In December, police arrested Tea Party Patriots co-founder and California concealed carry permit holder Mark Meckler for attempting to check a pistol at a New York airport. That same month, cops nabbed Tennessee nurse, concealed carry permit holder and Big Apple tourist Meredith Graves. Graves asked a guard at Ground Zero where she could store her NYC-illegal heater to comply with the site’s posted no-guns policy. As a Tea Partier, Meckler is toast. But Empire State pols have been searching for a way not to prosecute Graves, who’s looking at a maximum of 15 years behind bars. And now The Daily Caller gives us a heads-up on a third case of mistaken concealed carry . . .

Ryan Jerome [above] was enjoying his first trip to New York City on business when the former Marine Corps gunner walked up to a security officer at the Empire State Building and asked where he should check his gun.

That was when Jerome’s nightmare began.

The security officer called police and Jerome spent the next two days in jail.

The 28-year-old with no criminal history now faces a mandatory minimum sentence of three and a half years in prison. If convicted, his sentence could be as high as fifteen years.

Jerome has a valid concealed carry permit in Indiana and visited New York believing that it was legal to bring his firearm. He was traveling with $15,000 worth of jewelry that he planned to sell.

Graves and Jerome look set to become poster children for the bill currently waiting Senate approval: H.R.822, the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act. Their cases highlight the inanity of New York City’s de facto handgun ban, where illegal guns flow into the City but otherwise legal gun owners who take one step onto New York City soil (pavement?) face 15 years in jail.

Of course, no case is entirely straightforward. All three should have known the local laws.  And here’s an interesting not-to-say-sobering twist on Jerome’s saga.

The online gun-law information Jerome read was inaccurate, however, and his late September arrest initiated what may become a protracted criminal saga. He hasn’t yet been indicted by a grand jury, but there may be little legal wiggle-room if he is.

Look for Mayor Bloomberg and his many minions to move heaven and earth NOT to send either visitor to prison, so as to protect the imaginary moral sanctity of their gun laws and defeat the greatest threat to public acquiescence to the anti-gun strictures: H.R.822. ‘Cause if out-of-towners can carry a concealed weapon, it’s only a matter of time before the local populace demands their right to do so as well.

Then again, anti-gun zealotry is a powerful force. Hundreds if not thousands of people have been robbed, raped and murdered thanks to New York City’s decision to deny its inhabitants (and vistors) their constitutional right to armed self-defense. Why not throw a couple of hicks in jail and send a simple, clear, unequivocal and longstanding message to aspiring gun owners both within and without the City: FU. [h/t to APBTFan]

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53 Responses to Third Gun Owner Faces Jail for NYC Gun Law Ignorance

  1. Robert, the latest on the “white substance” that Graves had is that it was not an illicit substance. This has been confirmed by NYPD. It looks like our damsel in distress is good as gold and good to go for being HR822’s poster girl.

  2. The reason these guys won’t go to jail is nothing like the sinister fantasy you’ve invinted. They won’t go to jail because when a judge looks at the cases it’ll be clear they are not gun smugglers, which are the ones targeted by the law.

    “Their cases highlight the inanity of New York City’s de facto handgun ban, where illegal guns flow into the City but otherwise legal gun owners who take one step onto New York City soil (pavement?) face 15 years in jail.”

    Putting aside your hysteria, I wonder if you’d like to stop blaming the laws or the State and put the blame exactly where it belongs: on the stupidity of these gun owners who are so ignorant they thought they could do something like that.

    How is it that you insist on only blaming the thief when he steals a gun that’s not properly stored, but when a gun owner travels to NYC and walks right into a situation like this, you want to put the blame elsewhere?

    • “They won’t go to jail because when a judge looks at the cases it’ll be clear they are not gun smugglers, which are the ones targeted by the law.”

      Poor Plaxico and his attorneys obviously didn’t get that message. Bummer about that jail stretch. But he probably had a case of illegal heaters ready for sale back at his condo, eh Mikey?

      “How is it that you insist on only blaming the thief when he steals a gun that’s not properly stored…”

      Oh, and Mike, click on that IGOTD tab at the top of the page to see how we only blame the thief. And have some compassion, man. We know it’s afternoon where you are, but all this early-morning asshattery makes for a rough start to the day.

      • I love how everyone bring up Plaxico, that moron was carrying concealed on an expired Florida permit when he discharged his firearm in public and shot himself in the leg. His case is like these cases where they had leagal permits, didn’t fire their weapons and handed over their guns to local security or PD volentarily. What Plaxico did is illeagle in every state and he deserved jail time.

    • “How is it that you insist on only blaming the thief when he steals a gun that’s not properly stored”

      Because only the thief committed the crime.

      • Remember, for scumbag gun-grabbers like mikeb and his ilk, exercising your 2A rights is tantamount to criminal activity.

