One of the biggest debates of our lifetime is underway concerning a citizen’s right to have and bare arms. The Second Amendment and its different interpretations has become a hot-button political issue. The mass shootings experienced in our country have caused many states to toughen the illegal possession laws.
“The SAFE Act stops criminals and the dangerously mentally ill from buying a gun by requiring universal background checks on gun purchases, increases penalties for people who use illegal guns, mandates life in prison without parole for anyone who murders a first responder, and imposes the toughest assault weapons ban in the country. For hunters, sportsmen, and law abiding gun owners, this new law preserves and protects your right to buy, sell, keep or use your guns.”
– Governor Andrew Cuomo
Albany Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree (PL 265.01)
A person is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree when:
(1) He or she possesses any firearm, electronic dart gun, electronic stun gun, gravity knife, switchblade knife, pilum ballistic knife, metal knuckle knife, cane sword, billy, blackjack, bludgeon, plastic knuckles, metal knuckles, chuka stick, sand bag, sandclub, wrist-brace type slingshot or slungshot, shirken or “Kung Fu star”; or
(2) He possesses any dagger, dangerous knife, dirk, razor, stiletto, imitation pistol, or any other dangerous or deadly instrument or weapon with intent to use the same unlawfully against another; or
(3) He possesses a rifle, shotgun, antique firearm, black powder rifle, black powder shotgun, or any muzzle-loading firearm, and has been convicted of a felony or serious offense; or
(4) He possesses any dangerous or deadly weapon and is not a citizen of the United States; or
(5) He is a person who has been certified not suitable to possess a rifle or shotgun, as defined in subdivision sixteen of section 265.00, and refuses to yield possession of such rifle or shotgun upon the demand of a police officer. Whenever a person is certified not suitable to possess a rifle or shotgun, a member of the police department to which such certification is made, or of the state police, shall forthwith seize any rifle or shotgun possessed by such person. A rifle or shotgun seized as herein provided shall not be destroyed, but shall be delivered to the headquarters of such police department, or state police, and there retained until the aforesaid certificate has been rescinded by the director or physician in charge, or other disposition of such rifle or shotgun has been ordered or authorized by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(6) He knowingly possesses a bullet containing an explosive substance designed to detonate upon impact.
(7) He possesses any armor piercing ammunition with intent to use the same unlawfully against another.
Criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree is a Class A Misdemeanor carrying a possible prison sentence of up to one year.
Albany Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree (PL 265.02)
A person is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree when:
(1) Such person commits the crime of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree as defined in subdivision one, two, three or five of section 265.01, and has been previously convicted of any crime; or
(2) Such person possesses any explosive or incendiary bomb, bombshell, firearm silencer, machine-gun or any other firearm or weapon simulating a machine-gun and which is adaptable for such use; or
(3) Such person knowingly possesses a machine-gun, firearm, rifle or shotgun which has been defaced for the purpose of concealment or prevention of the detection of a crime or misrepresenting the identity of such machine-gun, firearm, rifle or shotgun; or
(5) (i) Such person possesses three or more firearms; or (ii) such person possesses a firearm and has been previously convicted of a felony or a class A misdemeanor defined in this chapter within the five years immediately preceding the commission of the offense and such possession did not take place in the person’s home or place of business; or
(6) Such person knowingly possesses any disguised gun; or
(7) Such person possesses an assault weapon; or
(8) Such person possesses a large capacity ammunition feeding device. For purposes of this subdivision, a large capacity ammunition feeding device shall not include an ammunition feeding device lawfully possessed by such person before the effective date of the chapter of the laws of two thousand thirteen which amended this subdivision, that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept more than seven but less than eleven rounds of ammunition, or that was manufactured before September thirteenth, nineteen hundred ninety-four, that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than ten rounds of ammunition; or
(9) Such person possesses an unloaded firearm and also commits a drug trafficking felony as defined in subdivision twenty-one of section 10.00 of this chapter as part of the same criminal transaction; or
(10) Such person possesses an unloaded firearm and also commits any violent felony offense as defined in subdivision one of section 70.02 of this chapter as part of the same criminal transaction.
Criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree is a Class D Felony and carries a possible prison sentence of up to 7 years.
Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (PL 265.03) in Albany
A person is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree when:
(1) with intent to use the same unlawfully against another, such person: (a) possesses a machine-gun; or (b) possesses a loaded firearm; or (c) possesses a disguised gun; or
(2) such person possesses five or more firearms; or
(3) such person possesses any loaded firearm. Such possession shall not, except as provided in subdivision one or seven of section 265.02 of this article, constitute a violation of this subdivision if such possession takes place in such person’s home or place of business.
Criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree is a Class C Felony.
Albany Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the First Degree
A person is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree when such person:
(1) possesses any explosive substance with intent to use the same unlawfully against the person or property of another; or
(2) possesses ten or more firearms.
Criminal Possession of a weapon in the first degree is a Class B Felony and carries a possible prison sentence of up to 25 years.