If you were to cross into New York State with a firearm, you could potentially face legal consequences if you do not comply with New York’s firearm laws. New York has some of the most restrictive firearm laws in the United States, particularly in regard to handguns. If you bring a firearm into New York and do not obtain a license to possess the firearm, you could potentially face serious criminal charges.

What are the consequences if I am charged with possessing a firearm illegally in New York State?

Specifically, Criminal Possession of a Firearm, in New York, is covered under Penal Law §265.00. With handguns, you would likely face Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (PL §265.03[2] or [3]). Both are very serious, however subdivision three (3) covers possession of a firearm INSIDE your own home or business versus subdivision two (2) which is OUTSIDE your home or business. While both are serious felonies, the charge relating to inside the home or business is a non-violent felony, whereas outside the home or business is a violent felony. This is true even if NO threat of violence or actual violence ever occurred. These charges can lead to fines, imprisonment in local jail or state prison, and a permanent criminal record. In fact, if you are convicted of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree you can face up to 15 years in prison.

How do I obtain a pistol license in New York State?

To legally possess a handgun in New York, you need a license issued by the county in which you reside. Non-residents are generally not eligible for a New York State pistol license. If you plan to bring a handgun into the state, you must have a New York State pistol permit, which can take several months to obtain.

What if I am just passing through New York with a firearm?

When transporting firearms through New York State, it is crucial to follow strict guidelines to avoid potential legal issues. Here are some key points to remember:

  1. Unloaded and Secure: Firearms must be unloaded during transportation, meaning there should be no rounds in the chamber or magazine. The firearm should be stored in a locked container separate from ammunition. The trunk of your vehicle is generally the safest place to transport firearms.
  2. Traveling with Long Guns: Long guns, such as rifles and shotguns, may be transported without a license, as long as they are unloaded and securely stored during transit. Also, if you have a conviction for what New York defines as a “serious offense” you may not be allowed to legally possess these firearms here. Be sure to speak with a lawyer first if you have any out-of-state convictions, even minor ones.
  3. Assault Weapons: New York has specific restrictions on assault weapons, and possession of such firearms may be prohibited or require additional permits. It is crucial to review the laws pertaining to assault weapons before traveling with them in New York State.
  4. Ammunition Restrictions: While transporting firearms, ensure that you comply with the restrictions on the quantity of ammunition you can carry. New York law limits the amount of ammunition for certain firearms.

If you are planning to travel with a firearm, it is strongly advised to research and understand the specific laws of each state you will be entering or passing through, including New York State, and comply with those laws to avoid legal issues. Contacting a criminal defense lawyer for guidance is much preferred. Keep in mind, if you are charged with a crime for illegally possessing a firearm, you may lose the ability to ever be allowed to possess them legally in the future.

What if I am stopped by the police and haven’t gotten my pistol permit yet?

If you are a new resident of New York and have your firearm from another state with you prior to obtaining proper New York documents, and are then stopped by law enforcement while driving, understand this is a potentially serious criminal scenario. You should absolutely be polite, cooperative, and respectful with the officer. However, you are under NO obligation to admit that you have a firearm somewhere in your vehicle, nor are you required to consent to the search of your vehicle, nor should you. If the officer believes they can obtain a search warrant, then respectfully request that they do so. You should always ask to speak to a lawyer immediately.

If you have been arrested for carrying a firearm into NY state call our office at 844-ACCUSED or visit us at www.lawyers4theaccused.com. An experienced criminal defense attorney who is familiar with New York state laws can guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, and provide you with the best possible defense.