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New York City Weapons Possession Defense Lawyer

Manhattan Weapon Gun Firearm Defense Lawyer

Attorney Defending Clients Accused of Gun, Knife, or Explosives Possession in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, or Queens

One of the worst places in America to be caught in possession of a gun or other weapon is New York City. New York state gun laws are highly restrictive compared to other states, and NYC's laws are even more restrictive than the state's. For example, both the state and city require permits for handguns and limit ammunition magazines to 10 rounds. But New York state does not require a license to buy, own, or possess a rifle or shotgun, whereas NYC does.

If you or a loved one has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon, turn to the experienced defense lawyers at Watford Jackson, PLLC. With over 45 years of combined experience in the criminal courts of New York City, attorneys Joey Jackson and Gregory J. Watford thoroughly understand the nuances of New York's laws on weapons possession and how to mount a strong defense against such charges. You can count on us to provide sound legal advice and fight tenaciously for your best interests.

When prosecutors work on a case involving assault or robbery, for example, they often layer on additional charges such as weapons possession, so as to improve their chances of a conviction on at least one count. If you are facing multiple charges like this, you will want an attorney who knows how to counter such tactics. At Watford Jackson, we work as a team to investigate your entire case and develop the best possible strategy for your defense.

New York's Unique Definition of a Firearm

New York state law uniquely defines a "firearm" as a handgun such as a revolver or semi-automatic pistol, a "sawed-off" shotgun with a barrel less than 18" long, a "sawed-off" rifle with a barrel less than 16" long, a rifle or shotgun of less than 26" in total length, or an assault-style rifle. A "regular" rifle or shotgun, also called a long gun, is not considered a "firearm."

Weapons Possession Crimes Under New York Law

New York state defines nine specific crimes involving the mere possession of a firearm, long gun, dangerous knife, or other weapon. A brief summary of these crimes is provided below, in order from least to most serious.

Unlawful possession of a weapon on school grounds occurs when a person age 16 or older knowingly possesses an air-gun or spring-gun without authorization on the property of any school, college, or university (a violation, NYPL 265.01A).

Unlawful possession of weapons by persons under 16 occurs when, outside the context of lawful hunting, a person under age 16 possesses a firearm, firearm ammunition, air-gun, or spring-gun (juvenile delinquent adjudication, NYPL 265.05).

Criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree occurs when a person possesses a long gun, stun gun, gravity knife (commonly used in the construction trades), switchblade knife, or bludgeon, regardless of intent; or possesses a dangerous knife or other weapon with intent to use it unlawfully against another person (class A misdemeanor, NYPL 265.01).

Criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds occurs when a person possesses any type of firearm or long gun without authorization on a school bus or on the property of any school, college, or university (Class E felony, NYPL 265.01A).

Criminal possession of a firearm occurs when a person possesses a firearm (Class E felony, NYPL 265.01B).

Criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree occurs when a person possesses explosives, a firearm silencer, a fully automatic weapon aka machine gun, an assault-style rifle, a disguised or defaced firearm or long gun, or a magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition; or when person possesses three or more firearms; or when a person with a prior criminal conviction commits fourth-degree criminal possession; or when a person commits a violent or drug trafficking felony while in possession of an unloaded firearm (class D felony, NYPL 265.02).

Criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree occurs when someone possesses, with the intent to use it unlawfully against another person, a machine-gun, loaded firearm, or disguised gun; or when someone possesses a loaded firearm outside their own home or business; or when someone possesses five or more firearms (class C felony, NYPL 265.02).

Aggravated Criminal Possession of a Weapon occurs when a person commits a violent or drug trafficking felony while in possession of a loaded firearm (class C felony, NYPL 265.19).

Criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree occurs when a person possesses of 10 or more firearms; or possesses an explosive substance with intent to use it unlawfully against another person or their property (class B felony, NYPL 265.04).

New York City Laws on Possession of Long Guns

The New York City Administrative Code, Title 10, Chapter 3, defines the city's firearms laws that override the state laws. Some of the specific crimes and penalties include:

  • Possession of an unloaded, uncased long gun (rifle or shotgun) in public: Fine of up to $50 and/or up to 30 days in jail.
  • Possession of a loaded long gun in public: Fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to one year in jail.

Facing Firearms or Weapons Charges in NYC?

If you have been charged with possession of a handgun, rifle, shotgun, knife, or other weapon in New York City, seek out a lawyer with significant experience in defending weapons charges. Contact the attorneys of Watford Jackson in our Manhattan office at 855-WAT-JACK or 855-928-5225. We handle criminal court cases in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan and in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties.

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101 Avenue of the Americas, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10013

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