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Legal Statutes: New York

UPDATED October 12, 2012

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Article 265. Firearms and Other Dangerous Weapons

back to topSec. 265.01 Criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree


A person is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree when:

(1) He or she possesses any firearm, electronic dart gun, electronic stun gun, gravity knife, switchblade knife, pilum ballistic knife, metal knuckle knife, cane sword, billy, blackjack, bludgeon, plastic knuckles, metal knuckles, chuka stick, sand bag, sandclub, wrist-brace type slingshot or slungshot, shirken or “Kung Fu star”; or

(2) He possesses any dagger, dangerous knife, dirk, razor, stiletto, imitation pistol, or any other dangerous or deadly instrument or weapon with intent to use the same unlawfully against another; or

(3) He or she knowingly has in his or her possession a rifle, shotgun or firearm in or upon a building or grounds, used for educational purposes, of any school, college or university, except the forestry lands, wherever located, owned and maintained by the State University of New York college of environmental science and forestry, or upon a school bus as defined in section one hundred forty-two of the vehicle and traffic law, without the written authorization of such educational institution; or

(4) He possesses a rifle, shotgun, antique firearm, black powder rifle, black powder shotgun, or any muzzle-loading firearm, and has been convicted of a felony or serious offense; or

(5) He possesses any dangerous or deadly weapon and is not a citizen of the United States; or

(6) He is a person who has been certified not suitable to possess a rifle or shotgun, as defined in subdivision sixteen of section 265.00, and refuses to yield possession of such rifle or shotgun upon the demand of a police officer. Whenever a person is certified not suitable to possess a rifle or shotgun, a member of the police department to which such certification is made, or of the state police, shall forthwith seize any rifle or shotgun possessed by such person. A rifle or shotgun seized as herein provided shall not be destroyed, but shall be delivered to the headquarters of such police department, or state police, and there retained until the aforesaid certificate has been rescinded by the director or physician in charge, or other disposition of such rifle or shotgun has been ordered or authorized by a court of competent jurisdiction.

(7) He knowingly possesses a bullet containing an explosive substance designed to detonate upon impact.

(8) He possesses any armor piercing ammunition with intent to use the same unlawfully against another.

Criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree is a class A misdemeanor.
(Added L.1974, c. 1041, § 3. Amended L.1976, c. 217, § 2; L.1981, c. 807, § 1; L.1982, c. 840, § 1; L.1983, c. 621, § 1; L.1985, c. 61, § 2; L.1986, c. 328, § 3; L.1986, c. 646, § 2; L.1988, c. 220, §§ 1, 2; L.1990, c. 264, § 2; L.1995, c. 219, § 3; L.2006, c. 199, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 2006; L.2008, c. 257, § 4, eff. Nov. 1, 2008; L.2011, c. 357, § 1, eff. Jan. 30, 2012.)