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NY Penal Law § 265.17: Criminal purchase or disposal of a weapon

June 25, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

NY Penal Law § 265.17: Criminal purchase or disposal of a weapon

New York has stringent rules about who may and who may not buy a gun or firearm. Should you be legally prohibited from purchasing a weapon and you do so regardless of the prohibition, you would have committed a crime. Under New York Penal Code § 265.17, you would have committed the offense of criminal purchase or disposal of a weapon if you:

 

  1. Buy a firearm, rifle or shotgun and you are aware that you are prohibited from doing so due to a prior conviction or because of some other reason
  2. Buy a firearm for another person who you know is prohibited from being in possession of a firearm, rifle or shotgun
  3. Dispose of a firearm, rifle or shotgun to another individual who you know is prohibited from possessing a firearm, rifle or shotgun

 

An Example

A man has been convicted of the crime of  burglary in the second degree. He has served his prison term and has been released from jail.  He is currently serving a term of post-release supervision. Because of his felony conviction, and as part of the conditions of his post-release supervision, this man is legally prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm. In spite of this fact, he asks his cousin if he could buy a gun for him. The cousin agrees to do the favor. Later on, the man is arrested for attempted burglary and the police discover the gun on his person. Further investigation of the crime the man committed revealed that he got the gun from his cousin. The man’s cousin could be facing prosecution on the charge of criminal purchase or disposal of a weapon.

 

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

If the police discovered the weapon during a search, one plausible defense against a charge of criminal purchase or disposal of a weapon is to challenge the search that revealed the weapon as unlawful. Pursuant to the law, in order to conduct a search, whether it is a search of your car, apartment or office, the police must demonstrate that they had probable cause to do so. If it is determined that the search was unlawful, anything which the search produced would be inadmissible in court and your case would likely be dismissed.

 

Sentence

Due to the fact that criminal purchase or disposal of a weapon is categorized as a class D felony offense, the maximum possible sentence is 7 years in prison. That said, the judge has the option of not sentencing you to any time in jail at all, but just to probation. The actual sentence you will receive will greatly depend on your prior criminal record. If you have a prior felony conviction on your record, the judge will sentence you to at least 2-4 years behind bars.

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