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Criminal possession of a weapon is one of the most serious offences in New York. The state has very strict laws in regards to firearm possession. The New York Penal Code definition of “deadly weapon” includes “any loaded weapon from which a shot, readily capable of producing death or other serious physical injury, may be discharged.”

There are legal consequences for possessing a firearm illegally.

When do charges with criminal possession of a weapon arise?

Someone may face charges with criminal possession of a weapon for owning a weapon with an intent to use it unlawfully against someone or when an individual has a firearm without the appropriate permits and licenses. Additionally, owning an altered or defaced weapon to prevent tracing back to the owner carries a penalty, as does possessing a firearm despite having a previous felony conviction.

The possession of a weapon turns into an aggravated offense when combined with a violent felony such as burglary or robbery.

What is the sentencing for gun crimes in New York?

There are significant penalties for a conviction of criminal possession of a weapon in New York. An arrest for possessing a firearm risks a sentence of years in prison.

There are three degrees of illegal possession of a firearm. Criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree comes with a mandatory minimum of five years, maximum punishment of 15 years in prison. This is a Class C felony.

A third-degree conviction results in a mandatory minimum of 3.5 years and a maximum seven-year prison term, as it is a Class D felony.  Criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree is a misdemeanor rather than a felony. This class A misdemeanor is punishable by a maximum jail sentence of one year.

Weapons possession on school grounds may result in sentences of up to four years in prison because it is a Class E nonviolent felony.