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Criminal Posseesion of a Firearm in Queens, New York

If you were charged with either felony or misdemeanor criminal possession of a weapon or firearm then contact an experienced attorney at the Law Office of Rochelle Berliner.

New York has some of the strictest weapons laws in the nation. Even a seemingly insignificant violation of the law can carry serious criminal consequences.

Rochelle Berliner represents clients throughout Queens, Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. Call today for a free consultation.


New York’s Statutory Provisions for “Possesses any Firearm”

Under Penal Law § 265.01(1), a person who “possesses any firearm” is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, a misdemeanor.

A person who possesses “any loaded firearm” is guilty of criminal possession in the second degree, a class C felony (Penal Law § 265.03[3] ), unless “such possession takes place in such person's home or place of business.” See People v. Hughes, 22 N.Y.3d 44, 49-50, 978 N.Y.S.2d 97, 99-100 (2013); People v. Jones, 22 N.Y.3d 53, 977 N.Y.S.2d 739, 999 N.E.2d 1184 [2013] (2013).


Home or Business Exception to Criminal Firearm Possession

The home or business exception is inapplicable, however, if the person possessing the weapon “has been previously convicted of any crime” (Penal Law § 265.02[1] [incorporated by reference in Penal Law § 265.03(3) ]; Id.

Therefore, the statutory scheme elevates a weapon possession charge to a class C felony on the basis of a prior misdemeanor conviction. People v. Hughes, 22 N.Y.3d 44, 50, 978 N.Y.S.2d 97, 100 (2013).


Unlicensed Possession of Handguns

New York's criminal weapon possession laws prohibit only unlicensed possession of handguns. A person who has a valid, applicable license for his or her handgun commits no crime (Penal Law § 265.20[a][3] ).

A license to possess a handgun in one's home or buiness if not particularly difficult to come by. Subject to some qualifications, a “householder” is entitled to a license to “have and possess in his dwelling” a pistol or revolver (Penal Law § 400.00[2][a] ); the only qualification relevant here is that the householder must not have been “convicted anywhere of a felony or a serious offense” (Penal Law § 400.00[1][c] ). Id.

The term “serious offense” as defined in the Penal Law (Penal Law § 265.00 [17] ) as follows:

  • illegally using, carrying or possessing a pistol or other dangerous weapon;
  • making or possessing burglar's instruments;
  • buying or receiving stolen property;
  • unlawful entry of a building;
  • aiding escape from prison;
  • that kind of disorderly conduct defined in subdivisions six and eight of section seven hundred twenty-two of such former penal law;
  • violations of sections four hundred eighty-three, four hundred eighty-three-b, four hundred eighty-four-h and article one hundred six of such former penal law;
  • that kind of criminal sexual act or rape which was designated as a misdemeanor;
  • violation of section seventeen hundred forty-seven-d and seventeen hundred forty-seven-e of such former penal law;
  • any violation of any provision of article thirty-three of the public health law relating to narcotic drugs which was defined as a misdemeanor by section seventeen hundred fifty-one-a of such former penal law, and
  • any violation of any provision of article thirty-three-A of the public health law relating to depressant and stimulant drugs which was defined as a misdemeanor by section seventeen hundred forty-seven-b of such former penal law.

Or any of the following offenses defined in the penal law:

  • illegally using, carrying or possessing a pistol or other dangerous weapon;
  • possession of burglar's tools;
  • criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree;
  • escape in the third degree;
  • jostling;
  • fraudulent accosting;
  • that kind of loitering defined in subdivision three of section 240.35;
  • endangering the welfare of a child;
  • the offenses defined in article two hundred thirty-five; issuing abortional articles;
  • permitting prostitution;
  • promoting prostitution in the third degree;
  • stalking in the fourth degree;
  • stalking in the third degree;
  • the offenses defined in article one hundred thirty; or
  • the offenses defined in article two hundred twenty.

Other Firearm Charges in New York

Other criminal firearm or weapon offenses in New York include the following:

OFFENSE

PENAL LAW

DESCRIPTION

CRIMINAL POSSESSION OF A WEAPON 4

265.01(1)

Possession of Firearm

Possession of Per Se Weapons other than Firearms

265.01(2)

Possession With Intent to Use Unlawfully

265.01-a.

