New York Weapons Charges Lawyer
New York takes an aggressive approach to cracking down on weapons. If you’ve been charged with weapons possession or illegal gun sales in New York City, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.
The attorneys of Sullivan & Galleshaw have over 30 years of experience handling a wide array of weapons charges, and are ready to tackle even the most complex and serious of allegations. We serve all boroughs and the surrounding metro area, and offer free consultations for new clients.
To set up a free, confidential case evaluation, call our law offices right away at (800) 730-0135.
Which Weapons Are Illegal in New York?
It’s a common misconception that “weapons crimes” automatically refers to guns. In reality, New York recognizes many different weapons as being dangerous, deadly, and downright illegal – some of which may surprise you.
Under NY Penal Law §265.00 all of the following weapons and weapons accessories can potentially lead to criminal charges, though some constitute more serious crimes than others:
- Armor-Piercing Ammunition
- Ballistic Knives
- Billy Clubs
- Brass Knuckles (Metal or Plastic)
- Cane Swords
- Chuka Sticks
- Dart Guns
- Gravity Knives
- Imitation or Replica Weapons
- Kung Fu Stars
- Machine Guns
- Metal Knuckle Knives
- Stun Guns
Believe it or not, in some cases even common pocket knives and utility knives have led to people being arrested in New York. It is always wise to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who will be able to protect your legal rights and advocate on your behalf in the courtroom.
Firearm Sales Charges
While many types of weapons are considered illegal, all sales-related charges under NY Penal Law §265.00 specifically involve firearms. Knives, throwing stars, brass knuckles, and other non-firearm weapons are excluded from criminal sales charges. This is reflected in the name of the charge: “criminal sale of a firearm.”
It’s important for defendants to understand that all firearm sales charges are graded as felonies, the most serious class of crime. There is no such thing as a misdemeanor gun sale under New York’s current laws.
There are five distinct gun sale charges, charged under the following circumstances:
- Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the Third Degree (§265.11) – Class D Felony
- The defendant sells either a gun or a belt, magazine, or other ammunition-feeding device that can hold more than 10 rounds.
- The defendant owns a gun and intends to sell it.
- Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the Second Degree (§265.12) – Class C Felony
- The defendant sells five or more guns to the same person at once.
- The defendant sells five or more guns – not necessarily to the same person – over the course of one year or less.
Criminal sale in the first degree (§265.13), a Class B Felony, is defined the same way as criminal sale in the second degree, but is charged when the sale involves a total of 10 or more guns
- Criminal Sale of a Firearm with the Aid of a Minor (§265.14) – Class C Felony
- Charged when a defendant, who was over 18 years old at the time of the alleged crime, helps somebody younger than 16 years old sell a gun.
- Criminal Sale of a Firearm to a Minor (§265.16) – Class C Felony
- Charged when a defendant sells a gun to somebody known or appearing to be younger than 19 years old. The buyer must also not have been licensed to own the gun(s) in question.
On a final note, no money need ever change hands for a suspect to be arrested. You can also be charged if you exchange guns, give a gun away for free, or otherwise dispose of a gun to another person or group of people.
Criminal Weapons Possession Offenses
In addition to sales-related charges, New York law also recognizes several possession charges. The technical term for these offenses is “criminal possession of a weapon.”
There’s a very important distinction between sales and possession offenses: while criminal sale excludes guns, criminal possession does not. Most criminal possession offenses are felonies. The degree you are charged with depends on factors such as whether you are a citizen of the United States, the type and quantity of weapons involved, and whether the gun was loaded.
- Fourth Degree (§265.01) – Class A Misdemeanor
- Third Degree (§265.02) – Class D Felony
- Second Degree (§265.03) – Class C Felony
- First Degree (§265.04) – Class B Felony
There are also several miscellaneous possession charges:
- Criminal Possession of a Firearm (§265.01-B) – Class E Felony
- Includes all types of firearms.
- Even if you are in perfectly lawful, licensed possession, you can still be charged with this offense if you deliberately fail to register the gun.
- Criminal Possession of a Weapon on School Grounds (§265.01-A) – Class E Felony
- “School grounds” refers to buildings, buses, playgrounds, playing fields, and any accessible property within 1,000 feet of the school’s property lines. The term applies to elementary schools through college.
- Aggravated Criminal Possession of a Weapon (§265.19) – Class C Felony
- Charged when a defendant commits second degree weapons possession and either (1) a violent felony, such as robbery or assault, or (2) felony drug trafficking.
Fines and Sentences for Misdemeanors and Felonies
- Class B Misdemeanor
- Fine – Up to $500
- Sentence – Up to 3 months
- Class A Misdemeanor
- Fine – Up to $1,000
- Sentence – Up to 1 year
The penalties for felonies are considerably harsher than those for misdemeanors, with some maximum sentences lasting for decades or even life in prison. In New York, some
- Class E Felony – No sentence or probation possible, up to 4 years
- Class D Felony – No sentence or probation possible, up to 7 years
- Class C Felony – No sentence or probation possible, up to 15 years
- Class B Felony – 1-3 years, up to 25 years
- Class A Felony – 20-25 years, up to life
Both felony and misdemeanor convictions will also result in the creation of a criminal record, which will be visible to any person or company which decides to run a background check. Unfortunately, this can create serious obstacles to getting hired for a job, approved for a loan, or being allowed to rent or buy property.
If you or someone you love was arrested for sales or possession of a firearm or other weapon, the time to act is now. Call the New York weapons charges lawyers of Sullivan & Galleshaw at (800) 730-0135 to schedule a free and private legal consultation.