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NY Penal Law § 265.45: Safe storage of rifles, shotguns, and firearms

Some of the most tragic accidents related to the use of guns occurred because the gun was not properly stored. For this reason New York has very specific requirement as to how you must store your rifles shotguns and other firearms. If you fail to do so you have committed a crime. Under New York Penal Code § 265.45, you could face a misdemeanor charge if you own a firearm, shotgun, or rifle and live with someone who is not legally permitted to possess a firearm, shotgun or rifle and you fail to proper store and secure that weapon.


An undercover police officer was observing an area known for drug activity saw a man give a woman what appeared to be a marihuana cigarette. The woman lit the cigarette and began to smoke it. The officer arrested both of them. The man was charged with criminal sale of marihuana in the fifth degree while the woman was charged with criminal possession of marihuana in the fifth degree.

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

One way to defend a charge of criminal sale of marihuana in the fifth degree is to challenge the search that uncovered the material as unlawful. There are rules that the police must follow in order to stop and search someone's person or someone's home. If the police do not follow such rules a court may find that the search was unlawful. If that happens the prosecutor may have no choice but to dismiss the case against you.


Because criminal possession of marihuana in the fourth degree is a class A misdemeanor if convicted you could be sentenced to up to 1 year in jail. However, your sentence may also include a probation term of 3 years. If you are placed on probation there will be several rules that you will be required to follow, including regularly reporting to your probation officer. If you fail to follow the rules your probation may be revoked and you may be sent to jail. In determining your actual sentence the judge will consider several factors including your personal background, and your criminal history. If you are a first time offender your sentence will be less severe than if you have a criminal history.

New York Penal Code § 265.45: Safe storage of rifles, shotguns, and firearms

No person who owns or is custodian of a rifle, shotgun or firearm who resides with an individual who such person knows or has reason to know is prohibited from possessing a firearm pursuant to 18 U.S.C. S 922(g) (1), (4), (8) or (9) shall store or otherwise leave such rifle, shotgun or firearm out of his or her immediate possession or control without having first securely locked such rifle, shotgun or firearm in an appropriate safe storage depository or rendered it incapable of being fired by use of a gun locking device appropriate to that weapon. For purposes of this section "safe storage depository" shall mean a safe or other secure container which, when locked, is incapable of being opened without the key, combination or other unlocking mechanism and is capable of preventing an unauthorized person from obtaining access to and possession of the weapon contained therein. With respect to a person who is prohibited from possessing a firearm pursuant to 18 USC S 922(g)(9), for purposes of this section, this section applies only if such person has been convicted of a crime included in subdivision one of section 370.15 of the criminal procedure law and such gun is possessed within five years from the later of the date of conviction or completion of sentence. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to affect, impair or supersede any special or local act relating to the safe storage of rifles, shotguns or firearms which impose additional requirements on the owner or custodian of such weapons.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Whether or not you view a marihuana crime as a "big deal," the law views marihuana offenses as serious. Even if you are convicted of the least serious sale of marihuana crime, you could end up in jail and you will have a criminal record. Because of the potential consequences you should immediately contact an attorney who has experience defending those accused of marihuana offenses. 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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