NY Politicians Having Second Thoughts on TN Woman Prosecution

Hold on to your bonnet. While Mayor Mike would no doubt love to throw her in the Big Apple’s deepest dungeon for a few years, other local New York City pols are having second thoughts about prosecuting Meredith Graves, the Tennessee woman arrested at the 9/11 memorial earlier this week. As city councilman Peter Vallone Jr. said, “By prosecuting this woman and seeking 3 1/2 years of jail, we are shooting our own [gun-control] efforts in the foot and giving the rest of the country ammunition.” So to speak. The problem – and Vallone sees it quite clearly – is Graves makes the perfect HR 822 poster child…

Quick, swallow your coffee before reading on. From nypost.com:

“Clearly, the laws are too strict here, but that’s something we need to work out for ourselves without honoring licenses to carry guns in states where felons can carry them,” (Vallone) said.

Forget the BS about states where felons can carry guns. Did you ever think you’d read words like that (the laws are too strict here) uttered by a Queens Democrat? What’s changed? Now they have a hot potato in their hands. A law-abiding nurse – a tourist – from Tennessee who merely tried to comply with the “No Guns Allowed” sign she saw at the memorial. Only now she’s in jail looking at serious time. And the local elected officials’ real fear is that Graves will become a martyr.

Yes, she should have knows the local laws. Just as Mark Meckler should have. But this isn’t Plaxico shoving a pistol in his pants before a night out on the town. Graves is a more sympathetic victim of a ridiculously restrictive set of laws in NYC that ensnared an otherwise innocent victim. One who was only trying to comply with what she thought was the law. Just the kind of thing that could potentially turn public (and legislative) opinion in favor of 822. And God knows, we can’t have that. Because passage of 822 would take a fair portion of gun control out of the hands of the locals.

“We have pretty severe laws. Sometimes, cases like this make us question if the laws are up to date and if it was really what the legislators had in mind,” said professor Maki Haberfeld, chair of John Jay College’s Law, Police Science and Criminal Justice Department.

“Laws get revisited all the time because of pressure from the public.”

Or as Steve Zeidman of the CUNY School of Law put it,

In my view, the criminal law should focus almost exclusively on people who purposefully and intentionally engage knowingly and unlawfully in criminal conduct.

Glory be. You can almost smell the fear. It’s like roaches scurrying around when the light’s turned on. All of a sudden, you have a sympathetic victim of the Byzantine patchwork of gun laws that exist across the country. There oughta be a law.

48 Responses to NY Politicians Having Second Thoughts on TN Woman Prosecution

  1. avatarGreg in Allston says:

    I don’t think that Ms. Graves’ situation will be a game changer at this point but I’m getting the feeling that if Queens Democrats are getting scared, our position is getting much stronger. HR 822 may not pass in 2012, but that or something similar will make it pretty soon. And the anti-civil rights bigots will fade further into obscurity.

    • avatarTodd S says:

      I would think that a conviction and a 3.5 year prison sentence is a major game changer. Who knows, maybe the Peoples Democratic Republik of Kalifornia will lift the 10 shot magazine ban (I kid… there is a better chance of Los Angeles sliding into the Atlantic Ocean [yes, I know my geography])

      • avatarTodd94590 says:

        please add the bay area to that.

        by my zip code I should have a nice beachfront view…. assuming things just east of the san andreas fault weren’t decimated too

  2. You said “the laws are too strict here, but that’s something we need to work out for ourselves without honoring licenses to carry guns in states where felons can carry them”. I think if laws are not there everyone is going to misuse. So licence is very much required. Kalka to Shimla

    • avatarJames says:

      mmmmmmmmmmm…………… spam.

    • avatarJarhead1982 says:

      Saw a fictional movie the other day, kind of a smarmy B movie called Troll Hunter. One where several people hunt very large, very ugly, inhuman creatures of no moral value. These Trolls have a tendency to eat weak animals, especially sheeple, destroying anything in their path that doesn’t conform to their godless, beastiality like beliefs.

