Let’s say you’re the Linen King of New York. And having a palatial east side apartment that can draw the wrong kind of attention from the peasants, you’re confronted one night by a burglar in the halls of your own castle. What’s a monarch to do? Simple: you grab a trusty SIG, chase the knave off and then call 5-0 to report the incident. According to dailymail.co.uk, that’s exactly what George Bardwil did. He even showed the coppers security camera footage of the whole megillah. And that’s when they slapped they clapped him in irons . . .

The charge: possession of an unlicensed gun. You see, King George reigns in Turtle Bay on the Isle of the Big Apple, where it’s been decreed that all handguns must be registered. Use one that that hasn’t been listed on the proper parchment roll — noble breeding or not — and you’ve committed a felony.

His defense lawyer Michael Bachner told the New York Post that the loaded .40 cal Sig Sauer was kept in a secure box in Bardwil’s apartment and was legally registered to his bodyguard.

Apparently, the city, county and state of New York are of the opinion that, when faced with an impertinent intruder in your own palace, even a percale potentate should eschew armed self defense if the available firearm isn’t properly registered unto him. Better to call the palace guards and fend for yourself with a mace or lance during the 20+ minutes it may take for them to cross over the drawbridge.

Mr Bachner told the New York Post: ‘There’s no dispute that George was being burglarized.

‘George had been the victim of multiple burglaries, and the DA’s office concedes that it was used in self defense.’

Upon hearing the news, the city’s miniature maharajah, the Gerent of Gracie Mansion, was no doubt heard by courtiers stamping his tiny feet and shouting, “off with his head!” Prosecutors, however, are showing leniency for the sovereign by only recommending a 3-year stretch in the dungeon. King Bardwil is about to test that famous olde royal adage heard sung by troubadours and jesters alike; better to be judged by 12 than carried by six.

72 Responses to Defending Your Castle in Bloombergia

  1. Every gun rights organization needs to put this story front and center to show what universal background checks will actually do.

  2. Well, this should be interesting. I knew it wouldn’t be long before those laws get challenged in court and hopefully overturned as unconstitutional.

  3. It’s not a “theory” anymore, is it? Facing some hard time at the hands of the gun grabbers brings home the reality of what the 2nd amendment means.

    • It’s long been this way in large swathes of the urban Northeast, RK.

      It’s just that up till now, a lot of people could turn their heads and say, well, it was just happening to those poor and working poor people we don’t care about.

      Nothing like a rich man getting busted for defending himself to put the whole issue in a new perspective. I mean, after all, the proles have nothing worth defending, right?

      Also, the proles can’t afford lawyers.

  4. It should be noted that this man was charged with domestic battery (charges appear to have been dropped), plead guilty to beating his maid, and had a previous home invasion in which he lost over 300k in valuables.

    • “The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.” – H.L. Mencken

    • Does any of that remove his natural right to self defense? I would hope that his maid received a hefty settlement in compensation for her injuries.

      • No, and that wasn’t the intent. All I did was cite information which may have been pertinent. To give a full picture.

        • He had a full picture. Security tapes showed he was the victim. Now bloomie is going to victimise him twice.

  5. This sounds like an intended application for “jury nullification”.

    I wonder if the judge at the trial will allow the defense attorney to enlighten the jury to the “jury nullification” concept? Meh, I doubt it. That would involve letting the defense attorney actually defend his client and the defendant having a fair trial.

    • so-called “jury nullification” is not an accepted legal doctrine, and it would be error for the judge to allow counsel to argue it. Instead, there is a standard jury instruction that the jury is bound to follow the law as the courtnstructs them on it, not how they think the law should be written.

      On the other hand, at least from what’s been said, this guy was charged with possession of an unregistered firearm–which does not seem to be the case. It was regitered, just not to him. Does NYC prohibit the loan of a firearm to someone else? E.G., is it a crime for a NYC rsident to lend a gun to another at a firing range, or to go hunting? I don’t know–I know Federal law allows it.If that’ is indeed the case–no loans–then if the rgistered owner is shot and killed, it would be illegal for his spouse or children to pick the gun up to use in self-defense, right?

