Is My Weapon Illegal In NYC?

Is My Weapon Illegal In NYC?

Many people own weapons for innocent purposes. Some carry them for self-defense.

But in New York City it’s easy to get in trouble if you are carrying the wrong kinds of weapons, or carrying them in the wrong way. Weapons charges come with mandatory minimum sentences.

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It’s Not Just Knives And Guns!

Don’t assume a weapons is fine if it’s not a knife or a gun. Martial arts enthusiasts take note. You can also be convicted of weapons charges for carrying any of the following:

  • Stun guns
  • Swords or sword canes
  • Blackjacks or tonfas
  • Bludgeons or maces
  • Shurikan
  • Brass or plastic knuckles

This is not an exhaustive list. You can be brought up on weapons charges for possessing any item with the intent to use it to harm another person. Weapons you personally built and improvised to mimic any other weapon also count.

There’s one bit of good news for martial artists: in 2018 New York Courts struck down the ban on nunchucks. Crossbows are legal,with strict limits, as are bows and arrows as long as you don’t fire them in dangerous places or carry them with the intent to harm humans.
See also:Is Self-Defense a Slam Dunk Defense?

Carrying Knives

“Well, knives are fine as long as they’re not switchblades, right?”

Wrong. Knives can get you into trouble if they have a blade longer than 4 inches. Gravity knives are also banned.

What you do with the knife does matter. If you have the knife in public, hold it in open view, or wear it in open view you can be brought up on charges.
If you are only doing these things with your knife, it’s merely a “violation,” which can carry up to a $300 fine and up to 15 days in jail.

See also:Is Ignorance of the Law a Defense to NY Criminal Charges?

Guns & Explosives

Guns and explosives offer the most serious charges. You are violating the law if your gun is unlicensed and unregistered. If the police find an unlicensed, unregistered gun the charges will be all the more serious if they’re loaded.

The charges you face will also depend on how many guns you have, what types of gun (machine guns or disguised guns are also treated more harshly). Possessing any sort of explosive with intent to set it off is a felony offense.


A 4th degree weapons charge is a misdemeanor. Weapons charges in the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degrees are all felonies. In many cases, they’ll be treated as violent felonies.

If you are guilty of a 4th degree weapons charge but have a prior conviction in any state, New York automatically charges you with 3rd degree weapons possession as well.

If you’re facing weapon charges in New York City you need an excellent defense lawyer on your side. In some cases we can get the charges thrown out, if they were based on an illegal search and seizure. Sometimes we can get the charges reduced.

And in cases where weapons charges have been tacked on in addition to other crimes, we may be able to suppress the weapon so it doesn’t enter into evidence.

Contact Greco Neyland today to get the vigorous defense you need to protect your record and your freedom.

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About The Author

Jeffery Greco

Jeffery Greco is an attorney providing legal services covering Criminal Defense and Criminal Defense: White Collar and Criminal Defense: DUI / DWI. Jeffery Greco, who practices law in New York, New York, was selected to Super Lawyers for 2020 - 2023. This peer designation is awarded only to a select number of accomplished attorneys in each state. The Super Lawyers selection process takes into account peer recognition, professional achievement in legal practice, and other cogent factors. Prior to becoming an attorney, he studied at South Texas College of Law Houston. He graduated in 2004. After passing the bar exam, he was admitted to legal practice in 2005.

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