Ghost Guns: Now Illegal in New York

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Ghost Guns: Now Illegal in New York


In 2021, NYPD reported that it had recovered more “Ghost Guns” than in any previous year. Later that year, Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation into law that resulted in a crackdown on these types of guns.

A “ghost gun” is any gun that lacks serial numbers. They are usually assembled from component parts, which can be ordered online. 

These bills were actually a package of three new laws. 

The Jose Webster Untraceable Firearms Act

This act criminalized the sale of ghost guns. It also requires gunsmiths to register and serialize any firearms they assemble from spare parts. 

To “serialize” a weapon is to give it a visible identification number or symbol “in accordance with the requirements imposed on licensed importers and licensed manufacturers.” They do not have to serialize antique firearms, as defined as a firearm manufactured prior to 1968. 

The Scott J. Beigel Unfinished Receiver Act

This Act prohibits the possession and sale of unfinished frames or receivers. 

This means any material that has been shaped or formed in any way for the purpose of becoming the frame or receiver of a firearm, rifle, or shotgun, or which may be readily made into a functional frame or receiver through milling, drilling, or other means. 

Legislation S.7152/A.6522

This legislation also makes it illegal to possess weapons that have been designed to appear as toys, or which could be mistaken for toys. 

This also prohibits guns with a decorative pattern or plastic-like surface. 

Tactics Police Could Use to Find Ghost Guns

Many ghost gun kits are sold online. We might expect law enforcement to start using keyword warrants to find individuals who might have purchased them. They might also start raiding those who are already known to create these weapons, or who have been associated with weaponsmithing in the past. Be careful, and keep a trusted criminal defense attorney’s number good and handy in case something goes wrong. 

Obviously if police search your home or your car and find one of these illegal items or components they could arrest you and charge you with possession. 

Get Help Today

If you are caught with a ghost gun you face serious penalties that could be life-altering. All illegal weapon possession charges are extremely serious.

Don’t wait for things to get worse. Get help from experienced NYC criminal defense lawyers today. Our team of ex-prosecutors and experts has a firm grounding in both state and Federal law, and may even be able to mount a defense based on your constitutional rights. 

Contact us today for a free consultation. 

See also:

Is My Weapon Illegal in NYC? 

Why Is It Important to Hire a Private NYC Criminal Lawyer?

Felony, First Degree, & Class A Violent Felony: How Does New York Divide & Classify Crimes?

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