Law enforcement in White Plains, New York, encourages residents to register their guns to ensure that they are acquired legally. Similar to other violent crimes, the possession of illegal firearms carries serious legal consequences.

Police recently arrested a 35-year-old New York man after recovering what appeared to be a stolen gun in his possession at a traffic stop. The man is now is facing multiple felony charges, including criminal possession of stolen property and criminal possession of a weapon.

The arrest occurred when police Neighborhood Recovery Unit officers pulled over the man’s car and found a loaded .22-caliber pistol. A trace of handgun ownership showed that the gun had been reported stolen in September 2012. The driver was arrested and is awaiting arraignment.

Firearm charge convictions carry serious consequences, which can have lasting implications on a person’s finances, employment and immigration status. A prison sentence is likely because of the seriousness of gun violence.

Seizing loose and unregistered firearms can decrease the possibility that they may be used for illegal purposes. However, recovering a gun from a person’s car or house does not automatically mean that that person is its owner or that a crime has been committed.

Criminal litigation is stressful. It is difficult to contest the claims of the prosecution without knowledge of the law. Anyone facing criminal charges may want to consider obtaining legal help. For instance, a legal professional may question the validity of prosecution’s facts, in the event that officers violated the rights of the defendant at some point prior to or during the arrest. Any criminal case needs an aggressive defense to help preserve the rights of the accused and minimize the possibility of a harsh verdict.

Source: Hudson Valley Reporter, “Poughkeepsie Police Charge Man with Illegal Gun Possession,” Greg Maker, Nov. 15, 2013