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New York Penal Code 265.13: Criminal sale of a firearm in the first degree

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.

Firearms include:
– pistols
– rifles
– shotguns
– handguns
– assault weapons
– machine guns, and more

George FernandezGeorge Fernandez
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Excellent 10 out of 10, Helped resolve my case. Jeremy explained everything and made everything easy to understand.
21:33 24 Apr 24
If you are looking for a lawyer that listens, is aggressive where needed, and holds his word above all else, Todd is the best pick. I had hired multiple attorneys prior to hiring the Spodek Group for a white collar case. The first thing that stood out to me was the cost, as anyone going through the process and dealing with the system, money was tight at that time - especially after hiring and firing multiple lawyers. The cost was not as high as others which was definitely a plus. Todd's intake process was also unlike other attorneys. He took the time to actually listen. He cared. He was trying to put himself in my shoes while I was explaining the situation to him and he really took the time to understand the whole situation. Other lawyers will give you 15 mins and send you a retainer agreement. Not Todd, I think he spent almost two hours with me as I was explaining everything.Not only was he great during the onboarding process, he was supportive and very informative through the entire plea process and eventually sentencing. After hiring him, I asked if I should hire a prison consultant, he told me to save my money as he would do everything they would. He was right and held up to his word. Later on I would hear from others that went with the prison consultants that they were a waste of money - I am glad I listened to Todd!When it came time for sentencing, two days prior to sentencing, the prosecutor tried increasing my proposed prison time by almost double - apparently a normal move. Todd and his team worked with me non-stop through the weekend prior to sentencing to ensure that I was not given additional prison time. Again, he took the time to listen and came up with a strategy to explain the case with great detail.Unfortunately, I did plead guilty as that was my best option. Todd and his whole team wrote up nearly 300 pages of a summary of what happened and why I should not be given prison time. If I breakdown the amount I spent with Todd versus the amount of work that I saw being done, I am shocked I was not charged four times as much. The other benefit was, a lot of criminal defense lawyers were just a single attorney with a paralegal or two. Todd had a team of people that I dealt with (5-7 people that I interacted with), but he was ALWAYS accessible. It would never take him more than an hour to reply unless he was in court.I was sentenced to prison and I was emotionally distraught. Todd and his team did whatever they could even after sentencing to make sure I was alright. He personally stayed in touch with my family to ensure I was doing alright and offered support to them. Most lawyers would consider the job complete at sentencing, not Todd.After prison, Todd still spent time with me to make sure I was on the right track and avoiding any potential risks in the future. He has also been giving advice on how to navigate probation etc and has not been looking at the clock for billing.Although I wish I had never been arrested in the first place, I am glad I had Todd and his team in my corner. Without them I likely would have had to spend a lot more time in prison than I did.Thank you, Todd, and the entire Spodek Law team, for helping turn what was a nightmare into a manageable situation!
Yelva Saint-PreuxYelva Saint-Preux
19:26 19 Apr 24
I am immensely grateful to the entire team at Spodek Law Group for their unwavering dedication and exceptional expertise throughout my case. From our initial consultation to the final resolution, their professionalism and tireless advocacy made all the difference. Their strategic approach and attention to detail instilled confidence in me every step of the way.Thanks to their hard work and commitment, we achieved a truly favorable outcome that exceeded my expectations. Not only did they navigate the complexities of my case with precision, but they also provided invaluable support and guidance during what was undoubtedly a challenging time. I cannot recommend Spodek Law Group highly enough, especially attorneys Todd Spodek and Claire Banks; they are beacons of excellence in the legal profession.YSP.
Katherine SunKatherine Sun
18:08 18 Apr 24
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17:48 18 Apr 24
Todd, Ralph and Alex are amazing. Helped my husband get from a double digit number with multiple charges to a single digit, by the time I blink he will be out. They very professional and help with all your needs. They dealt with my anxiety and worry very well and they understand that your family member needs to get home as soon as possible.
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20:45 15 Mar 24
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
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16:26 15 Mar 24
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence.Thank you team!
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01:37 25 Jan 24
I recently had Spodek Law Group represent me for a legal matter in NYC and I am thoroughly impressed with their services.Alex Zhik secured the best possible outcome for my case.It was a seamless journey from the initial consultation to the resolution of my legal matter. From the moment I spoke to Todd about my case, his enthusiasm to help was evident, setting a positive tone for the entire experience. The efficiency and professionalism displayed by the team is commendable.A particularly noteworthy aspect of their service is their user-friendly portal to upload your documents/evidence. This not only simplified the process, but showcases their commitment to streamline the client experience.Lastly, in an industry where legal fees can often be a concern, I found their pricing to be very reasonable, making needing legal assistance feel accessible and stress-free.I am grateful for their support and wouldn't hesitate to turn to them again in the future.

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.

Potential Defense
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.

New York Penal Code 265.11: Criminal sale of a firearm in the third degree

New York Penal Law 265.11: Criminal sale of a firearm in the third degree is a class D felony. The guilty party under this law is not an authorized gun holder or seller. Beyond possessing the weapon illegally, under 265.11 one must also have sold, exchanged, gave, or disposed a firearm. Under this legal stature, a high capacity ammunition device is also classified as a firearm. One charged with Criminal sale of a firearm in the third degree could also be in possession of such a device with the intent to sell it.

There are related offenses to 265.11. One of these is New York Penal Code 265.01-a: Criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds. Another related offense is New York Penal Code 265.13: Criminal sale of a firearm in the first degree.


An example of New York penal law 261.11 is of course if police are witness to an illegal transaction of a firearm. For instance, officers happened upon a sale of a pistol either by surveillance or through coincidence. The seller in this instance would be charged with Criminal sale of a firearm in the third degree.

Another example would be if police arrested an individual for illegal possession of a firearm. If upon interrogation, the one who had the weapon told the officers who sold them their gun, police could then arrest the suspected seller under Criminal sale of a firearm in the third degree.

A final example relates to searching the house of an individual with an official search warrant. Police officers may locate several weapons and ammunition, for instance two of the same pistols held in a storage device with a price tag. Officers could then arrest the weapon owner under Criminal sale of a firearm in the third degree, as there is a clear intention to sell these firearms.


The most obvious defense of Criminal sale of a firearm in the third degree would be challenging the search from police that led to the discovery of such a firearm. Police are subject to strict guidelines for stopping an individual and searching them. There are also guidelines in place that prevent the searching of one’s home. If the police involved in the case violated these regulations in any way, then it is possible to break the case of the prosecution. It is possible to argue that police stopped an individual for racially motivated reasons instead of qualified intelligence or probable cause. If this is the case, then one has a chance to fight New York Penal Code 261.11.

Another possible defense is challenging the fact that the one in possession of the firearm had intent to sell or distribute it in any way. While holding an illegal firearm in the first place is against the law and subject to penalty, the sale of such weapons is a much heavier charge. A NYC defense lawyer could argue that the weapon was never on the market and there was no chance for its distribution. In this way, it is possible to fight the charge of Criminal sale of a firearm in the third degree.


Being that New York Penal Code 261.11 is a class D felony, such a conviction carries a possible prison term of up to seven years. The severity of the prison time is depending upon the individual’s criminal history. For instance, if one was previously convicted of a felony, the term is likely to be longer. There is also a possible fine attached to 261.11.

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