In yet another victory in a New York firearms case, a Tilem & Associates client arrested in New York’s LaGuardia airport in September with an alleged “high capacity” magazine had all felony charges dismissed and only pled guilty to a non-criminal disorderly conduct, a violation but not a crime under the New York State Penal Law and paid a $250 fine. The record will be sealed.
New York State bans the possession of what it calls a “Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device.” NY Penal 265.00 (23). A Large Capacity Magazine Feeding Device is defined as “a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device, that (a) has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than ten rounds of ammunition, or (b) contains more than seven rounds of ammunition, or (c) is obtained after the effective date of the chapter of the laws of two thousand thirteen which amended this subdivision and has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than seven rounds of ammunition . . .” Boiled down, and there are some exceptions, New York defines both a capacity limit and a load limit. Under New York Law, as written, one could either not possess a magazine with a CAPACITY of more than 10 rounds but if one had an old magazine with a ten round capacity one could only LOAD up to seven rounds into that magazine. An empty magazine with a capacity of more than 10 rounds is a class “D” violent felony under New York Law punishable by up to seven years in prison.
In the Federal case of NEW YORK STATE RIFLE AND PISTOL ASSOCIATION INC LLC v. Gerald J. Gill, the United States Court of Appeals struck down the seven round load limit finding it violated the Second Amendment but left the 10 round magazine capacity limit in place.
The client who was arrested in LaGuardia airport in September was travelling back home to Georgia when he notified TSA that he had an unloaded AR-15 magazine which was completely empty yet capable of holding up to 30 rounds of ammunition, triggering the New York felony. Even though the rifle and the magazine were purchased legally in Georgia and even though the client had a valid concealed carry license from Georgia he was immediately arrested.
Individuals travelling to and from New York with any type of weapon, firearm or gun parts need to be particularly careful in New York. Particularly at New York Airports where arrests for possession of weapons and related items abound. Possession of a handgun magazine for example is a crime under New York City law. Please see our blog on that topic. In addition even possession of a single handgun bullet can result in an arrest.
Before travelling to New York, please check and double check the laws and always consider contacting us for a free over the phone consultation.

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