Definition of “Firearm”

The term “firearms” is strictly defined in the legal code of New York. For families with old heirloom weapons, there are clear exceptions. Antique guns are not firearms for the purposes of these crimes. The kinds of weapons that fall under the legal definition of firearm include shotguns, handguns, rifles, and assault weapons.

Our lawyers can help you determine whether a gun is classified as a firearm in Syracuse, New York.

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.

Our Syracuse Gun Attorneys Will Be an Aggressive Advocate

If convicted of a gun-related crime, a person faces mandatory minimum sentences that the judge is unable to waive—even if they wanted to. Therefore, preventing a conviction is of the utmost importance.

There are numerous facets to any criminal charge involving the possession or use of a firearm. If you are facing such charges, contact our team of Syracuse gun lawyers as soon as possible so we can begin gathering evidence to help you minimize the impact of this charge on your life.

To schedule a free consultation, call us at 315-492-4700. You can also e-mail us at info@tullylegal.com.

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