The Second Amendment provides people around the country with the freedom to possess a firearm. Many people own guns, whether for sport, tradition, or security. It's imperative for gun owners to understand that anyone who owns a firearm and plans to travel to, or through, New York State must understand how to legally transport a firearm either into, or through the state.
Different states have different rules for the transportation of firearms, but here in New York regulations can become complex, especially with a Canadian border on our doorstep here in Western New York.
Legality of Transportation
Many gun owners, despite feeling confident in research and education on traveling with their firearm, come to the conclusion that because they possess a legal permit or license in their home state, took the appropriate certification classes, and underwent thorough background screening for their gun purchasing and licensing that they are legal to carry that weapon in NYS. It's often misconstrued that a legal gun carrier from another state is free to cross through NYS with a “legal” weapon from another state.
This is not the case. We have seen how people have been stopped at the border of NYS, the Canadian border into Canada, as well as stopped on their way back into the US through NYS for having “legal” licensed guns, without a permit or license in New York State.
If an individual is stopped by law enforcement, or at the border, and a gun is found in their possession that they cannot legally possess in New York, they may face serious charges and potential penalties including state prison time and a felony record. It is extremely important for individuals who carry firearms to consult with experienced legal counsel prior to carrying weapons into or through New York State. If someone finds themselves jammed up due to a gun charge, it's important to contact a quality gun lawyer to defend your case.
Gun Charge Severity
Regardless of if an individual is completely honest, with no intention to cause any harm or break any laws, possessing a gun in New York illegally is quite severe. Prosecutors will take the position that there is no good excuse for possessing an illegal weapon, even if that weapon is considered legal in another state. In order to prevent potential incarceration and felony charges, it's important to contact a defense attorney as soon as possible.
But, What if the gun isn't loaded?
A person cannot have a firearm in NYS without the permits and license to do so despite open carry or concealed carry. Some states don't have licensing requirements, but that's not the case in New York. Even if the gun is not loaded, even with intricate precautions taken by the gun owner, if the ammunition is accessible and available to load the firearm then the law will deem that weapon to be considered loaded, which can create an even bigger problem, with more severe charges and potential punishment. Transportation AND possession is much more serious.
The number of firearms a person possesses or transported can also have a significant impact on the penalties the person may face, considering every weapon can be considered a separate and additional charge.
Protect Yourself, but Know the Law in NYS
Should you find yourself in trouble with the law due to possessing or transporting a gun that is legal in another state, it's important you contact an attorney immediately. We have seen individuals here in Western New York who have had issues at the Canadian border, as well as individuals traveling through the state from another state that have unfortunately found themselves in trouble despite thinking they took all legal steps and proper precaution. If you have any questions regarding this process, don't hesitate to reach out to speak to Dan DuBois. We're always here to help. We Understand. We Never Judge.