New York Criminal Possession of a Firearm

Criminal Possession of a Firearm: NY Penal Law 265.01-b(1)

As of March 2013, what used to “only” be a misdemeanor crime is now a felony offense in New York State. If you are arrested with an unlicensed or unregistered firearm, a pistol or revolver for example, in New York City, Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, White Plains, Yonkers, New City, Poughkeepsie, Beacon, Nyack, Carmel or any other municipality, the police and prosecutors can arrest and charge you for violating New York Penal Law 265.01-b(1). Adding to the list of what is arguably to strongest and most severe weapon crimes and laws on the books, PL 265.01-b(1) is a class “E” felony punishable by a sentence of up to four years in prison whether you have a criminal past or your record is clean and pristine. Make no mistake. Should you face an arrest, arraignment, indictment or trial for Criminal Possession of a Firearm, you unequivocally need the counsel of an experienced firearms lawyer and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. Judges and prosecutors in New York City and suburban jurisdictions throughout the Hudson Valley will certainly entertain setting bail the first time you appear in court whether or not your firearm is licensed out of state or, in the case of New York City, even if the gun is permitted outside of the five boroughs.

Criminal Possession of a Firearm: Understanding the Elements of PL 265.01-b(1)

Although the pistol or revolver you possess (this possession may also be constructive where it is not on your person) may be loaded, and thereby expose you to the even more serious violent offense of Second Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon, New York Penal Law 265.03, it need not be. For the purpose of NY Penal Law 265.01-b(1), the firearm in question need only be operable and your possession is unlawful in that it is not registered or permitted in the jurisdiction of your arrest.

Remember, ignorance of the law is no defense. Carrying or storing the gun in a locked hard side case, while responsible and reasonable, is also no defense. The standard is not that you knew or didn’t know you possessed the firearm without the requisite permits in New York, but only that you knowingly possessed the physical revolver, pistol or gun. There is a vast difference between the two states of mind. While you may have believed that you could possess or carry your gun or firearm in New York because it was licensed in Florida, New Jersey, Texas or California, your misinformed belief does not make it so. Could it mitigate your conduct? Yes, but this is not a defense to a “strict liability” type offense such as Criminal Possession of a Firearm.

In the event you are arrested or investigated for possessing a loaded or unloaded firearm not licensed in New York, take the proper steps to protect your future and your liberty. Think long and hard before you make any statements or potential admissions to the police or you permit them to search your person or vehicle. Arm yourself with education and the law. Contact the New York criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at Crotty Saland today to ensure your best defense is guided by knowledge, experience and advocacy.

Call the New York City weapon crimes lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

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