Criminal Weapon Disposal or Purchase: New York Penal Code § 265.17

The State of New York has stringent laws about who may purchase and own firearms. New York Penal Code 265.17 makes it illegal for legally prohibited persons to possess or purchase a firearm. To be convicted of criminal weapon disposal or purchase, the accused must have:

  1. Disposed a shotgun, rifle or firearm to another person with the knowledge that the latter was prohibited from possessing a firearm; or
  2. Purchased a shotgun, rifle or firearm with the knowledge that they were prohibited from so doing because they have a conviction on their criminal record or for another legal reason; or
  3. Purchased a shotgun, rifle or firearm for another person with the knowledge that the latter was prohibited from possessing a firearm.
Hypothetical Case

Suppose a man was convicted of second degree burglary and after serving out his prison term, he entered into the probationary period of his sentence. As a convicted felon on probation, the man was prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm. Yet the convicted felon asked his cousin to procure a gun for him, which the cousin did. The convicted felon broke his parole agreement and attempted to rob a convenience store. The police apprehended the convicted felon and found the loaded gun that the cousin had procured in the convicted felon’s jacket pocket. The police officers discovered how the convicted felon was able to get the gun. For the part that the cousin played in this string of events, the cousin could be prosecuted for criminal weapon disposal or purchase.

Possible Defenses

Lack of probable cause. In New York state, probable cause must be evident in order to legally perform a search of an individual’s person, residence, home, car, office, or other property. Probable cause may be inferred when law enforcement personnel have reason to believe that a crime had been committed. If probable cause was not present, materials and property found during the search may not be admitted as evidence because they were obtained without probable cause as justification. If police officers obtained the gun without probable cause, the will not be able to use the gun as evidence.

Other lines of defense. Experienced defense attorneys who have worked on numerous weapons cases have extensive experience with circumstantial and various types of evidence, as well as other case elements, all of which may be used to potentially tip the case in the defendant’s favor.

Possible Sentence

Imprisonment. Criminal weapon disposal or purchase is a Class D felony which warrants up to seven years in prison. Two to four years is the minimum prison sentence if a prior felony conviction is on a person’s criminal record.

Probationary Period. In addition to a prison sentence, the presiding judge may impose a term of probation that mandates that the convicted person must report regularly to a parole officer and abide by the rules handed down from the court. The presiding judge, however, may decide that probation without imprisonment may be the appropriate sentence. Sentencing takes into account a person’s prior criminal record.

NY Penal Code Section 265.17: Criminal Weapon Disposal or Purchase

To reiterate, a person will be found guilty of criminal weapon disposal or purchase if that person:

  1. With full knowledge that the person for whom they are disposing a shotgun, rifle or firearm is prohibited from possessing a shotgun, rifle or firearm because of a prior conviction or some other legal constraint placed upon them, the former willfully disposes of a firearm on the latter, regardless; or
  2. With full knowledge that their possession of a shotgun, rifle or firearm is prohibited and illegal because of a prior conviction or some other legal constraint placed upon them, they willfully purchase a firearm, regardless; or
  3. With full knowledge that the person for whom they are procuring a shotgun, rifle or firearm is prohibited from possessing a shotgun, rifle or firearm because of a prior conviction or some other legal constraint placed upon them, the former willfully purchases a firearm for the latter, regardless.
Attorney to Defend Against the Charge of Criminal Weapon Disposal or Purchase

To effectively defend against a charge of criminal weapon disposal or purchase, it is imperative that you obtain legal counsel from a reputable and experienced defense attorney firm that has proven resources to successfully protect clients’ interests and rights.

The Elliott Adler PC law firm has successfully advocated on behalf of persons charged with criminal weapon disposal or purchase, as well as other weapons and firearm violations, misdemeanors and felony crimes in New York state, including criminal possession of a firearm, criminal possession of a weapon, and criminal sale of a firearm. The Elliot Adler PC law firm has respected, skilled and experienced lawyers who commit themselves to providing the best defense representation for their clients.

We can be reached at (212) 785-1300 or http://www.newyorkcriminallawyer24-7.com to schedule a no-obligation, free legal consultative meeting to evaluate your case.

Related Offenses

For additional information, refer to the following sections of the New York Penal Code:

  1. First degree criminal sale of a firearm: Section 265.13
  2. Criminal weapon possession on school premises: Section 265.01-a