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Weapons Charges Attorney in Westchester County, New York

What About My Rights?

The Second Amendment of the United States gives citizens the right to bear arms, and it is a right many Americans take advantage of. According to an article from National Public Radio (NPR), the number of guns and citizens is roughly equal, at about 300 million, or twice as many as were owned in the U.S. in 1968. Not every citizen owns a gun, however. According to the same article, only one in three people own a gun. Still, there is plenty to go around. The website Demographic Data states that, as of 2014, the U.S. led the world in guns per capita, with 88.1 per 100 citizens.

While our Constitution lists the right to bear arms, this does not mean there are no criteria that must be met to qualify for gun ownership, and if these qualifications are not met or the guns are used in an illegal manner, the consequences can include jail time.

Weapons Charges & Crimes in New York

Statistics show that there are just over 17 million guns in New York State, which has a population of slightly over 19 million. Surprisingly, New York ranks 45th of 51 states in crimes involving firearms, including deaths, and only 18 percent of the population owns guns, according to Demographic Data. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show that in 2015, 849 New Yorkers were killed in firearm-related incidents, or 4.2 per thousand people, compared to 36,252 nationally, or 11.1 per 1,000 people. Part of the reason may be because of relatively strict gun laws, although no conclusive evidence has been presented. New York takes a strict stance on weapons, with stiff penalties for those caught breaking the law.

What Are the Gun Laws in New York?

Because of the diversity of the state, both in its population density and geography, gun laws in New York are relatively complex. Most laws apply to the entire state, but more specific laws on top of the federal and state laws apply to specific areas, including New York City. Both the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Gun Laws Website have comprehensive lists of the state’s laws, several of which are listed below:

Rifles and Shotguns

  • No permit is required except in NYC

  • No registration is required except in NYC

  • Licensing required only in NYC

  • Conceal or carry permit necessary only in NYC.


To purchase a handgun: Application for license, background check, and fingerprints taken at local police station; if approved, application passed to state police who require personal references; license is generally not awarded until six to eight months from application date. To own a handgun:

  • Permit required

  • Registration required

  • Licensing required

  • Carry permit required.

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Carry Laws

  • A license is necessary to have in the home.

  • License is necessary to carry in a place of business.

  • The license specifies whether it is legal to carry on premises or elsewhere.

  • To carry outside the home, the license application asks for proper cause.


  • Non-residents may not transport, carry or possess a handgun in the state without a NY license.

Assault Weapons

  • Assault weapons owned before January 15, 2013, are required to be registered or sold.

Common Weapons Offenses in New York

  • Carrying a weapon (including a firearm, stun gun, gravity knife, and metal knuckles): Class A Misdemeanor, maximum one year in jail and a $1,000 fine

  • Carrying a firearm on school grounds: Class E Felony, maximum four years in jail and $5,000 fine

  • Having a prior criminal conviction and possessing a weapon: Class D Felony, maximum 7 years in prison and $5,000 fine

  • Possession of a loaded firearm or machine gun: Class C Felony, maximum 15 years in prison and $5,000 fine

  • Possession of an explosive with the intent to use it against another, or possession of 10 or more firearms: Class B Felony, maximum of 25 years in prison.

Contact an Assault Defense Attorney Today!

Since 2014, the Law Office of Michael D. Litman has been representing the criminal defense needs of the citizens of White Plains, Westchester County, and the New York Metro area. We have the knowledge and the experience to help. Our firm will work with you from the arraignment all the way through to the trial. Michael Litman knows the best techniques and strategies to successfully defend your case.

If you have questions or need to set up a consultation, contact us online or call us.