      • More specifically, it is illegal to give jury instructions on jury nullification because it is the job of the jury only to decide what the facts are, not what the law is. That is how the law stands and if the defense attorney brings up jury nullification it can be declared a mistrial.
        From a more philosophical standpoint on the matter, I believe that the intent of jury nullification is actually just a way to make a juries decision have more legal strength. A jury is allowed to make its own decision and without jury nullification then it could be later argued that the jury made an illegal decision. The rule of jury nullification makes it so that a jury can never later be accused of not following the law.

  6. Here in the peoples republic of Massachusetts, If I’m not home and a maniac is kicking in my front door, my unlicensed wife would be committing a felony if the picked up my shotgun to protect herself.

    • Effing incredible. Can you move? In Idaho and other pro-2A states, she would be given an award for defending herself. Alternatively, she needs to get licensed really fast to have her own “yes, you may touch it” gun.

      Maybe she could wash the powder residue off her hands and claim that the shotgun “discharged accidentally”, like the ones that the cops carry.

      • That’s Ridiculous! So if the maniac was gonna rape or kill her, the only thing she could do (legally) is scream, beg, or try to run?

        Chalk up another victim for the media to show on the news in that case.

        • No, she legally could choose to do the unlawful but correct and necessary thing, then demand the law be changed in compliance with a better, evolving, body of law.

          That’s how we do things in this constitutional republic. We repair bad laws through hard work. Over time we can see laws swing from one to another position. People are living longer now than two generations ago, so we get to see the process in action for better or worse.

          Of course ranting about “jury nullification” and “moving to Idaho” are also options. But not the ones my ancestors fought the American Revolution for.

    • In Texas or anywhere in the South, I’d say jury nullification would be forthcoming. However, since stooopid laws like NYC’s don’t exist in those places, I’d say the point is moot anyway. Plus a jury of NY’ers can only be epected to be as smart as their liberal politics lets them. I’d wager he’s screwed unless they offer to have him plead to some lesser misdemeanor. No jail time.

    • Depends where you are. Inside Rt 128 of the Boston area, you’d probably lose. I used to live in Mass. Some years back, they prosecuted a women for not trying to climb out of as cellar window before shooting someone who broke into her home. Lot better chance if your out west of the Connecticut river in Western Mass.with a jury trial. Eastern and Western Mass should become their own states as they are similar in beliefs as the GOP in Western Mass and the Liberal Democrats in the Boston area!!

  7. That’s the thing, the self-defense law in NY is not bad. You can defend yourself and yours but cannot bear the means to do it. ????

    • Then that suggests to me that the self-defense law in NY IS bad. What good is the theory if the practical is prohibited ?

  8. How much effort do you think the local PD are putting into looking for the ACTUAL criminal in this case? Gun laws: protect the criminal, criminalize the gun owner (or, in this case, the gun borrower).

    • TBH it sounds like they’re extorting him.

      “Hey, you know, give us some donations and this will all go away.”

    • Not “sadly”, gladly! One should avoid calling the police if it is at all possible. They are NOT your friends. They do NOT care about you.

      • The cops have guns to protect themselves. Depends on what your emergency is. If you call the cops and report violent confrontations or gun fire , you will wait for the cops to gather their forces and 30 to 45 minutes later they’ll show up and arrive in mass. Happened to me twice. Once in Maine and again in Florida!! In Florida there was a party by college kids that resulted in a riot in front of the house between 20+ drunks. The one in Maine, a women came to my house claiming her husband had arrived from Mass and cut the telephone line, slashed car tires and threatened to kill them. She ran over to my house, while her brother in law dealt with her husband, to call 911.

  9. It’s worse. Gun control hurts those who can afford it least.

    In this story the individual can afford to hire a lawyer and will probably walk.

    A more average citizen is already being asked to jump through hoops to own a handgun, has to pay the fees associated with it, not to mention the cost of the weapon and ammunition itself. Then there are limits, this being NY, on what you are allowed to own even before the SAFE Act. Then when confronted with a situation where you are defending your home, property, and/or life you may be hauled off to jail for it.

