call us646-580-6675

Manhattan Office  |  Westchester Office

What Is Considered a Loaded Weapon in New York State?

 Posted on September 15, 2020 in Criminal Defense

New York City criminal defense attorney weapons charges

New York has many laws that influence who and how someone may possess a firearm. If you plan on owning a gun, you should familiarize yourself with the State’s regulations and restrictions to avoid the charges associated with unlawful use or possession of a weapon. Whether or not the firearm is loaded can impact the criminal charges you can face as a gun owner. If you have questions regarding gun possession or you face charges for violating New York State’s gun laws, it is important to speak with a criminal defense attorney who has a thorough understanding of New York’s weapons laws and how to defend against these serious charges.

New York Gun Law Definitions

According to the New York State Penal Law, Section 265, a “loaded firearm means any firearm loaded with ammunition or any firearm which is possessed by one who, at the same time, possesses a quantity of ammunition which may be used to discharge such firearm.” For example, if an individual has an unloaded firearm in one of their pants pockets and also has possession of the ammunition in the other pocket, under New York Law, the firearm may be considered loaded. 

This definition led to the expansion of New York gun control laws, and those facing charges for unlawful possession of a firearm could face various charges based on the circumstances of their case. In New York, a Class A misdemeanor could result in a jail sentence of up to one year or three years of probation and either a fine of up to $1,000 or double whatever an individual gained from the specific crime. Individuals could face criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree if they possess a weapon and have been convicted of a felony or serious offense, own a dangerous or deadly weapon and are not citizens of the United States, or if they have been deemed unfit to possess a firearm and refuse to give the police their weapon when ordered to do so by law enforcement.

Section 265.01-B, criminal possession of a firearm, comes into play because of the expanded definition of a loaded firearm. Now, based on the details of a case, prosecutors may charge either for the crime explained above (criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree), or criminal possession of a firearm, which is considered a Class E felony.  

Contact a Bronx Criminal Defense Lawyer

Charges for unlawful use or possession of a weapon can vary from misdemeanors to felonies depending on the circumstances, so you should not take any accusations lightly. Prepare an aggressive defense with a lawyer who has an extensive history counseling and representing clients in gun cases. At The Law Firm of Gregory J. Watford, Esq., PLLC, you can meet with an accomplished Bronx County criminal defense attorney who can help you get weapons charges lessened or discarded entirely. To schedule your first session, call our office today at 646-580-6675.



Share this post:
Back to Top