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May 28, 2012

Interstate Possession Of Firearms Passes House, But Not Yet Signed Into Law

By Michael H. Joseph

Our New York criminal defense lawyers, have handled numerous cases involving the illegal possession of firearms, even though our client had a permit from their home state. Our attorneys often have clients, such as truckers or other clients from states like Florida or other Southern or Western states which permit ownership of firearms travel into New York.

Unfortunately, New York restricts any possession of handguns unless the person possessing it has a New York permit. In general out of state permits are not a defense to New York’s gun laws and as a result, New York insists on making criminals out of law abiding citizens, who simply cross into New York. Although, in general, the existence of an out of state license is a mitigating factor, which prosecutors do tend to take into account.The one exception is when a person travels into the state for a target shooting event, in which case New York recognizes an affirmative defense.

A new Federal law which just passed the House, seeks to remedy this problem by requiring all states to recognize the permits of other states, when a valid permit holder is traveling through a state or visiting one. However this law has not yet passed the Senate or been signed by the President, so it is not the law yet. But hopefully it will be one day. Until then, our New York and Westchester criminal defense lawyers will continue to defend gun cases the best that we can.

 
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