New York Penal Code § 265.35: Prohibited Use of Weapons

Under New York law there are specific provisions regarding firing a gun under certain circumstances. Under New York Penal Code § 265.35 it is against the law to:

  1. Hunt with a dangerous weapon near a city
  2. Discharge a firearm at an aircraft or a train
  3. Discharge a weapon in a public place
  4. Point a firearm at another person
  5. Discharge a firearm while it is pointed at another person
  6. Maim or injure another person by discharging a firearm
Example

At the stroke of midnight on New Year's Day a man shoots his firearm in the air as a part of his New Year's Day celebration. Even though he did not point the firearm at anyone this man could be prosecuted for prohibited use of weapons based on the fact that he discharged a weapon in a public place.

Related Offense
  1. Criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds: New York Penal Code § 265.01-a
  2. Criminal sale of a firearm in the first degree: New York Penal Code § 265.13
Defenses

Defenses to a charge of prohibited use of weapons based on discharging a weapon in a public place or pointing a firearm at another person would be that you were doing so in self-defense or pursuant to your official duties.

Sentence

If you are convicted of prohibited use of weapons, your sentence will depend on the particular prohibited use you were engaged in.

  1. Hunting with a dangerous weapon near a city: class A misdemeanor. Up to 1 year in jail
  2. Discharging a firearm at an aircraft or a train: class E felony. Up to 4 years in prison;
  3. Discharging a firearm at an aircraft or a train and someone's life is endangered, class D felony. Up to 7 years in prison.
  4. Discharging a weapon in a public place: class A misdemeanor. Up to 1 year in jail
  5. Pointing a firearm at another person: class A misdemeanor. Up to 1 year in jail
  6. Discharging a firearm while it is pointed at another person: class A misdemeanor. Up to 1 year in jail
  7. Maiming or injuring another person by discharging a firearm: class A misdemeanor. Up to 1 year in jail
New York Penal Code § 265.35: Prohibited use of weapons
  1. Any person hunting with a dangerous weapon in any county wholly embraced within the territorial limits of a city is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

  2. Any person who willfully discharges a loaded firearm or any other gun, the propelling force of which is gunpowder, at an aircraft while such aircraft is in motion in the air or in motion or stationary upon the ground, or at any railway or street railroad train as defined by the public service law, or at a locomotive, car, bus or vehicle standing or moving upon such railway, railroad or public highway, is guilty of a class D felony if thereby the safety of any person is endangered, and in every other case, of a class E felony.

  3. Any person who, otherwise than in self defense or in the discharge of official duty, (a) willfully discharges any species of firearms, air-gun or other weapon, or throws any other deadly missile, either in a public place, or in any place where there is any person to be endangered thereby, or, in Putnam county, within one-quarter mile of any occupied school building other than under supervised instruction by properly authorized instructors although no injury to any person ensues; (b) intentionally, without malice, points or aims any firearm or any other gun, the propelling force of which is gunpowder, at or toward any other person; (c) discharges, without injury to any other person, firearms or any other guns, the propelling force of which is gunpowder, while intentionally without malice, aimed at or toward any person; or (d) maims or injures any other person by the discharge of any firearm or any other gun, the propelling force of which is gunpowder, pointed or aimed intentionally, but without malice, at any such person, is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

While prohibited use of weapons offenses are among the least serious weapons crimes, the consequences of a conviction are serious. You may end up spending time in prison-- away from your family and friends. Once you are released you will have to face life with having a criminal record. However, there are defenses to a charge of prohibited use of weapons that may cause the charge to be dropped or you being acquitted. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with gun crimes, grand larceny, white collar crimes, and other serious crimes. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of larceny in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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