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Illegal Sale of Firearms

Westchester County Attorneys Defending Individuals Accused of Gun Crimes

The New York legislature has enacted laws to address the black market firearms trade and reduce the number of illegal guns in the state. Consequently, many of these laws limit private sales of guns by individuals. If you have been arrested for an illegal firearm sale offense, retaining a skilled attorney for your defense may help avoid a conviction. At Tilem & Associates, our Westchester County gun crime lawyers can offer detailed insights into gun sale cases, based on experience working for the prosecution in the firearms trafficking unit of the New York County District Attorney’s Office. From our White Plains office, we can assist individuals facing a state or federal firearms charge in New York City and the surrounding areas.

New York Laws Involving the Illegal Sale of Firearms

Gun transactions that involve the selling, exchanging, or other means of disposing of firearms are subject to federal and state restrictions. While you may legally sell a gun in many situations, there are distinct requirements depending on whether you are a licensed dealer, private seller, or gun show seller. For example, in New York, people who are not licensed dealers must first provide written notice to the proper New York authority before disposing of a firearm that they lawfully possess. Failing to do so is a class A misdemeanor. Most weapon crimes involving illegal sales, however, are charged as felonies.

Article 265 of the New York Penal Law contains most of the state laws regulating who may sell a firearm, who may be sold a firearm, and which kind of firearm may be sold. Firearms are defined as pistols, revolvers, shotguns, rifles with shortened barrels, and assault weapons. In New York, it is a felony offense for someone who is not legally authorized to have a firearm to sell, exchange, give, or dispose of a firearm or a large capacity ammunition feeding device, or possess a firearm with the intent to sell it. This offense is known as criminal sale of a firearm in the third degree and is punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Criminal sale of a firearm in the second degree may be charged in two situations. The first is when a person unlawfully sells, exchanges, gives, or disposes of five or more firearms to one individual. Secondly, it may be charged when a person does so within a period of one year to any number of individuals. It is a class C felony that can carry a sentence of up to 15 years of incarceration. Criminal sale of a firearm in the first degree applies in the same two situations, but when the number of guns is 10 instead of five. It is a class B felony with a maximum prison sentence of 25 years if convicted.

Gun sales involving minors are specifically addressed under New York law. An adult may be charged with the criminal sale of a firearm with the aid of a minor when the adult requests, commands, solicits, or intentionally aids the minor in knowingly and unlawfully selling, exchanging, giving, or disposing of a gun. Moreover, an adult who is not legally authorized to have a firearm cannot unlawfully sell, exchange, give, or dispose of a gun to someone who is, or who appears to be, less than 19 years of age and who is not licensed to possess a firearm. These felonies are punishable by up to 15 years in prison upon a conviction.

A defendant may also be charged with related crimes, such as criminal possession or federal firearms offenses. These cases may seem complex, but the prosecution has a heavy burden to prove each of the elements. In many cases, your attorney can rebut the prosecution’s case and assert a defense to the charges.

Contest an Illegal Firearm Sale Charge with a Westchester County Lawyer

You are entitled to defend against firearm charges with the assistance of qualified legal counsel. At Tilem & Associates, our Westchester County attorneys can protect your right to a fair trial and provide a vigorous defense. We also handle state and federal cases for defendants in Queens and the Bronx, along with Kings, Richmond, Rockland, Nassau, Suffolk, and Putnam Counties and the various airports around New York City. Make an appointment to discuss a gun or weapons charge by calling Tilem & Associates at 877-377-8666 or submitting our contact form online.