      Being that they have no human value, they are prone to be patholgical liars as well as being marionette puppets of their godless masters, dancing on the end of the strings like the brain dead sacks of meat they are. No intelligent thoughts, much less any intrinsic value in the real world.

      They have no real value in the world of sane people, just like sonia’s opinion and beliefs have no value in the real world of sane people, hence she is a Troll.

  3. avatarTexan says:

    …in states where felons can carry them

    I think felons carry wherever they want – in all 57 states and D.C.

  4. avatarHAVE GUN says:

    To me, the thing is she should have known the local laws. Not only her, but her husband who was along should have known. Should have at least known NY is not gun friendly at all.

    All that said, she saw the sign and tried to comply showing intent to not break any laws.

    One would hope after thousands of dollars spent, loss of gun and a criminal arrest record would garner some leniency from the judge.

    But then there is the

    “After she was busted, police found a white substance in her purse. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is awaiting test results before considering charges. ”

    Life is never simple.

  5. avatarJOE MATAFOME says:

    Criminals do as they please in this foolish state and this poor woman if facing hard time.

  6. avatarBruce W. Krafft says:

    But if they don’t prosecute her then they’re racist because they prosecuted Plaxico and sexist because they prosecuted Plaxico and are planning (last I heard) on prosecuting Mr. Meckler. In fact Mr. Meckler’s case is the same: he was complying with the law when he was arrested.

    • avatarDirk Diggler says:

      reverse discrimination claim. nice.

    • avatarSteve Elber says:

      Do you realize how easily Plexico got off? Carrying an unregistered gun, with no carry permit in NJ, Crossing into NYC (where they have the Sullivan Law), discharging the gun in public, and conspiracy to cover it all up. You or I would be looking at 20 years easily. Plexico got 2. Yes, by all means, let’s talk discrimination. This woman made the mistake of thinking that NYC was part of the United States and adheres to the Bill of Rights. I find it odd that if the gun laws are so strict in NYC they would feel the need to put up a sign that reads “No Guns Allowed”, since it seems that nobody can have a gun anywhere in the city. She sees the sign, and being a law abiding person, tries to check her gun, as a law abiding person would do in any other state where such a sign was posted … any other state that actually respected the Bill of Rights.
      Furthermore, this notion that other states just hand out CCWs to felons really irks me. If a felon has a CCW, one of three things has happened, the felon covered up his actual identification, or some paper pusher failed to do the proper background checks or one government agency failed to share information with agency doing the background checks. Also, what is the ratio of these felons compared to the law abiding citizens? What do you want to bet that it is a FRACTION of 1%. IT is time for NYC, NJ, California, D.C., and Illinois to join the real world. These states have the strictest gun laws and, not so coincidentally, the highest crime rates. They are also, not so coincidentally, ruled by the Democrats. They are going to have be dragged, kicking and screaming, out of their delusional enclaves and into the 21st Century. They are going to have to be forced to accept that ALL of the Bill of Rights applies to ALL the states.

  7. avatarRalph says:

    Nobody is going to accuse anyone of racism. First of all, Plax fired his gun. Second, he could never establish the “pure heart, empty head” defense that our heroine will be able to prove.

    Jonathan Ryan, a Florida man, was discovered with a pistol in his car in New York City during a traffic stop in 2010. He claimed that he put the gun in his car a year or two before, in Florida where he was licensed, and just forgot about it. Then he drove from Florida to New York to help his girlfriend move.

    The Manhattan DA prosecuted Mr. Ryan, who is as white as snow, but a jury of Manhattanites acquitted him in only 30 minutes. I don’t know the racial composition of that jury, but I practiced law in Manhattan for a decade and can surmise that the jury included several members from minority communities.

