Irresponsible Gun Owner of The Day: Judge Vincent Sgueglia

The unexplained means something different to me than, say, the people at the History Channel. How they manage to maintain that moniker while airing shows like Ghosthunters is anyone’s guess. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy spooky campfire stories as much as the next guy, but if you tell me you saw Sasquatch, I’ll probably write it off as a drunk dude in a ghillie suit. I’m talking about the unexplained of a different nature, like how a public servant manages to be so out of touch as to provoke others to create a website that lets everyone else know just how much they hate him. Let me introduce you to New York State Judge, Vincent Sgueglia, IGOTD, Negligent Discharge category . . .

The Honorable Judge Sgueglia (don’t ask me to pronounce it… no, wait. The phonetic pronunciation – from the article – is “SQUEEL-ee-uh”. Really.) Anyway, the judge was censured this week by the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct. And they only took two years to come to this momentous conclusion. His offense(s): clearing his chamber in his chambers and some, um, paperwork irregularities.

Turns out His Honor isn’t all that honorable. When he wanted a gun, he approved his own pistol license. As well as all the subsequent amendments thereto. The State Commission decided it was “inappropriate to take judicial action on his own pistol permit application and that he should have consulted with court officials to arrange for another judge to handle the matter.”

Judge Squeeleeuh began packing heat about ten years ago because he felt threatened while campaigning for re-election. Wonder why. Details of threats made against him (if you have the time…it’s a long list) are available, though, and over the last decade, he’s compiled quite an arsenal in a state where concealed carry licenses are few and far between.

Over time, he’s added fourteen more firearms to his collection through additional amendments to that self-approved license. Keep in mind, a New York pistol license requires listing the vitals of each handgun you own. Wanna buy a new gun? You’ll have to jump through the hoops all over again and get it added to your chit.

But that little indiscretion may never have come to light if the Hizzoner hadn’t also been an aspiring gunsmith. It looks like his wheel gun may have developed a timing problem back in 2010. Fortunately, Squeglia had a little spare time in his chambers between cases to work on the problem. The bad news: he failed the standard revolver owner’s IQ test and went to work on the gun while it was loaded, which explains why there’s now a hole in his office well.

The commission said that on the morning he took the faulty Smith & Wesson to his office, he believed it was not loaded when he started working on it. Even so, “as a standard protocol, he pointed it in a safe direction at a concrete wall,” the commission said.

The commission said Owego has an ordinance that prohibits anyone from firing a gun in the village except when on official duty, in self-defense or during target practice at an indoor range. None of those exceptions applied, but the commission noted that the judge “did not receive a summons or ticket for violating the local ordinance.”

Gaming the system for your own benefit is unforgivable, Yer Honor, but that’s not really what we’re here for. It’s that ND that has us pounding our gavel so forcefully. We’re glad you followed at least one of the Four Rules, (even if we’re cynical enough to think that was just a happy accident) pointing that revolver at the wall before “working on it.” But checking for rounds in the chamber – even when you’re in your own chambers – is always job one before going to work on your gat. So enjoy your IGOTD trophy, Judge Squeglia because that title is a life sentence.

comments

  1. avatar jwm says:

    bejebus, i suppose b-tch slapping a judge would be considered wrong.

    1. avatar SCS says:

      No, not really. Stupid takes many forms (and professions) and some need the stupid slapped out of them.

  2. avatar Kelly in GA says:

    Wait!!!!!!! A New York official gamed the system to get something actively barred from the commoners? Inpossibru!!!

  3. avatar aaronw says:

    I can’t imagine why he’d feel the need to sign his own permits and amendments – I’m sure any of his fellow judges would have gladly done it for him. There’s so much mutual back-patting at every level of government, I think this would be a no-brainer.
    As I understand it, your permit to own is also your permit to carry, too, but with County-imposed restrictions. In Westchester, the counties of Long Island, and a few others, you get “target and hunting” which means a restriction to concealed carry to or from a range or hunting ground. That said, getting caught carrying “off hours” can, at worst, result in a revocation proceeding, which results in risk of loss of the pistols, not all gun rights, and no fines or jail time.
    Some counties apparently issue “full carry” right away. Others, like Westchester, are reluctant to do so unless you’re wealthy, well-connected, or can prove that you are frequently in business-related possession of substantial negotiables.
    Some of the guys at my range report that sometimes just checking “full carry” on a pistol amendment form results in an “upgrade.” Others report that some judges have an unwritten standard of five years of trouble-free “target and hunting” conduct and then they’ll issue full carry. I’ve also heard that simply writing a detailed letter affirming 2a rights has worked, too.
    If nothing else, this story illustrates how much power judges have in NYS over the RKBA.
    As for no-issue, in the absence of a criminal record or errors in the detailed application process made by the applicant, arbitrary denials are actually quite few and far between.
    One of the benefits of having a NY permit is that there are very few places where carry is prohibited.
    And of course, despite the fees, paperwork, and supposedly thorough background checking, your “upstate” permit is no-good, no-how, no-way in any part of NYC.

    1. avatar ihatetrees says:

      Some counties apparently issue “full carry” right away. Others, like Westchester, are reluctant to do so unless you’re wealthy, well-connected, or can prove…
      And of course, despite the fees, paperwork, and supposedly thorough background checking, your “upstate” permit is no-good, no-how, no-way in any part of NYC.

      +1. Yes, as an “upstater”, I can say all the above rings true.

      I’m somewhat disappointed that other states honor NY State Permits (essentially a CCW with possible limitations) with no distinctions among counties. As this case shows, given the NYC counties’ well known corruption and favoritism, other states should only honor ‘upstate’ county permits.

      Many upstate gun owners could cheer if we had carry rights in Florida and connected POS like the judge above faced serious jail time doing so.

  4. avatar Pascal says:

    Where is Mayor Mike on this one? Where is the shock the horrors the indignation!

    Oh wait, because he is a judge its all ok because they are all better than all of us and are allowed to break the law.

    Remember boys and girls, some of us are more special than others

  5. avatar Gw says:

    Recall reading the following statement in a post some years ago:
    “Never trust a man who wears a robe in public.”

    1. avatar jwm says:

      also, never trust a person that doesn’t trust you with a gun.

  6. avatar Vermont Guy says:

    Judge Sgueglia removed the restrictions from my pistol permit. If he wants to hunt ducks in his own office I’ve got no problem with that.

    Since there is no other judge in his county I’m not sure just who would have authority to issue him a permit anyway. Judges have the power to detrimine who can and can’t carry a pistol but have no ability to carry on their own authority? Does that sound reasonable to you? Everyone in Alaska, Arizona, Vermont and Wyoming can carry on their own authority. Why not a New York judge?

  7. avatar Jessie A. Keen says:

    This is the man presiding over the case of a very dear friend of mine…poorly treated in court despite all efforts to maintain complete composure under his wrath. Restoring our faith in the justice system is pretty impossible at this point in time. He wasn’t even wearing his robe when he entered from his chambers.

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