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NY Penal Law § 265.37: Unlawful possession of certain ammunition feeding devices

June 25, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

NY Penal Law § 265.37: Unlawful possession of certain ammunition feeding devices

Not only do New York weapons crimes statutes make it illegal to possess, use or sell firearms and other weapons under certain specified circumstances, they also make it illegal to possess ammunition feeding devices. What counts as an ammunition feeding device includes a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip or similar device that has the capacity to accept rounds of ammunition. if you possess an ammunition feeding strip in your home that has the capacity for handling 7 or more rounds, you will have committed a violation under New York Penal Code § 165.37. For a second time committing such an offense, you will be charged with a class B misdemeanor.


If you are in possession the ammunition feeding device in any place other than your residence, you will be charged with a class B misdemeanor for the first offense and a class A misdemeanor of the second offense.


For Example

After being repeatedly threatened with a gun by her boyfriend, a woman contacted the police and informed them that her boyfriend had two illegally obtained guns in their apartment. Police arrived at the apartment to investigate.  When they searched the apartment, the police did not recover the guns, but they did find a magazine with the capacity of handling 8 rounds. On the basis of that evidence, the police arrested the woman’s boyfriend.  He was charged with the crime of  unlawful possession of certain ammunition feeding devices.


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

In order to be prosecuted for the crime of unlawful possession of certain ammunition feeding devices, the device must be designed to handle 7 or more rounds of ammunition. If the device can only handle less than 7 rounds, then a charge of unlawful possession of certain ammunition feeding devices would be inappropriate.


A possible alternative defense centers on how the search was conducted that revealed the ammunition feeding device. 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, including a prohibited ammunition feeding device, would be inadmissible in court and your case would likely be dismissed.



In the event that you are convicted of unlawful possession of certain ammunition feeding devices, your sentence will be determined on the basis of the classification of the crime of which you are convicted.


  1. As a violation: $200 fine
  2. As a class B misdemeanor: $200 fine, plus 3 or 6 months in jail
  3. As a class A misdemeanor: Up to $1000 fine, plus up to 1 year in jail



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