    After being bitch-slapped by the jury, Cyrus Vance, the defeated DA, said, “we will continue to protect our community from those who illegally possess loaded guns in Manhattan.” Really. That’s what he said.Vance is in a no-win situation. If he doesn’t prosecute this case it will be because he doesn’t want to lose the same case twice and be exposed for the hack that he is, but MAIG maven Bloomberg will want to see some blood. If Vance prosecutes the case and wins, he exposes New York’s draconian law for what it is and adds rocket fuel to reciprocal carry laws. Vance’s best option would be a plea bargain, but I’m not sure he has the balls or the political support to enter into a no-jail plea.

    In my entire legal career, I never countenanced a client breaking the law in order to test it, because I always knew that someone would do it by accident.

    • avatarGreg in Allston says:

      You bring up some very good points, Ralph. Now that Ms. Graves is about to enter the First Circle of Hell, would it not be a good time for the 2A community to circle the wagons around our fair damsel and put up the strongest possible defense (pro bono) by the best that our community can muster? It may be a little early yet, but if this gal checks out totally legit, it seems to me that she could be the perfect poster child for HR822 or some other reform. We’ve been screaming for years about the mish mash of laws and the jurisdictional minefields that CCW’ers have to tiptoe through. This bullshit has to stop.

      Yes, ignorance of the law is no excuse and no one without the purest of intentions, the cleanest of records, the deepest of pockets and a deep bench of hot shot lawyers should ever offer themselves up to be a test case. That said, she has already volunteered by taking that first foolish/ignorant steps. So, again, if she’s legit, what can we do to help her and our cause?

      I’ll kick into the defense fund; you have my word on that. Has the NRA or SAF gotten a hold of her yet? Do we know if she has retained any council? Is she still locked up?

      What say y’all?

      • avatarLee Mertens says:

        I’m in for a 10 spot. It’s all I can afford right now but you are right it is time for a national carry RIGHT.

    • avatarGreg in Allston says:

      As HAVE GUN pointed out above, and that I missed in the NY Post article on my first quick reading, that “white powder” thing might moot my previous entry. Of course, it’s not like the cops/DA in NYC would ever stoop so low as to plant evidence.

      Life is never simple, indeed.

  8. avatarPyrotek85 says:

    The real problem for NYC now is that people are going to realize how the restrictive laws are arbitrary in nature and not about actually protecting people from malicious individuals (malum prohibitum vs malum in se).

    What good is it going to do to put a woman like her behind bars for several years? Yeah, she should have known the local laws, but without any ill intent or damage caused, it’s hard to paint her as someone that the populace needs to be protected from.

  9. avatarDaveY says:

    When you drive into Virginia there are signs at EVERY border crossing road-

    Radar detectors illegal

    But when you cross into New Yawk, where are the indications that handguns carry a felony penalty ? How stupid is it that people must be advised of the speed limit, speed limit changes, must have so much time on a yellow light based on speed of the traffic, but for serious issues like going to prison for 3-5 years there is not a single sign telling you that you can’t have a firearm?

    As for the previous violator, there is a bigger issue here. Heller held that a person has a right to posses a handgun in their domicile or home. If you were to pick up and move to New York, where you established your new domicile would be home and your right to posses a handgun would be just as valid there. If you had to move into a hotel for a period of time, wouldn’t your 2nd Amendment rights also hold true in the hotel room?

    How does NY both respect Mr. Meckler’s right to posses a handgun in his domicile, yet sustain a prosecution for the otherwise lawful transport of the weapon to / from his temporary domicile in NY?

    This will be a great opportunity to push for HR822 to pass to end this petty tyrant, junta in the U.S. Northeast, at least as it regards to firearms for a little while.

  10. avatarRopingdown says:

    As one would expect little time has passed before Mayor Bloomberg came forward to announce that he believed the poor Tennessee woman had cocaine in her possession. Now I don’t necessarily agree with those who automatically assume the guards, knowing they were about to go high-profile, had to quickly dump their stash into her bag for fear they’d be searched too in the aftermath. But I ask Mayor Bloomberg this in all sincerity: “Mr. Mayor, you’ve been running gun sales and transport stings on out of stater’s for years, even though your own PD has proven adept at illegal gun transport. Consider for a moment the economic significance of bi-lateral trade. Do you really want tourists to stop vacationing in NYC for the manifold coke emporiums just like NYC residents comb the red states for guns? Think of the GDP gone up in …smoke.”

