Interviewer: What crimes do you represent people for that most people commonly aren’t aware of?
Martin Kane: That’s an easy answer. It’s the out-of-towners who come to New York with their fully licensed handguns. They are ALWAYS responsible citizens who are careful to obey the law. Before they come to JFK or LGA, they carefully check with their airline or the TSA (or both) to find out if it’s legal to transport their licensed handguns on the airplane and what rules they have to comply with. They are told that it is legal to have them in their baggage if the handgun (unloaded) is placed in a TSA approved lockbox along with the ammunition.
When they arrive at their hometown airport to depart to JFK Airport or LGA Airport, they inform the airline agent of their handgun. The lockbox containing the handgun and ammunition is examined by TSA agents, and a declaration form is placed in the lockbox. Off to New York they go and they retrieve their luggage with the handgun — no problem.
Carrying An Unlicensed Handgun In New York Is A Serious Offense
It is when they come back to LaGuardia or JFK Airport that all hell breaks loose. Our innocent, responsible traveler again informs the airline agent of his licensed handgun in his TSA approved lockbox. Instead of calling over the TSA, the New York airline agent, as instructed, calls the Port Authority Police, who descend en masse and arrest the hapless traveler who is only trying to obey the law.
Not only is the traveler arrested, but he is charged with an extremely serious violent felony having a minimum sentence of three and one-half years and a maximum of 15 years! Did you know that having an unlicensed loaded handgun in New York is such a serious offense? Did you know that New York does not recognize a handgun license from ANY other state? Did you know that in New York, an unloaded handgun with ammunition in close proximity (as in the lockbox) is considered a loaded handgun subject to the mandatory draconian sentence set forth above?
I have represented hundreds of people in this situation. I have represented doctors, lawyers, CEOs of major corporations. I have represented an Ivy League professor, several well-known entertainers, the former bodyguard for a Canadian Prime Minister. I have represented people who came here as volunteers after major hurricanes. I represented an elderly NASA scientist who helped pioneer our space program, and a seven-month-pregnant woman travelling with her six-year-old child. Not one of these innocents was carrying a handgun that was illegal in their home state. Not one of these people had any inkling they were violating New York law. Not one of them avoided being arrested and hauled off to face serious criminal charges.
If you are lucky enough to be reading this before flying to New York with your licensed handgun, BE AWARE! If your handgun is not licensed specifically in New York, you will be arrested when you try to declare it at LGA or JFK. If you happen to be stopped outside the airport and your handgun is seen, you are in even more danger of going to jail for a long, long time. Don’t do it!
If you or someone close to you is unfortunate enough to be arrested for having a handgun at JFK or LaGuardia Airport, contact an attorney experienced in handgun arrests at the New York Airports as soon as possible. Common sense may tell you that these cases won’t be treated seriously by the district attorney. It doesn’t work that way. At arraignment, the district attorney may ask for bail as much as $50,000.
You need someone to fight to get you released without bail. The district attorney will conduct an exhaustive investigation to trace the guns. You need a lawyer experienced in these cases to guide you through this. Often, an experienced gun attorney will be able to arrange for you to avoid countless unnecessary and expensive trips to New York for court appearances. Most important, an experienced handgun attorney can help you avoid incarceration and any criminal or fingerprint record.
For more information please read the airport handgun article on my website, and especially the linked articles from the New York Times and Lawyer.com. If you have other questions or want representation, I’m happy to help.
Contact Information For Our Law Firm
Contact The Law Office of Martin D. Kane by calling (718) 793-5700 to set up an initial consultation.