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Safe Storage of a Rifle, Shotgun or Firearm in NYC

Catastrophic outcomes can occur when a firearm is not property stored. Owning a gun in New York carries with it many responsibilities. 

Among the many requirements of gun owners in New York City is the safe storage of a rifle, shotgun or firearm. Gun owners might be held accountable if their weapons are not properly secured and fall into the possession of another person, including persons who are prohibited from having a gun.

Allowing a person who is not authorized to possess a gun is a Class A misdemeanor under N.Y. Penal Law Article 265.45. Penalties for a conviction of violating the law regarding the safe storage of a rifle, shotgun or firearm include up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Attorney for Safe Storage of a Rifle, Shotgun or Firearm in Manhattan

If you were arrested for violating the New York law related to safe storage of a rifle, shotgun or firearm in Manhattan or any of the five boroughs of New York City, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer in Manhattan to assist you. A qualified attorney will be able to explain the charge and defenses that apply to the case.

At Greco Neyland, PC, we represent people arrested on criminal gun charges. When we take your case we take the time to investigate each client’s situation and determine the best way to defend you against the charges.

With Greco Neyland, PC as your advocate, you will have former prosecutors fighting on your behalf, so we know how the process works. We represent clients in Manhattan (New York County), Brooklyn (Kings County), The Bronx, and the other boroughs of New York City. Call us today at (212) 951-1300 to schedule a free consultation.


Information about Safe Storage of Firearm in New York City


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Types of Charges Related to Safe Storage of a Gun

Responsible gun owners secure their guns when their guns are not being used, but sometimes gun owners fail in keeping their guns safe when not in use. If an unsecured gun falls into the hands of someone not authorized to possess the gun, the owner of the gun is in violation of the law.

N.Y. Penal Law, Part 3, Title P, Article 265.45 states that “no person who owns or is custodian of a rifle, shotgun or firearm who resides with an individual who such person knows or has reason  to know is prohibited from possessing a firearm pursuant to (federal law) 18 U.S.C. S 922(g)(1), (4), (8) or (9)) shall”:

  • Store or otherwise leave such rifle, shotgun or firearm out of his or her immediate possession or control without having first done all of the following:
    • Securely locked such rifle, shotgun or firearm in an appropriate safe storage depository, or
    • Rendered it incapable of being fired by use of a gun locking device appropriate to that weapon.

The federal statute cited in the state law describes certain unlawful acts involving guns.


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Elements of Unsafe Storage of a Gun

In order for a defendant to found in violation of the law related to the Safe Storage of Rifles, Shotguns and Firearms, a judge or jury must find that a person, beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • Was an owner or custodian of a firearm, rifle or shotgun on or about a certain date in a specific county;
  • Resided with an individual who the defendant knew or had reason to know was prohibited from possessing a firearm (pursuant to federal law);
  • Stored or otherwise left the firearm, rifle or shotgun he or she was the owner or custodian of out of his or her immediate possession or control without having first securely locked such firearm, rifle or shotgun in an appropriate safe storage depository or rendered it incapable of being fired by use of a gun locking device appropriate to that weapon.

N.Y. P.L. § 265.45 applies to offenses committed on or after March 16, 2013.

Several key terms in the law are legally defined in the statutes, including possessfirearmrifleshotgun, and safe storage depository.


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Penalties for Unsafe Storage of a Gun

A violation of the law related to Safe Storage of Rifles, Shotguns and Firearms is a Class A Misdemeanor in New York. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable upon conviction by:

  • Up to one year in jail, and/or
  • A fine of up to $1,000

There is a possibility of leniency through an alternative sentence for offenders with no recent criminal record:

Under N.Y. Penal Law, Part 2, Title E, § 70.15, “the court may impose any other sentence authorized by law upon a person who has not been previously convicted in the five years immediately preceding the commission of the (§ 265.45) offense for a felony or a Class A misdemeanor, if, the court, having  regard to the nature and circumstances of the crime and to the history and character of the defendant, finds on the record that such sentence would be unduly harsh and that the alternative sentence would be consistent with public safety and does not deprecate the seriousness of the crime.”


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Resources Related to Safe Storage of a Gun

New York Penal Law, Part 3, Title P, Article 265.45 — Read the New York State law pertaining to safe storage of rifles, shotguns and firearms.

Jury Instructions for Safe Storage of Rifles, Shotguns and Firearms — Visit the website of the New York State Unified Court System to find the standard criminal jury instructions (CJI) for Penal Law Offenses, including safe storage of rifles, shotguns and firearms for any offense committed on or after March 16, 2013.


Find an Attorney for Safe Storage of a Rifle, Shotgun or Firearm in New York City

If you were arrested in New York City for violating the state law related to the Safe Storage of a Rifle, Shotgun or Firearm under N.Y. P.L. § 265.45, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

The skilled criminal defense attorneys at Greco Neyland, PC are experienced in defending clients for all kinds of weapons charges. We will work with you at each stage of the case.

We serve clients throughout the five boroughs of New York City, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. Contact the dedicated lawyers at Greco Neyland, PC today by calling (212) 951-1300 to schedule a free consultation about your gun-related charge.

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Jeff Greco
Jeffery Greco
Experience as a former prosecutor gives Jeffery Greco an edge in building the strongest possible defense strategy for the accused in New York City.
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Dustan Neyland
Dustan Neyland
A thorough investigation is key to finding every reasonable doubt and getting charges reduced or dismissed for NYC defense attorney Dustan Neyland.
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