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Basic Firearm and Knife Possession Laws in New York State

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Manhattan weapons offenses attorneysWhen it comes to weapons possession in New York, experts and residents statewide agree that the laws and restrictions surrounding possession can be downright confusing. While there are clear guidelines outlining what is permissible and what is not for many types of weapons, the details become complicated when determining which objects are considered weapons. For example, almost any sharp object can become dangerous or deadly and may be considered a knife. According to the American Knife and Tool Institute, even a possessor who does not exhibit any criminal conduct can face possible criminal conviction for merely possessing an object considered to be a dangerous knife. This creates significant risk for faulty or unjust criminal charges that, for many, can be life altering.

Weapon Possession Guidelines in New York

Whether you have recently been accused of illegal weapon possession or are interested in acquiring rights to possess and carry, it is important to familiarize yourself with a general overview of basic firearm and knife laws in the state of New York. Gun laws, of course, continue to be extremely controversial across the nation, in light of the media’s focus on the ongoing string of tragedies that have occurred in recent years - an even greater reason to inform yourself of how to legally own a weapon. 

To possess a handgun in New York means:

  • You must have permits to purchase and carry
  • You must register the firearm
  • You must be a licensed owner

When it comes to rifles or shotguns, there are no state license requirements for possession, but the rifle barrel must be at least 16 inches in length, and the shotgun barrel must be at least 18 inches in length. The law does require licensing for any handgun possession, however, and you must apply with the licensing officer of the county in which you reside or are employed.

As for knife possession laws in New York state, the following applies:

  • Minors under the age of 16 may not possess
  • Knives may not be possessed on school grounds
  • Under New York City ordinance, 4 inches is the maximum permissible blade length for possession

Possession of certain knives is strictly prohibited, including switchblades, ballistic and metal knuckle knives, or cane swords. The only existing exemption for these categories of knives is for a hunting or fishing switchblade.

Contact a Manhattan Illegal Weapons Possession Defense Attorney 

If you are facing criminal allegations for the illegal possession of a weapon, your account of the incident needs to be heard. You have the right to protect yourself from the far-reaching consequences such convictions can have on your reputation and your livelihood. Speak with a skilled New York City criminal defense lawyer the moment your best interests are at stake. With more than 40 years experience, Watford Jackson, PLLC is well-equipped and fully competent to defend your case. Call us at 1-855-WAT-JACK or 1-855-928-5225 for a case evaluation today.






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