Criminal Possession of a Weapon
Like many other offenses, the offense of Criminal Possession of a Weapon has varying degrees that increase with severity as you move up the line. Criminal Possession of a Weapon 4th degree makes it a class A misdemeanor for anyone previously convicted of a felony or other “serious offense” to possess any rifle, shotgun, antique firearm, black powder rifle, black powder shotgun or any muzzle loading firearm.
Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd degree makes it a class D violent felony offense for possession of a disguised gun, defaced gun, assault weapon, large capacity ammunition feeding device, or the possession of an unloaded weapon while the actor is engaged in drug trafficking or during the course of a violent felony offense.
Criminal Possession of a Weapon 2nd degree makes it a class C violent felony offense to possess a machine gun, a loaded firearm, or a disguised gun with the intent to use the same unlawfully against another person or to possess five or more firearms or to possess any loaded firearm outside of one’s home or place of business.
Finally, Criminal Possession of a Weapon 1st degree makes it a class B violent felony offense to possess ten or more firearms.
Criminal Use of a Firearm Charge
Criminal Use of Firearm is a charge reserved for those who are accused of possessing a deadly weapon—or what appears to be a deadly weapon—while committing a violent crime.
If the violent crime in question is a Class C felony, the accused may face charges of second-degree criminal use of a firearm under New York Penal Code §265.08. If it is a Class B felony, the charge will be first-degree criminal use of a firearm under New York Penal Code §265.09. Like criminal possession of a firearm, criminal use of a firearm also comes with a mandatory minimum sentence.
The possible consequences of such a conviction are a determinate sentence of a minimum of three-and-a-half years and a maximum of fifteen years in prison for a second-degree charge and a minimum of five years and a maximum of twenty-five years for a first-degree charge.
This means that the minimum possible penalty someone convicted of a Criminal Use of a Firearm charge can receive is three-and-a-half years in prison.