    All of these things are a hurdle to gun ownership, and many people who want to own a gun simply will give up when they hit the hurdle they can’t get past.

    Of course, that’s the whole point.

    • This is a perfect illustration of why seeking redress in court is only a second-best choice to preventing bad laws in the first place.

      NYC, DC, and Chicago are the places that technically abide by Heller and McDonald, but make the process of getting a permit such a pain that most people don’t even try. They also make it costly – NYC permit is, as I recall reading, $340 for 3 years, and there’s a fingerprinting charge of some $100. Poor folks need not apply – they are safe enough already, because the cops can stop and frisk them. SAF has a lawsuit over the cost of NYC permits, but who knows whether it will succeed.

      • I recall reading that SAF lost in the trial court. I’m not sure if its been heard in the second circuit, but its a lost cause there as well.

  10. That’s Ok, in CT we care more about the bears than people. Sometime last year someone in the Northwest corner of the state opened his garage to take out the garbage. On his way back in, he saw a bear in the garage, he ran to the front of the house and went in figuring the bear would leave. The bear smelled something yummy inside and decided to break through the door and let himself in. All the while, the home owner made the proper calls. Finally, the bear decided he was coming upstairs to where the family was, as this point the home owner plugged the bear until he was dead — the homeowner is now sitting in jail because Bears > people in CT.

    Because, politicians are stupid.

  11. How much you wanna bet that once he writes a fat check to the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association or gives hizz0ner a contribution that this will all go away?

    I smell extortion.

    • i just wonder, this seems like a good test case to get these registry laws tossed. is someone considering this? Does anyone think that the reason people are getting such light time in these cases is precisely because the AG does not was a challenge case?

    • > He got 3 days in Rikers Island

      From the ABC story you linked to:

      When the career criminal, who was in Dixon’s house, got his first conviction, he got probation, no jail time, but Dixon has to go to jail?

      Prosecutors must have a real hard-on to convict otherwise law-abiding citizens whose only crime is a victimless “gun crime”.

      If Mr. Dixon had been a police officer, he simply would have received a week’s paid vacation before the matter was dropped.

      If he had been an NBC talk-show anchor, the prosecutor would have declined to press charges.

      In “Second Amendment Penumbras“, Glenn Reynolds wrote that

      First Amendment analogies, in fact, suggest another doctrine that
      might apply: chilling effect. Traditionally, violation of gun laws was
      treated as mere malum prohibitum, and penalties for violations were
      generally light. During our nation’s interlude of hostility toward guns in
      the latter half of the twentieth century, penalties for violations of gun laws,
      especially in states with generally anti-gun philosophies, became much
      stiffer. Gun ownership was treated as a suspect (or perhaps “deviant” is a
      better word) act—one to be engaged in, if at all, at the actor’s peril.

      But with gun ownership now recognized as an important constitutional
      right belonging to all Americans, that deviant characterization cannot be
      correct. Regulation of firearms cannot now justifiably proceed on an in terrorem approach, in which the underlying goal is to discourage people
      from having anything to do with firearms at all.
      Laws treating fairly minor
      or technical violations as felonies must be regarded with the same sort of
      suspicion as pre–New York Times v. Sullivan laws on criminal libel: as
      improper burdens on the exercise of a constitutional right.

      Reynolds’ “Ham Sandwich Nation“, about prosecutorial discretion, is also relevant to this case and worth reading.

      I’m sorry that Mr. Dixon didn’t fight this harder than he did. Of course, I’m not in his shoes, and I don’t have to take care of his kids or pay his mortgage, so I can’t fault him.

      I can, however, condemn the scum-bag law-enforcement officials and law-makers who decided to press him so hard in order to force Mr. Dixon to plead guilty to a lesser charge, in order to let the District Attorney have another tick-mark in his “convictions” column. But my condemnation means nothing. The law-enforcement officials involved are laughing all the way to the bank, and the cycle continues.

  12. This isn’t the new Safe Act yet, it’s the good ol’ Sullivan Law celebrating 100 years of torturing this state and it’s law abiding citizens. It’s been repealed a least once by the Legislature but vetoed by FDR while he was governor.

