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NY Penal Law § 265.01-b: Criminal possession of a firearm

In New York is you possess a firearm you could be convicted of a felony. The least serious felony is criminal possession of a firearm. Under New York Penal Code § 265.01-b the prosecutor will charge you with this crime if you possess a firearm and there are no aggravating factors that would make the offense a more serious felony. New York Penal Code § 265.00(3) defines firearm as:

  1. any pistol or revolver
  2. a shotgun having one or more barrels less than eighteen inches in length
  3. a rifle having one or more barrels less than sixteen inches in length
  4. any weapon made from a shotgun or rifle
  5. an assault weapon.

However, an antique firearm is not a firearm for purpose of the criminal possession of a firearm charge


A man drives a car down a deserted street at 3:00am in the morning. A police officer notices the car and thinks that it is odd for a car to be in that area at that time. The police officer pulls the car over and performs a pat down search of the man. The officer finds that the man has a firearm and arrests him. The man would not likely be charged with criminal possession of a firearm because the police officer did not have probable cause to stop and search him. Because the search was unlawful the firearm that the officer found would be inadmissible as evidence.

Related Offenses
  1. Criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds: New York Penal Code § 265.01-a
  2. Criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree: New York Penal Code § 265.02

If the police uncovered the firearm during a search, one way to defend a charge of criminal possession of a firearm is to challenge the search as unlawful. For example, if you are driving your car and the police stop you even though there were no signs that you had committed a crime such as speeding or driving while intoxicated, the stop would be unlawful. If as a result of the stop the police searched your vehicle and found a firearm, the prosecutor would have a tough time prosecuting you as the firearm would likely be deemed inadmissible as it was the result of an unlawful search.


Because criminal possession of a firearm is a class E felony, if you are convicted the maximum possible prison sentence that you will receive is 4 years. Your sentence could also include a fine as well as a probation term of 5 years. In determining your sentence the judge will consider a number of factors including your criminal history. If you are a first time offender your sentence will be less severe than if you have a prior criminal history.

New York Penal Code § 265.01-b: Criminal possession of a firearm

A person is guilty of criminal possession of a firearm when he or she: (1) possesses any firearm or; (2) lawfully possesses a firearm prior to the effective date of the chapter of the laws of two thousand thirteen which added this section subject to the registration requirements of subdivision sixteen-a of § 400.00 of this chapter and knowingly fails to register such firearm pursuant to such subdivision.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Criminal possession of a firearm is an offense that could result in you spending time in prison. However, in order for your case to be resolved in the best possible manner given the circumstances, it is important to have an attorney who has experienced. 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 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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