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]