    I believe NY is the only state that requires approval for the mere purchase and possesion (not just carry) of ANY even vaguely modern handgun and cases of this sort pop up all too often. Taking up all sorts of effort and cost for no purpose whatsoever.

    There is a lawsuit challenging this – as well as others involving the Safe Act – and I hope and pray they all succeed.

    • Several States require a permit to purchase a handgun. I can think of NJ, MA, and Hawaii off hand. I think MIchigan does. I recall even North Carolina requires it, and there may be more States that do, although the majority most certainly don’t. Of course, the devil is in the details of the requisite procedures – the process is a pain in NY even upstate, and downright unbearable in NYC, but may be much more sensible in some of the other (but not all!) States.

      The above is from memory. You can get an overwiew of which States require permits here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_laws_in_the_United_States_by_state , but you’d need to dig up more details on each State (google is your friend here) if you want to know what the purchasing procedure is and how it really works in practice.

      • In Illinois, you need a FOID. California requires only residency and, for handguns but not long guns, a Handgun Safety Certificate (20 questions, multiple choice, and a safety demo).

  13. What would happen if the scenario was thus – what if the gun was registered to a spouse and not a bodyguard, and the victim here was wife at home alone? Would she be facing a prison term for using her husbands registered firearm in her own defense, if it wasn’t registered to her?

  14. Read Gulag Archipelago and Atlas Shrugged The 1st is this story (non-fiction) repeated daily in Soviet Russia the Second is this story in the USA
    Concluion:
    Anerica is being turned into a Soviet Serfdom

    • Judging from your orthography and punctuation, “Anerica” must be a dreadful place to live!

      Sure glad I’m not there.

      You might also want to look up the difference between Soviet-style communism and serfdom. There is one. It’s pretty big, and it involves private property.

  15. My sympathy button must be broken because I have none for this guy. As a CEO there is no logistical advantage to being in New York and he’s there because of his own ego. This is a guy who values his little Upper East Side social circles and bourgeois dinner parties more than his Second Amendment rights. I’m not saying that’s not right, everybody has their own unique system of values. But when you choose to make your home in NYC you are giving up certain freedoms. Period. As a CEO, even if it’s a relatively small company, this guy had a platform to speak up and rally more 2A awareness in New York and did nothing (at least that I’m aware of). He could have stuck it to Bloomberg and made him look like a fool and tyrant for making it next to impossible to legally own a handgun for protection inside his kingdom, yet he did not. Instead he chose the route most fops like him take and hired body guards instead.

    This is not a single mother in the Bronx who was defending her children from crackheads. This is a guy who probably sh!ts on anyone who doesn’t live on Park Ave. I’m not about to shed a tear for him.

  16. It was the CEO who had the gun. If he likes NY, he’s free to live there. If he can afford to hire bodyguards, good on him. For all we know, he’s a vociferous 2A advocate.

    The single mom in the Bronx has, apparently, a better chance against the DA.

    This is about a stupid law being stupidly enforced.

    Ugh! Yuck! Bleah!

    • To clarify, I too think it is an extremely stupid law. And the gun was registered to his bodyguard, a hoop that an average citizen in New York could not jump through.

      It is indeed his right to live there if he likes it, but part of “liking” it is accepting its horribly restrictive gun laws. I’ve had an opportunity to move to NYC myself but the comp wasn’t nearly enough to get me to sacrifice the personal freedoms of carrying a sidearm and being able to take a whiz out my back door. I would not be as critical of him if I were able to find evidence of him lobbying city hall for an expansion of gun rights. I stand by my opinion that he favored the NYC nightlife over his right to self defense and tried to take advantage of the system by obtaining a gun through his bodyguard. If I learn that he is in fact a vociferous advocate of firearms freedom for all I will of course renege on my assessment.

  17. What about the poor criminal? Think of his mental anguish as a crazy man chases him through the hallways of his latest mark, with a GUN a GUN!!! That poor man! If, the police locate him they should offer him psychological counseling, a foot massage and free legal advice on how to sue Mr. Bardwil for the mental anguish.

