GORA determination not appealable

In 2007, the New York City Council adopted the Gun Offender Registration Act.  Like SORA, GORA requires particular offenders (those with gun-related convictions) to register as a "gun offender" with the NYPD.  Failure to comply with GORA is a misdemeanor. 

In People v. Smith (Ct. App. 12/16/2010) (Ciparick) (7-0), the defendant challenged his GORA registration as part of his direct appeal.  The People argued that this was not an appealable decision, because it was not part of the judgment of conviction.  The Court of Appeals concurred, noting:

  • SORA and GORA are quite similar.  SORA determinations were non-appealable until the Legislature created a civil appeal mechanism.
  • GORA's registration and notice requirements are not a tradition, technical, or integral part of sentencing.  GORA is not dependent on a sentencing court ordering it.  The law is instead triggered by the fact of conviction: "A gun offender shall register with the department at the time sentence is imposed."
  • GORA is not part of the uniform order of commitment.




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