New York Penal Law 265.01(1) – Non-Knife Misdemeanor Weapon Crimes

In the eyes of both New York weapon lawyers and prosecutors, there is no distinction between possessing an illegal knife, an unloaded and unregistered firearm or metal knuckles. All of these weapons violate New York Penal Law 265.01(1). Regardless of weather you possess that "weapon" for work or for self defense, it is automatically punishable by up to a year in jail. Other than certain knives such as gravity knives, switchblade knives, pilum ballistic knives and meal knuckle knives, these “per se” weapons include: electronic stun guns, any firearm (this may also be a felony), metal (including brass) knuckles, chucka sticks, kung fu stars, slingshots or slungshots, billies and blackjacks.

A common scenario scene by experienced weapon crime attorneys in New York City (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx) is as follows:

You are walking in the subway system. An undercover police officer claims to observe a bulge or clip in or near your pocket. After approaching, the police officer removes the “weapon.” Alternatively, the police stop your vehicle and find this weapon after some form of a search. Whether it was on your person or not, the police charge you with possessing (sometimes constructively) that weapon. Ultimately, the police officer arrests you, questions you and either puts you through the system or gives you a Desk Appearance Ticket.

Irrespective of how that weapon is possessed, it is critically important to recognize that you need not have the desire or intent to harm another person. Mere possession is an “A” misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail. Compounding matters, prosecutors will not generally make a non-criminal offer at your arraignment even if you possessed that weapon not knowing it was illegal to do so in New York. As a result, it is imperative not only to be prepared going into your arraignment as to how you will challenge your search or mitigate your conduct, but that you identify and formulate a defense with an experienced New York City weapon attorney.

New York Penal Law 265.01(1) - Defining & Identifying Certain “Per Se” Weapons

Chucka Stick – Also known as “nunchakus,” chucka sticks consist of two pieces of metal, wood or similar material connected in the middle by rope or a chain. Primarily used as a weapon, the chucka stick is held by one rigid end and can be swung or by both ends in a choking manner.

Electronic Stun Gun - Primarily used as a weapon, an electronic stun gun’s main purpose is to stun another person through an electric jolt.

Electronic Dart Gun - Similar to an electronic stun gun, the electronic dart gun stuns another person by an electric shock, but does so through some type of projectile.

Kung Fu Star – A throwing weapon that is circular or disc-like in shape and contains points.

For further information on crimes relating to weapon possession as well as legal decisions impacting this area of law, please review our New York criminal law blog at as well as the Criminal Possession of a Weapon section.

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

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