    • Actually that is entirely Possible in NYC. Been there done that. 1984-I was working for a security agency, My partner and I were making an armored pickup when we see a robbery in progress. I jump on the guy and he slips, slams through the glass door, and ends up outside with cuts due to the glass door. Couple of months later-the company I was working for received notice that the firm, my partner and I were being sued by the dirtbag, needless to say my partner and I were dumbstruck. This guy commits a crime and WE get sued. Long story short-the company lawyers won in court. All well that ends well one would say-really? Try keeping your composure while you wait months between the knowledge of the threat of bankruptcy and your day in court.

    • In California nearly thirty years ago I cold-c0cked someone rifling the tool boxes in the back of my station wagon at a convenience store, then called the cops while he lay sprawled behind my vehicle.

      The responding officers warned me that the sh!t might sue me for battery, although they certainly weren’t going to suggest it to him.

      One of ’em also suggested that the next time I should simply drive off in reverse and thus eliminate a potential legal hassle for myself and paperwork for the cops.

      Whether or not he was joking, that qualifies as the good ol’ days.

  18. Dave & Mark, Thanks for the info but I do believe NY is the only one that requires it not just for purchase but for already owned ones if you are moving in – any possession at all? Forgot about Hawaii – they’re probably just as bad.
    I do believe that Justice Scalia would have made mere posession a Constitutional right but Mr Heller – God bless him – didn’t ask for it. Wait til next time.

  19. The anti-Second Amendment movement is not about guns, it’s about empowering the criminal class to terrorize the citizenry and cow them into submission to the state. The Progressive movement wants to impoverished, immobilized and disarmed population to be at the mercy of the thugs. My biggest fear is not that Bloomberg et. al will be successful in grabbing all the guns everywhere. It is that they will figure out that they can meet their objectives if they simply take away your legal right to self defense. What good is gun, or any weapon for that matter, if you will go to jail for defending yourself if you use it.

    We like to attribute the exploding crime rate in the UK to civilian disarmament but it is the self-defense laws that are responsible for the crime problem. Any sensible British criminal knows not to bring a gun when he invades your house. The only thing his victim can use it for is as a bludgeon, if that. More often than not in UK the victim goes to jail instead of the criminal. Even if the bad guy is caught you will be probably get a longer jail term than he does. No wonder the British public does nothing when faced with an attacker.

    • I agree that this would be a likely outcome if the disarmament brigade were allowed to trample gun rights unfettered. I do not agree that it’s the intent. Respectfully, that strikes me as a ridiculous dark fantasy which assumes that a huge percentage of our society is actually, actively evil.

      Try this on for size instead. The statists honestly, truly believe that removing guns from the hands of private citizens will reduce violence across the board. They further believe that if only cops have guns, then they themselves will be free of serious threats against their lives and property.

      I’ve had liberal friends try this argument on me. These same friends know that I’ve spent a lifetime developing a variety of skills which are useful armed or unarmed — and they’re genuinely shocked when I tell them straight up that if two or more hardened thugs invade my house armed with nothing more than baseball bats or utility knives, I have no illusions that I’m going to prevail unless I’m armed. Their perceptions of interpersonal violence are formed by watching action movies, not by going out on the mat and learning to take a hard hit.

      They’re in denial that anything bad will ever happen to them.

      They’re in denial that their soft, untrained selves will be able to hold their own against even one experienced street fighter, much less two or more.

      And they’re sure as heck in denial that the police will magically appear to save them when Hell’s minions are breaking the glass out of their sliding back door.

      But they’re not evil, and they don’t want the criminals to win.

      • AlphaGeek, I heartily agree here. Just about every anti-gun person I know truly believes that their way would make life safer for everyone, that no problem needs a gun in private hands.

        And I don’t really think the politicians who want to take away those guns are truly trying to be oppressive or controlling. Most of them honestly think they are helping society more towards an idea.

        I have no problem with their ideal. The problem that I see with their ideal is that progressing towards it requires everyone to have personal responsibility. But you cannot have an ideal like that when you are telling one part of society they don’t need to be personally responsible and punishing another part of it who are being personally responsible.

