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What are New York's gun laws like?

Did you know that New York has some of the most stringent gun laws in all of America? It earned an A- in the Annual Gun Law Scorecard produced by the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

The state takes gun violence very seriously, so if you are caught with a weapon you are not supposed to have or commit a crime with a weapon, you could face significant penalties. There are some individuals who are not allowed to possess guns at all. They may include:

  • Anyone convicted of a felony or "serious offense" as recognized by the state. This could include crimes such as stalking or harassment.
  • Those under the age of 21, unless they have previously been honorably discharged from the military or national guard.
  • Those who are addicted to illegal substances.
  • Those who have stated that they suffer from any kind of mental illness.
  • Those who were involuntarily committed for mental health treatment.
  • Those who had a handgun license revoked.
  • Illegal immigrants.
  • Fugitives.

...and many others.

What's interesting is that many people from other states, and even some people in New York, don't know that the laws are this strict. While ignorance of the law isn't a good defense in court, showing that you did not intentionally break the law could help your case.

There are also times when you may be accused of illegally possessing a weapon or committing a crime with a weapon when you did not. If that happens to you, you have a right to defend yourself and to fight the charges you're facing.

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