Far too many innocent mistakes place law abiding citizens in the criminal justice system – mistakes as innocent as not cleaning out your gym bag.There are many applications for gym bags. Gym bags are typically know to store gym clothes, your gym lock, workout powder, water jugs, and so on. Those same gym bags are also optimal for transporting clothes and items for other activities, such as transporting your lawfully owned firearm and ammunition to and from your home to a local gun range.This is where the innocent mistake comes in, which has landed numerous people in the New York State criminal justice system after being arrested, for violating New York State gun laws, whether a New York State resident, or not.If you are one of those people who use your gym bag to transport your firearm and ammunition, as responsible as you may be, ask yourself, “how easy would it be for one ammunition shell to fall out of the box and end up in a crevasse of the bag without your knowledge?”Now think about this – that same gym bag is also optimal for traveling. How many times have you used your gym bag for a weekend trip, or as a carry-on with your luggage?In New York, if you fly through one of the two airports in New York City, you are subject to both the New York State gun laws, and the even more strict New York City gun laws.For a mistake as innocent as unknowingly going through airport security with one bullet in your gym bag, you can find yourself being arrested, facing criminal prosecution, a criminal record and penalties as serious as jail time. Several of our clients, well-established wealthy business men and proud (legal) gun owners, who have never had any issues with firearms, ammunition or law as a whole, found themselves arrested and needing a criminal defense attorney, after the gym (travel) bag was found with a bullet inside, while going through airport security. Ultimately in their cases, we were able to get them resolved with a dismissal, but there was no guarantee these cases would be dismissed for this innocent mistake, which is why it is important to retain an attorney who knows both the criminal justice system and the New York State gun laws.As an attorney for the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc. for over ten  years, I am happy to offer free consultations for anyone charged with a new gun-related offense in the New York metropolitan area.
Law Offices of Alan J. Schwartz, P.C.840 Franklin AvenueGarden City, NY 11530