New York Penal Code § 265.37: Unlawful possession of certain ammunition feeding devices

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

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

Example

After being repeatedly threatened by her boyfriend with a gun a woman contacted the police and told them that her boyfriend had 2 illegally obtained guns in their apartment. Upon searching the apartment the police did not recover the guns, but did find a magazine with the capacity of handling 8 rounds. Based on that evidence the police arrested the boyfriend and he was charged with unlawful possession of certain ammunition feeding devices.

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

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

Another possible defense centers on how the search was conducted that uncovered the ammunition feeding device. If the police did not have probable cause to search your person, home or car but did so anyway, the search would be illegal. All evidence from that search would be inadmissible. The prosecutor would likely have no choice but to throw out the case against you.

Sentence

If you are convicted of unlawful possession of certain ammunition feeding devices your sentence will be based on the classification of the crime of which you are convicted.

  1. Violation: $200 fine
  2. class B misdemeanor: $200 fine, plus 3 or 6 months in jail
  3. class A misdemeanor: Up to $1000 fine, plus up to 1 year in jail
New York Penal Code § 265.37: Unlawful possession of certain ammunition feeding devices.

It shall be unlawful for a person to knowingly possess an ammunition feeding device where such device contains more than seven rounds of ammunition.

If such device containing more than seven rounds of ammunition is possessed within the home of the possessor, the person so possessing the device shall, for a first offense, be guilty of a violation and subject to a fine of two hundred dollars, and for each subsequent offense, be guilty of a class B misdemeanor and subject to a fine of two hundred dollars and a term of up to three months imprisonment.

If such device containing more than seven rounds of ammunition is possessed in any location other than the home of the possessor, the person so possessing the device shall, for a first offense, be guilty of a class B misdemeanor and subject to a fine of two hundred dollars and a term of up to six months imprisonment, and for each subsequent offense, be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

A conviction for committing a crime, even if it is a misdemeanor is serious. Not only will you go to jail and be required to pay a fine, you will also end up with a criminal record that will have a detrimental effect on many aspects of your life. 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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