        • True, you think it’s not criminal if thugs with government ID own guns. Anyone else wanting a gun? Burn them at the stake for daring to have the ability to defend themselves.

        • Didn’t miss it. Didn’t comment on it. Maybe you would like to reply to what I actually post from now on.

        • You said that I treat you all like “hidden criminals.”

          That’s just another of your lying exaggeration. Of course, if that’s your opinion, you being a paranoid kinda guy, who am I to questions it.

          The fact is I don’t think ALL gun owners are hidden criminals, only about half of them. But that’s just a rough guess.

    • “They won’t go to jail because when a judge looks at the cases it’ll be clear they are not gun smugglers, which are the ones targeted by the law.”

      So, a few dozen (and I’m being generous, there) gun smugglers justify the denial of 8+ million citizens their civil rights? Perhaps the existence of a few child pornographers would therefore justify the restriction of high-speed internet connections?

      • You got it ass-backwards, Moonshine. The laws are there to identify the many gun smugglers and criminals and every once in a while someone innocent gets snagged in the net. Then the judge lets them off with a slap on the wrist for being stupid.

        • “The laws are there to identify the many gun smugglers and criminals”

          I see. Prohibiting law-abiding citizens from carrying effective means of self-defense will help identify criminals. Brilliant!

        • MikeB still has not responded to Tio’s reply in the other post on just how exactly that would happen. I expect him to tuck tail and slink away when pressed for details here as well.

        • Like they let Bernard Goetz off with a slap on the wrist after he shot the 4 hoods on the subway who were about to stick “legally-carried” screwdrivers into him? Goetz was acquitted by a jury of assault, attempted murder, and all of the other charges the NYC DA brought against him, but convicted of possession of an illegal, non-registered gun in NYC. Spent around a year in jail.

          How does that jibe with your BS about “the laws are there to identify the many gun smugglers and criminals and every once in a while someone innocent gets snagged in the net. Then the judge lets them off with a slap on the wrist for being stupid.” Goetz’ real crime, in the eyes of the NYC “justice” establishment, was defending himself against the scum. NYC wants victims of crime, not empowered citizens.

        • That’s different. Goetz was a vigilante who committed an assault AFTER THE THREAT WAS NEUTRALIZED. He did indeed get off with a slap on the wrist.

        • If he “committed an assault after the threat was neutralized”, why did the jury fail to convict him of that? Or do you claim to be better able to judge this case than the unanimous jury which heard ALL of the facts in the case? Wow -that’s impressive!

        • Well, that’s simple, Idaho. The whole city was fed up with the muggings on the subway at the time. He was a folk hero.

          What are you saying, that because a jury acquitted him he was truly innocent? It doesn’t always work like that.

    • If charged and convicted, NYC has a 3.5 year MINIMUM sentence for gun possession. If the Grand Jury charges them, and since they are clearly guilty, the judge has no leeway at all. 3.5 years.

      The only way out is jury nullification.

    • “They won’t go to jail because when a judge looks at the cases it’ll be clear they are not gun smugglers, which are the ones targeted by the law.”

      LOL!

      • The DA might be able to arrange a plea bargin, but the JUDGE has his hands tied. If she is convicted of the charge as it stands, the judge has absolutely no choice. The minimum sentence is 3.5 years. (Max 15)

        the DA can of course arrange a plea.

    • Here you quote the article and you still don’t get it. It’s about blaming those responsible. In this case, NYC’s unconstitutional/illegal gun ban is responsible for turning average citizens in to criminals.

    • No Mike I’m still blaming the thieves…. the same thieves that stole my protected right to self defense in the great state of New York.

  3. “How is it that you insist on only blaming the thief when he steals a gun that’s not properly stored”

    So, do YOU blame the rape victim because she was wearing a short skirt and “asked for it”?

    • I would blame the victim. But your analogy was wrong, it would be correct if the gun owner posted signs outside his house saying “rob me, i own guns”.

  4. I hope NY goes easy on these people. That said, I don’t understand how people from gun-friendly states still don’t know how restricted NYS and NYC are, and that they risk prosecution if their concealed carry is discovered.
    I’m somewhat hopeful that HR 822 will pass with enough votes to make it veto-proof, but it shouldn’t be needed in the first place.

    • Until I started frequenting TTAG I had no idea as to the insane gun laws in these places. If you are a gun owner, but not a member of the “Gun Community” its easy to just assume that all states have laws that make sense.

      • Actually KYgunner, I’ve had my CCW for over three years. And long before I started reading TTAG I went on the internet and found many sources on the laws of every state I might be heading to or through.

      • BAD assumption, KYgunner. Especially when you are travelling to liberal cesspits like NYC, Illinois, California, etc.

