The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives Americans the right to own and bear arms. Unfortunately, some people abuse this right and put other people in danger.
State and federal laws have been enacted that improve public protection but do not violate the U.S. Constitution. That is why it is always wise to stay abreast of federal and state firearms laws.
Laws can change quickly
In 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned most of New York’s limits on carrying firearms in public. In turn, the state increased its restrictions on concealed carry laws. If you are accustomed to taking a weapon along when you leave your home, it’s important to know the current laws, as they can change rapidly.
Few guns are outlawed
Although New York has strict gun laws, only three types of firearms are outright illegal:
- Machine guns
- Short-barreled rifles
- Short-barreled shotguns
However, train yourself to check the law routinely to see if and when lawmakers ban additional firearms. The public does not always know about changes to criminal statutes.
Concealed carry is a big deal
As mentioned above, the state renewed its efforts to keep guns under control after the Supreme Court overruled its public carry restrictions. Concealed firearms are now illegal in more public locations, including Times Square. As long as you leave your gun at home if you’re going to be in these areas, you can help avoid an unpleasant police encounter. Further, you need a license to carry concealed arms.
Maintaining a proper balance between public safety and constitutional rights is no easy task. Sometimes police make mistakes. Exploring your criminal defense options is an ideal next step if charged with a weapons offense in New York.