  11. avatarTom says:

    I have doubts if HR822 will really pass…but on another forum that I post, we do have an attorney who does feel that this actually is really a task the Feds and the Supreme Court should really address under the Constitution. His opinion was that the Federal Government’s job is to act on exactly issues such as this.

    • avatarDirk Diggler says:

      read the 14th Amendment: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” When you look at the Heller and McDonald decisions under the 2A, well, therein lies the rub for Mr. Midget, I mean Mayor.

      • avatarExNuke says:

        I think there is also a claim to be made against “cruel and unusual punishment”. NYC’s penalty for simple possession is clearly unusual.

  12. avatarihatetrees says:

    I feel sorry for Meredith Graves. As a Western NY resident, I’m quite aware how insane and arbitrary NY Firearms laws must appear to Normal America. Out of state firearms owners, ignorant of the law, acting without violence or criminal intent, can get legally hammered due to a simple mistake. Especially in the Big Apple.

    I doubt HR822 will pass or solve the problem of local laws and prosecutors.

    I’ve said it here before: The only thing that will stop this crap is to turn the tables on NY City gun owners when they travel to other states with firearms.

    Other states need to specifically prohibit those who are allowed to possess firearms in NY City from carrying in their states. Make it a felony. It should include cops, civil servants, connected citizens (sorry Sean Hannity), and sub-species like Peter Vallone.

  13. avatarEd says:

    do you really think this woman was doing cocaine while going on a job interview to be a nurse? Don’t you think she would have realized that would show up on a drug test. My guess the white powder is a story to make her a less sympathetic victim of NYC’s unconstitutional laws.

  14. I don’t get it. Why is this post illustrated with a picture of Hermann Göring?

    • avatarTom says:

      Hermann liked guns and liked to hunt. Just wish he had been more for guns and rights in general for the average citizens of the Reich..

  15. avatarRich says:

    Lesson here, stay out of New York and spend your money in a gun friendly state. That includes never fly into New York to change planes.

    • avatarihatetrees says:

      That’s ONE lesson, however passive and ineffective.

      A Better Solution:
      Ms Graves is from Tennessee. A proper message would be for Tennessee to legislate reciprocal penalties against NYC gun owners. Then, when NY City cops (or prosecutors or connected citizens) go on a Nashville vacation and decide to go to a local gun range, prosecute and sentence them to 10 years in Tennessee State Prison.

      THAT would get New York City Pols’ attention. THAT would be more effective than pretending that NY City doesn’t exist.

  16. avatarFrankInFL says:

    If Graves is convicted, she not only loses her gun and her freedom, she also loses her nursing license. Damnbetcha she’s going to the mat on this one. She’s about to lose –everything–.

  17. avatarGhostwriter says:

    “Truth is, alas, not a thing which can be forever hidden, but in fact of actuality reveals itself moment by moment to anyone capable of seeing it for what it is.”
    Gw.

    If we might agree that under written ‘law‘, any person, act or thing may be declared ‘illegal’ or ‘unlawful,’ the question arises as to “what then, is the basis for determining whether or not an actual crime has been committed?”

  18. avatarGhostwriter says:

    “Enactment and enforcement of laws by those in government making it illegal or unlawful for otherwise law-abiding persons of adult age to fulfill their Moral obligation to themselves and Duty to others as Citizens to provide, and to keep and bear arms, at least equal to those same arms which criminals and persons in government would freely use against them to further violate their rights, is irrefutable proof that their government is occupied by Conscienceless and Immoral persons.”
    Anonymous

    “Evil is an absence of Conscience, Hell a place devoid of all Reason.”
    Gw

  19. avatarRalph says:

    We are going to find out if Ms. Graves has a good lawyer and whether Mayor Blameburg wants to be the poster boy for HR822. I don’t want to sound pusillanimous, but I think the answer is yes and no. In that order.