  20. While it’d be surprising to assume ANY Constitutional legal doctrine, law, or Common Law founding would be applied in NY metro, that said, in many jurisdictions the Common Law legal precept/doctrine of “Competing Harms” is readily used and accepted.

    Conduct that the person believes to be necessary to avoid imminent physical harm to that person or another is justifiable if the desirability and urgency of avoiding such harm outweigh, according to ordinary standards of reasonableness, the harm sought to be prevented by the statute defining the crime charged. The desirability and urgency of such conduct may not rest upon considerations pertaining to the morality and advisability of such statute.

    An example of where the Doctrine of Competing Harms would apply, in a ‘fair universe’? Say…even if one were a convicted felon, but saw a clearly armed thug attempting to rape someone in the former felon’s immediate vicinity, and that said former felon came to the would be female victim’s aid, struggled, and saw an opportunity to grab the assailant’s own gun during the struggle to defend himself and the would be female rape victim with it, because the harm to the woman would’ve been greater than the ‘crime’ of a convicted felon being in possession (however brief) of a firearm, the DA would at his/her discretion not charge the reformed/reforming convicted felon.

    Another reason why the judicial system as it stands is an utter joke, because EVERYTHING depends on arbitrary discretion (however rationalized as ‘following the intent/letter/spirit of the law’ blah blah blah) of the prosecuting jurisdiction. It’s just one, or a group of govt bureaucrats determining whose life they can or cannot ruin. The Grandjury, often rigged with permanent statist idiots, is merely a formality that gets in their way; it’s something they do, to give the impression of a due-process. For ANYONE who had been through the govt legal ringer for anything more than a traffic ticket can attest.

    Either way, It’d be interesting to see if the well-off New Yorker and his legal team would ever invoke it. More interesting would be if Gloombunk’s rabid gun-grabby city attorneys would even ‘entertain’ such deeply rooted Common Law doctrine.

    Hey, NYC is Pyongyang, North Korea, the America edition, remember?

    You didn’t think NYC ever heard of the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, did ya?

    Otherwise, in what fucking universe do these malicious govt morons delude that they can ever make any ‘legal’ rationale for race & quantity-metric quota mandated ‘random’ “stop & frisk”??

  21. glad I wont live in that cesspool. Please keep re-electing bloomturd. At least he wont destroy anything outside NYC

  22. Actually, you can’t. According to the NYC Penal Code, if you are faced with a threat by another person(example: you are in a room[on the third floor, btw] where someone with a gun has just broken through your door. There is a window on the other side of the room), you are REQUIRED BY LAW to retreat through that window rather than trying to defend yourself!
    Also, if the bad guy attacks you with a bowie knife, you are not legally allowed to shoot him. NY Penal Code says that is “escalation of force”, and makes YOU a criminal(again).
    Remember, also, that even if the DA decides not to prosecute you for assault(or murder) there’s a good possibility that the family/friends of your “victim” could sue you in civil court, and take you for everything you have(or more).
    I was taught this in the NYC Police Academy, where I was trained to be a civilian PD clerk.

  23. They are trying to get rid of our guns, so they can do like Greece did. all the banks shut down so the people could not remove their money, and the government removed 40% of it for taxes! Imagine working all your life with 401k and investments for retirement, and the government just takes 40% of it because they can. leaving you without enough money to retire at all? well, it’s coming to America. they plan on taking our saving, our checking, and anything else they can get their hands on to pay for Obamacare. they need to get our guns, because they know we will shoot their asses if they dont give it back to us! Take my word for it, a Revolution is coming, and the government is doing something about guns, because we will need them to survive what’s next!! Even a parent of one of the children at Sandy hook said, we need GOD back in our school/lives, and we need to keep our guns to defend ourselves against the criminals!

  24. Thats what happens when your Alice in anti-gun land. In TN if someone who does not belong in your home breaks in (can be as little as opening an open door 1 inch) you are presumed by law to be in fear of your life and may fire at will, even shooing the intruder in the back. We have “no duty to retreat” and outside the home you only need to show you were in fear of your or a 3rd persons life or serious bodily harm. Your vehile, RV, and motel room are considered the same as your home. A person is prohibited by law from profiting from illegal activity so you can’t be sued.

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