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May 12, 2010

New York City’s Criminal Penalties for the Gun Registration Law

By Michael H. Joseph

New York City criminal defense attorneys who handle gun charges must be aware of the New York City Gun offender registration law. New York City’s Gun Offender Registration Act (often called GORA) imposes registration and reporting requirements on people who have been convicted in the New York City Criminal Courts of a “gun offense. The law is found at Administrative Code of City of NY § 10-601. GORA defines a gun offender as a person who is convicted of a gun offense. A gun offense is a conviction of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree or criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree.

Under GORA, a gun offender shall register with the department at the time sentence is imposed on a form prescribed by the department. The gun offender is required to appear within forty-eight hours of his release, if they received a sentence of imprisonment. If the sentence does not include imprisonment, registration is required within 48 hours of when the sentence is imposed. New York City criminal defense attorneys need to make their clients aware of these regulations.

Gun offenders who receive probation must be especially careful. Failure to register is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to one thousand dollars or imprisonment up to one year or both. The law also specifically states that it is not an excuse that the gun offencer did not receive any form to register. Therefore those that receive probation, could be violated for just failing to register, which is in and of itself a crime.

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