  20. avatarSilver says:

    She should have known better than to show respect for the Constitution and personal responsibility in a place like NY.

  21. avatarChristina Dunigan says:

    No US citizen should have to call ahead and check whether the Constitution is in effect in any part of the US that they want to visit.

    • avatarAndrew says:

      You DO realize that the constitution only says that you have the right to bear arms. It says nothing on the location of that. NY State allows you to possess a weapon at home, or at a firing range. It is not required to allow you a CCP however.

      Sorry, but any comment that makes such a pathetically researched reference to the Constitution is, in my eyes, a horrid waste of space.

  22. avatarRobert says:

    This case is not about Meredith Graves, the Tennessee woman who showed integrety and honor for what she did it’s about attitudes. The individual thinkings on how one really feels on the subject of guns or of anything else. Why is there so much anomosity towards guns from the anti-gunners? What other prejudgeouses and discriminations are comeing from these anti-gunners? Is it fear? Is it ignorance? Or is it just plain stupidity? Who REALLY knows what’s going on in the thinking processes of ones own brain. I myself applaude for what she did because it shows what type of responsibility of a law abider as compared to a law breaker. Fear, ignorance AND stupidity is the bases of all anti-actions by people who choose to not take or make the time to do their own research on a subject, such as gun ownership, but it shows that these anti- people cannot THINK for themselves so they must go to somebody who will do their thinking for them. UNDERSTANDING is a big part of this thinking process by people of reason because they look at all the facts before coming to a decision which could change the way they live their lives forever. But once a decision is made BASED on the FACTS of the case, once this decision is made, their is no turning back from it and you must live with your decision possibly for the rest of your life. Take, for instance, the decision that the people made in the voting Obama for the the highest office of the land. Take a good hard look at what he has done to our nation. There is not a day that goes by when I overhear people take about the mistake they made in voting Obama into the Presidentcy. And these are the VERY people from the Black, Brown, Yellow, and White communities. Now they all have a chance to correct their mistake this voting term. I call upon all those people who are anti-whatever to do your homework. Gather all the information you can get and study it and then make your decision. Because the old saying is true, “Great power comes with great responsitbility”. So I ask you again. Are you responsible enough to exercise your power and take full responsibility for it? I know what I’m talking about but I, too, was a victom of a crime. Also, don’t forget the woman in Oklahoma with a infant son had to make a decision between the life of her baby and herself or the criminals that clearly showed their intentions when they broke into her home. She made the right decision and she will not be held accountable for it. Now you have to decide whether or not you are going to your own thinking or let someone else do it for you. If you let someone else do it for you, you will have to live with that decision for the rest of your life and you will only yourself to blame for it. I hope and pray that you make the right decision and stick with it no matter what happens. Remember, you control your own destiny, not others.

  23. avatar"gunner" says:

    i grew up with new york’s “sullivan law”, named for its creator, “big tim” sullivan, a notoriously crooked new york city politician. it was created to disarm the thugs employed by sullivan’s equally crooked political opponents. “big tim” has long ago gone to whatever hell he earned, but his legacy has become a religion for politicians in new york city, and any attempt to repeal the sullivan law is met with instant and savage condemnation from both parties in new york city. i long ago left new york, city and state, for greener, kinder pastures and i suggest any law abiding gun owner avoid new york as a plague spot. do not go there, even though leaving your legally owned gun at home. boycott new york city and take your money to places where you, and your rights, are respected and honoured.

  24. avatar"gunner" says:

    add: to my friends and neighbors here in vermont, i respectfully suggest you stop voting for “carpetbaggers” moving here from new york, “howling howie” dean and bernie sanders most notorious among them. they come here thinking we are easy marks, gullible bumpkins, they offer no respect and do not deserve election to our public offices, not even as dogcatcher.

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