in the news over the past several years, the spotlight has been on gun control and tightening of gun laws. In 2006 New York passed what is known as the PLAX law, giving NY a reputation for having some of the toughest firearms possessions laws in the country. If you live in New York and have possession of a firearm, your gun must be licensed and registered. If it is not, that that is considered an illegal firearm. Law enforcement has made it a priority to get as many illegal firearms off the streets as possible. The court system backs up this effort with extremely tough sanctions against anyone who chooses to violate these laws.
New York Penal Code 265 addresses firearms issues, and 265.13 in particular addresses the criminal sale of a firearm in the first degree.
Penal Code 265.13 Broken Down
New York Penal Code 265.13 states that when an individual is not legally authorized to own a firearm and they sell, give, or exchange 10 firearms over a period of not more than one year, then this is considered a criminal sale of a firearm in the first degree.
– assault weapons
– machine guns, and more
Violation of this code is considered a class B felony, and can carry significant prison time in addition to fines and probation. If you do not have any previous convictions, the mandatory minimum prison sentence if convicted is 5 years. If you do have prior convictions, the mandatory minimum sentence is 10 years. The sentence itself can be anywhere from the minimum up to 25 years in state prison and could include a fine of not more than $30,000.
Gun shows have been a popular venue to buy and sell firearms. If a vendor at a gun show was selling guns he was not legally authorized to own and sold a minimum of 10 guns, than that would be a violation of NY Penal Code 265.13. He doesn’t have to sell them all at one time, or to just one person. The sale is cumulative over a year. If he went to ten different gun shows over a 12 month period and sold one gun at each show, that would be criminal sale in the first degree if he was not authorized to own the guns.
A good New York defense attorney would be able to look at all aspects of the case and determine the best defense to get the charges reduced or even dismissed. For example, if the gun owner could prove he was the legal owner of even some of the guns and that they were properly licensed and registered, that would mean that 265.13 was not a proper charge. Less than 10 guns would reduce the crime from first degree charges and that could have a significant impact on the sentencing.
In addition, there are specific laws regarding when law enforcement can stop and search someone, and a good defense attorney will be able to use any violations of those rules in their defense.
Trafficking in illegal firearms is a very serious offense, and both law enforcement and the court system is not going to look the other way if someone gets caught. The state of New York is especially vigilante when trying to keep the public safe from criminal activity involving firearms. If charged, the most important thing to do is contact an attorney as soon as possible.