Common New York Gun Offenses

Gun offenses are taken quite seriously because there is a lot of gun violence in New York City. Over the last 20 years, there has been a real crackdown on gun violence, and one of the prevailing theories by the District Attorneys' Offices and the NYPD is that limiting gun possession will lead to a decrease in gun violence. Therefore, prosecutors and the police take all gun cases extremely seriously. If an individual has been charged with one of the common New York gun offenses, a gun attorney could help. A qualified firearms attorney could pursue a positive outcome for them.

Common Gun Offenses

One of the most common New York gun offenses is the standard criminal possession of a weapon in its various degrees. Often, prosecutors charge criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, which is possession of a loaded gun outside of a person's home or place of business, or possession of a firearm with the intent to use it against somebody else. There are also lesser charges of criminal possession of an unloaded gun with no evidence of a person's intent to use, or criminal possession of a firearm. Charges relating to possession are far more common than charges for the use or sale of a firearm.

Hunting With Guns in New York

Outside of New York City there is a good percentage of the population that likes to go hunting with long guns, shotguns, and rifles. A person does not have to go that far out of the city to get into areas where hunting takes place, often in the north or west. There are certain areas that are easily accessible by driving so if residents of New York City wanted to go hunting, it certainly would not be very difficult for them to do so. It is completely possible to go hunting without committing any of the common New York gun offenses.

Transporting Firearms Through New York

Transportation of firearms between states is covered under a federal statute. People should know is that in order to safely and legally transport their guns, the best thing to do is to put their unloaded firearm itself in a locked container in their car, with the ammunition in a separate, locked container. If there is a magazine or a clip for a handgun, the ammunition should be taken out of the clip.  The same procedure is best to follow to ensure compliance with all applicable New York State regulations.

It is not always necessary to do all of those steps, but that will ensure scrupulous adherence to the federal statute for transportation of a firearm from one place where a person is legally allowed to have it to another. Local law enforcement is not necessarily educated on the federal statutes for transporting firearms, so keeping them separate and locked individually is just a good way to show law enforcement that they are following the law rather than having a loaded gun in the glove compartment.

Concealed Carry

New York has a two-tiered system, with five separate firearms licenses that someone can get in New York State. They range from the very, very specific (carry permit for a gun at your place of business) to the general full-on (wherever they want to carry license). However, New York City does not recognize the New York State license or any other state license.

Legal Possession of a Firearm

In order to legally possess a firearm in New York City, someone needs a New York City Police Department Authorization License which has to be granted by the Commissioner of the NYPD. Even if someone has a license to carry a gun in upstate New York, they cannot bring that gun legally into New York City or they will be in violation of the penal code, because the penal code statute for criminal possession of a weapon refers to “unlawful” possession. Since New York City does not recognize that permit, it is technically unlawful possession.

Even if the person bought the gun legally, and keeps it at home legally, once they bring it into the five boroughs without that special NYPD Commissioner authorization, they are unlawfully possessing a gun in the city, and therefore the District Attorney's Office of the borough they get caught in, can prosecute them for the gun that they legally bought and legally have in their house. If an individual wants to avoid committing any of the common New York gun offenses, it is important that they follow these rules. If an individual happens to get arrested for committing a gun offense, they should consult a competent gun lawyer that could help protect their rights.