Criminal Possession of a Weapon on School Grounds

265.01(4)

Possession of Rifle or Shotgun; Previous Conviction

265.01(5)

 

265.01(6)

Possession of Rifle or Shotgun by Person Certified Not Suitable

265.01(7)

Possession of Explosive Bullet

265.01(8)

Possession of Armor Piercing Ammunition

CRIMINAL POSSESSION OF A WEAPON ON SCHOOL GROUNDS

265.01-a
formerly 265.01(3)

 

CRIMINAL POSSESSION OF A FIREARM

265.01-b(1)

Possession of any Firearm

CRIMINAL POSSESSION OF A FIREARM

265.01-b(2)

Failure to Register

CRIMINAL POSSESSION OF A WEAPON 3

265.02(1)

Possession of Weapon; Previous Conviction

265.02(2)

Possession of Bomb, Silencer, Etc

265.02(3)

Possession of Defaced Weapon

265.02(5)(i)

Possession of Three or More Firearms

265.02(5)(ii)

Possession of Firearm; Prior Conviction

265.02(6)

Possession of Disguised Gun

265.02(7)

Possession of Assault Weapon

265.02(8)

 

CRIMINAL POSSESSION OF A WEAPON 2

265.03(1)(a)

Machine-Gun With Intent To Use Unlawfully

265.03(1)(b)

Loaded Firearm With Intent To Use Unlawfully

265.03(1)(c)

Disguised Gun With Intent To Use Unlawfully

265.03(2)

5 or More Firearms

265.03(3)

Possession of Loaded Firearm Not in Home of Place of Business

265.03(3)

Possession of Loaded Firearm Inn Home or Place of Business but with Prior Conviction

CRIMINAL POSSESSION OF A WEAPON 1

265.04(1)

Possession of Explosive with Intent To Use Unlawfully

265.04(2)

10 or More Firearms

UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF WEAPONS BY PERSONS UNDER 16

265.05

 

UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF WEAPONS UPON SCHOOL GROUNDS

265.06

 

CRIMINAL USE OF A FIREARM 2

265.08(1)

C felony & Possession of deadly weapon

265.08(2)

C felony & Displays weapon

CRIMINAL USE OF A FIREARM 1

265.09(1)(a)

B felony & Possession of Deadly Weapon

265.09(1)(b)

B felony & Displays weapon

MANUFACTURE, TRANSPORT, DISPOSITION & DEFACEMENT OF WEAPONS & DANGEROUS INSTRUMENTS & APPLIANCES

265.10

 

CRIMINAL SALE OF A FIREARM 3

265.11(1)

Sells Firearm or Ammunition Device

265.11(2)

Possesses Firearm with Intent to Sell

CRIMINAL SALE OF A FIREARM 2

265.12(1)

5 or more

265.12(2)

5 or more within one year

CRIMINAL SALE OF A FIREARM 1

265.13(1)

10 or more

265.13(2)

10 or more within one year

CRIMINAL SALE OF A FIREARM WITH THE AID OF A MINOR

265.14

 

CRIMINAL SALE OF A FIREARM TO A MINOR

265.16

 

CRIMINAL PURCHASE OF A WEAPON

265.17(3)

-

AGGRAVATED CRIMINAL POSSESSION OF A WEAPON

265.19

Possess a loaded firearm and commits violent or drug trafficking felony

PROHIBITED USE OF WEAPONS

265.35

 

Additional Resources

Prison Not as Mandatory as N.Y. State Gun Laws Say - Article from The New York Times dated January 2013 discusess statistics showsing that tougher penalties for illegal possession of a loaded gun in New York are not always imposed.  According to an analysis of criminal justice statistics by the mayor's office - of those charged with criminal possession of a loaded firearm a certain percentage of those individuals were send to prison:

  • In Queens 76% of those charged were imprisoned;
  • in Manhattan 68% of those charged were imprisoned;
  • in Staten Island 47% of those charged were imprisoned;
  • in Brooklyn 41% of those charged were imprisoned; and
  • in the Bronx 31% of those charged were imprisoned.

Finding an Attorney in Queens for Criminal Possession of a Firearm

If you were arrested for illegal possession of a firearm in New York, make sure that you have skilled and knowledgeable legal counsel. Queens criminal defense lawyer Rochelle S. Berliner is thoroughly experienced in handling all kinds of guns and weapons charges.

Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner represents clients throughout the greater New York City area, including Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn and The Bronx. Call 718-261-5600 or submit an online form to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.

Free Consultation

Submit your information using this form to schedule a free consultation with attorney Rochelle Berliner.

Name* Phone* Email* Subject* Message*

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