Arrested for Firearm Possession while Visiting or Touring NYC?

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives us a general right to have firearms however the different states can interpret this in their own way. Guns laws are generally more lax in southern states. New York has particularly strict laws regulating the possession of firearms. Out-of-state licenses are not recognized and you face a 3.5 year minimum in New York for an illegal gun.

The NYPD aggressively investigates illegal gun possession and is quick to make an arrest. In some states, you are not required to have a license to carry a firearm. In others, getting a license is fairly quick. Gun owners traveling to New York State often travel to New York City for business or pleasure. If they weren't aware of New York's harsh gun laws or were under a mistaken belief that their out-of-state license will be honored in New York, an arrest and felony charges could follow. Typically, prosecutions for an illegal gun tend to be strong. This is because all the prosecutor needs to do is prove that you were in possession of a firearm at a certain time and place in NYC. For this reason, many cases do not go to trial but are resolved between your attorney and the prosecutor.

Tourists and visitors are often arrested at security checkpoints in NYC such as at

  • The Statue of Liberty
  • Empire State Building
  • Airports
  • Tunnels or other ports of entry
  • Other security checkpoints
  • Hotels

FAQ's for Gun Arrests

Q: If I have a license in another state, can I get this case dismissed? A: Unfortunately, New York does not recognize licenses and permits from other states. This means that you can still be arrested, prosecuted, and convicted even if you are a safe and responsible person with no criminal history and a valid firearm license from another state.

Q: What am I facing if convicted?

A: You are probably charged under P.L. 265.03, criminal possession of a weapon in the 2nd degree, a Class C Felony. If convicted:

  • Imprisonment (NY State Prison) is mandatory. The term must be in whole or half years between 3.5 and 15 years.
  • In addition to imprisonment, you must be sentenced to Post Release Supervision between 2 and one-half years and 5 years.
  • If domestic violence is a factor, the court may increase the minimum to 4.5 years.
  • If you have another pending felony, you must receive consecutive time (the imprisonment won't start until you finish serving on the other case
  • A fine of up to $5,000
  • If terrorism is alleged or you have a criminal history enhanced sentencing may apply

Q: What can be done? A: If you or a loved-one has been arrested for carrying an illegal gun in New York City, contact us today for a case evaluation. Lance Fletcher, a former Manhattan prosecutor can take steps to:

  • Challenge the search and seizure of the firearm
  • Suppress any statements you made without a lawyer
  • Fight the charges in court and argue on your behalf to the prosecutor and court
  • Provide documentation to show that you are law abiding and have a good moral character
  • Provide documentation about any out of state license you have

Lance Fletcher has successfully defended clients throughout New York City Courts against accusations that they were in possession of an illegal handgun, rifle, or bullets while visiting New York City. We handle cases in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn. We have been successful in getting:

  • No Jail (but depends on the facts and circumstances)
  • No Felony conviction (but depends on the facts and circumstances)
  • No probation or court supervision (but depends on the facts and circumstances)

Every case is different and whether we can successfully resolve your case will depend on the facts and circumstances of how you were allegedly in possession of an illegal gun while visiting new york. Tourism is important to New York City and although New York laws are strict even for first time offenders, we fight hard to point out the inherent unfairness of being arrested for something that might be perfectly legal in your home state. If you were just arrested in New York City for an illegal gun or your arrest was weeks or months ago, contact us as soon as possible to set up a time for your consultation. Every time you go to court, important rights may become affected so the sooner you contact us, the better.

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