New York Penal Law § 265.05 – Unlawful Possession of Weapons by Persons Under 16
Unlawful Possession of Weapons by Persons Under 16 is a law prohibiting minors under the age of 16 from possessing certain weapons, including air guns, spring-powered guns, and dangerous knives. It is also a violation of this section for minors to possess rifle or shotgun ammunition unless they have a hunting license or permit. Unlawful possession of a weapon by a minor under 16 is different from other crimes because it only applies to minors; however, a juvenile can be found delinquent if they violate this law.The Elements of Unlawful Possession of Weapons by Persons Under 16
Before a New York family court judge can convict a minor of Unlawful Possession of Weapons by Persons Under 16, the government must prove each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. The elements of Unlawful Possession of Weapons by Persons Under 16 are:
- The defendant possessed one of the following:
- an air-powered gun,
- a spring-powered gun,
- any other weapon using loaded or blank cartridges,
- a dangerous knife, or
- Rifle or shotgun ammunition.
- The defendant was under 16; and
- The defendant knowingly possessed the weapon.
Unlawful Possession of Weapons by Persons Under 16 is a broadly-worded offense, and there are several ways one can violate this law, including:
- A 12-year-old borrows his older brother’s BB gun;
- A 15-year-old uses an Airsoft gun given to him by a relative for his birthday; and
- A minor under 16 who does not have a hunting license carries ammunition while accompanying her father on a hunting trip.
Often, the government will bring other related charges in addition to Unlawful Possession of Weapons by Persons Under 16. The following are some of the most commonly charged related offenses:
- Unlawful possession of a weapon upon school grounds - N.Y. Penal Law § 265.06
- Criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree - N.Y. Penal Law § 265.01
- Criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree - N.Y. Penal Law § 265.02
- Criminal possession of a weapon in a restricted location- N.Y. Penal Law § 265.01-D
- Criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds - N.Y. Penal Law § 265.01-A
- Criminal purchase of a weapon - N.Y. Penal Law § 265.17
There are several defenses to Unlawful Possession of Weapons by Persons Under 16. The most common defenses include the following:
- The object in the minor’s possession didn’t with within the definition of any of the prohibited weapons;
- The minor’s rights were violated by law enforcement during an illegal search or seizure; and
- The minor possessed a hunting rifle and had previously obtained a hunting license or permit.
Unlawful Possession of Weapons by Persons Under 16 is a delinquent act. Thus, any minor under the age of 16 found in possession of a prohibited weapon may be adjudicated delinquent by a New York family court judge. If the court enters a delinquency finding, the judge then holds a dispositional hearing to determine if the minor needs supervision, treatment, or confinement. A judge has broad discretion following a dispositional hearing and may order the minor to report to probation for up to two years, order them to complete a treatment program or order them to be confined in a juvenile detention facility. Alternatively, if a judge determines that the juvenile does not need supervision, treatment or confinement, it can dismiss the case.Speak With an Experienced New York Juvenile Defense Attorney About Your Case Today
If you or your child was recently detained for a New York weapons crime, reach out to a dedicated New York Juvenile defense attorney at Tilem & Associates, P.C. Juvenile delinquency cases can result in life-changing dispositions; however, at the same time, the court also has the discretion to dismiss the case even if it found the minor committed the delinquent act. Thus, it is essential to have an experienced attorney to advocate on a juvenile’s behalf at every stage of the process. The lawyers at Tilem & Associates, P.C. are immediately available to meet with you to get started working towards best possible solution. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call 877-377-8666. You can also reach us through our online contact form.