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NY Penal Law § 265.05: Unlawful possession of a weapon upon school grounds

June 25, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

NY Penal Law § 265.05: Unlawful possession of a weapon upon school grounds

The definition of weapon under New York’s weapons statute is rather broad.  It encompasses several different types of guns, such as air guns and spring guns. It is against the law to be in possession of such weapons at a school. You would be in violated New York Penal Code § 265.05 if you are 16 years of age or older and you:

 

  • Are knowingly in possession of any air-gun, spring-gun or other instrument or weapon in which the propelling force is a spring, air, piston or CO2 cartridge,
  • Are on the premises of a school, college, university or other educational facility, and
  • Do not have the written authorization of an administrator at such educational institution

 

The term “air guns” is used to identify what are commonly referred to as BB guns or pellet guns.

 

For Example

A couple of teens were positioned at the far end of an open field on the campus of a local university. The field shared a border with a forest owned by the county. For recreational target practice, the teens were using BB guns to shoot at tin cans. The university security patrol saw them and called the police, who placed the youths under arrest. On the basis of  these facts, it is not completely clear whether the teens violated the unlawful possession of a weapon upon school grounds statute or not. If either or both of teens were 16 years old or older, and if they were undoubtedly on the university’s property and not on county property, then one or both of them would be found in violation of the statute.

 

Offenses that are Related

Criminal sale of a firearm in the first degree: New York Penal Code § 265.13

Criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds: New York Penal Code § 265.01-a

 

Possible Defenses

The unlawful possession of a weapon upon school grounds statute is extremely specific about the type of weapon that is prohibited. If the type of weapon in question  is not one in which the propelling force is a spring, air, piston or CO2 cartridge, then you are not in violation of this statute.

 

Sentence

The crime of unlawful possession of a weapon upon school grounds is a violation. That means that your sentence can be no more than 15 days in jail. Since a violation is not a crime, no conviction will turn up on your criminal record.

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