        • Is it too much to ask that every CCW course includes even a brief mention of non-reciprocating states… even if the instructor would rather not say something like, “hey, your Nevada permit is good in a bunch of states, but not Cali, NY, CT, etc…” at least they should say, “in addition to the places you can’t carry in-state, it would be prudent to check and get up to date information on which states do, and which states do not accept your permit – there are anti-carry states that don’t permit any out of state carry.”

        • Maybe. How do you figure on the states that don’t require any sort of training for a CCW permit? I’m not sure if a state that has no requirements for a course could somehow mandate that the otherwise unspecified course content “shall” go over over the other 49 state legalities.

  5. “it’ll be clear they are not gun smugglers, which are the ones targeted by the law” – Hey ! That’s straight out of the Holder – Obama playbook of selectively enforcing only the laws that serve some agenda.

  6. When it’s so easy for otherwise innocent people to break the law, that could be a clue that the law needs to be changed. And, yes, I know ignorance of the law is no defense. In two of the cases, it’s difficult to understand how Graves and Jerome could be SO ignorant. But, really, after reading the explanation of how Meckler broke NY’s gun laws and how easy it is to do so inadvertently, the expectation that the average citizen should have knowledge and understanding of the nuances of every law in existence wherever they might possibly find themselves is beyond farfetched. So, maybe that’s also a clue…that ignorance should be considered a valid defense in some cases.

  7. “They won’t go to jail because when a judge looks at the cases it’ll be clear they are not gun smugglers, which are the ones targeted by the law.”

    No. They might not go to jail because of media attention. Jailing them would make The City look bad and support HR 822, and can’t have that! If these cases were handled quietly they would be on their way to NYS’s penal system just like the permit holding Upstate New Yorkers who forget that The City is a different kingdom than the rest of the state. There IS no leway in the law and it is on purpose, just like other mandatory sentencing in the NY code. The purpose is to try to prevent “patronage” and unequal application of the law. Never forget that NYS made some of the first “urban crime control” laws in the US with the goal of making some people more equal than others.

    NY is in a bind either way and thats good for Rights.

    • As a NYS resident just a short commute from NYC, I’d welcome anything that makes my permit good down there. Talk about unequal, btw, a NYC carry permit is good throughout the whole state!

  8. More proof that even if you do the right thing, the police will be more than willing to sell you out, just so they can meet their performance standards.

  9. The states do not have the right to infringe upon our liberty the right to keep and bear arms. Imposing an age limit, having a clean criminal back ground seems logical and limiting their carry in certain locations, e.g., schools, bars with 51% signs in front and so forth. These people are, for the most, law abiding citizens. One the other hand, people who what to own a gun illegally will get one. They do not care about purchasing it legally, carrying it illegality or using it illegally These people are criminals. The purpose of this weapon is to commit a crime.People who legally purchase a hand guy, have a background check, take the required test the state requires so that you know how to operated the weapon should not be subject to arrest in states like New Jersey and New York. This case needs to be thrown out buy a Federal Judge and move it right up to the Supreme Court. We are way overdue to put an end to this nonsense

  10. The online gun-law information Jerome read was inaccurateThat statement is false. I sympathize with Jerome. However, that page referenced and displayed on all the stories about this case is 100 percent accurate. Here is a more direct explanation for those that don’t comprehend what is posted.

    Steve Aikens

    Founder

  11. i just think the whole gun control debate is dumb, its not about the guns its about control. our village idiots continue to argue about how to apply government control over firearms back and forth. meanwhile those who obey the law suffer and those who dont are indifferent. after all its just more paper, thats never nor will ever be an effective barrier to crime. i dont care what title you bestow on a man, if hes just talking and writing papers thats all he’s doing he’s not changing anything he’s not protecting anything or regulating things. just paper and words while those of us who follow the law suffer

  12. Cyrus R. Vance Jr, the Manhattan DA, has made a mockery of the judicial system. He let Jerome ‘off’ on a ‘deal’…

    First, Jerome should have never been arrested since his right to bear arms is guaranteed by the Constitution. Secondly, no law should be written which does not require ‘intent’ to commit a crime. Third, when you do finally pass a law, then just let people off with some ‘deal’ (which of course is nothing) – then you just show how murky and misleading the criminal justice system is anyway.

    The NYC guns laws are a joke. Criminals don’t follow laws anyway, and the only people to be prosecuted under them are law abiding citizens! If the anti-gun law people, like myself, ever needed a poster child of an example of why gun laws don’t work we have it here. Just yesterday someone was shot in the city at a funeral for someone who had been shot! Looks like those laws are working great Bloomberg!

    THANK YOU Mayor Bloomberg and Cyrus Vance! Wait to make a mockery of the judicial system, and a perfect example of the failure of gun laws.

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