Half of the gun scofflaws caught packing heat illegally in the city wriggle out of jail sentences or do only minimal time, despite a get-tough law that's supposed to send them to prison for at least 3½ years.
That's according to legal papers filed Friday that accuse the Manhattan District Attorney's Office of coddling pistol-loving celebs, including ex-Giant wide receiver Plaxico Burress, rapper Lil' Wayne and rocker David Crosby, while cracking down on average Joes.
The filing by defense lawyer Mark Bederow says his client, Jonathan Ryan, is Exhibit A of the double standard.
Prosecutors charged the Florida landscaper with a violent felony -- criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree -- after cops in Midtown found a 9mm pistol and ammo in the glove compartment of his truck during a traffic stop in February.
But court papers charge that despite Ryan's cooperation with authorities, lack of a criminal record and insistence that he had completely forgotten about the unloaded weapon, prosecutors weren't willing to cut him a break.
"He has no criminal record," said Bederow, a former prosecutor at the DA's office.
"He's a decent, religious man trapped under New York's severe gun-possession laws, which are being unjustly applied. They're demanding he do two years for an honest mistake when in many other cases they look the other way. It's absurd."
Lawmakers upped the minimum for second-degree weapons possession and expanded the charge's reach to include merely possessing a loaded weapon.
Statistics cited in the documents show that between 2007, when new gun laws went into effect, and last year, 49 percent of city defendants hit with that charge ultimately got violations or misdemeanors, not felonies.
Lil' Wayne, who has multiple drug arrests, copped to a lesser charge and got a one-year sentence after being nabbed with a .40 caliber pistol in 2007.
And Burress, who accidentally shot himself with an unlicensed weapon at a nightclub, pleaded to a felony gun count and is serving two years.
Ryan, 29, was stopped on East 60th Street for making a right on red.
When took his registration out of the glove compartment, cops spotted the 9mm gun, registered in Florida.
Bederow claims Ryan, a hero in his hometown after he rescued a drowning child in 2000, simply forgot about the gun.[LINK]