New York is already home to some of the tightest gun restrictions in the country. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said recently that additional limits on the purchase, possession and use of firearms may be on the way.

Cuomo, following a spate of mass shootings elsewhere in the U.S., said he wants to make New York gun laws “even stronger.” That could include pushing legislation that would make it easier to block people who are considered a danger to themselves or to the public from buying a gun. The governor also supports a proposal to lengthen background check waiting periods for anyone who wants to purchase a firearm.

The path for some of these bills may have been cleared in November, when Cuomo’s Democrat Party won control of both chambers of the state legislature.

Penalties for Gun Crimes

Anyone who wants to buy or possess a gun in New York must first get a license. The specific process for obtaining a license may vary by county, but local government and law enforcement officials generally have wide discretion to deny those permits. The state bans gun permits for people who are under 21 years old, are drug users, have been convicted of a felony or “serious offense,” has been dishonorably discharged from the military, is an undocumented immigrant or is deemed not to be “of good moral character.”

Licenses also vary based on type of use, from permission to keep a gun in a home to the authority to carry a concealed weapon. State law requires all gun owners to verify their permits every five years.

The penalties for gun crimes in New York are often severe. The possession of gun without a valid permit is in most cases a felony offense. It’s punishable by up to four years in prison and as much as $5,000 in fines. Because the state generally doesn’t recognize out-of-state weapons permits, a person who is a registered gun owner elsewhere is facing the same potential penalties if he or she brings the firearm into New York. The prison times and fines associated with a wide range of other offenses are also often enhanced.

Speak With an Albany Criminal Defense Lawyer at the Tyner Law Firm Today

It is vital that anyone suspected of or charged with a gun crime in the Capital District seek the advice of an experienced Albany criminal defense lawyer. An attorney can help you weigh your options and start building the strongest possible defense, in some cases before you’ve even been charged with a crime.

James E. Tyner is an experienced attorney who has been representing clients in gun and other criminal cases for more than a decade. Mr. Tyner has a strong track record of getting optimal results for the people that he represents. Contact us online or call 518-783-3800 to schedule a free consultation.