BREAKING: First New Yorker Arrested Under SAFE Act

Weapon confiscated by New York State police from Mr. Wassell (courtesy

New York’s SAFE Act has claimed its first scalp. The AP reports that “State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says 32-year-old Benjamin Wassell of Silver Creek was charged Thursday with felonies related to the sale of illegal weapons. Schneiderman says he [Wassell] twice sold weapons that are prohibited under the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, passed by the Legislature in mid-January.” reports that “Wassell is an Iraq War veteran, according to a law enforcement source.” The Observer newspaper in Dunkirk New York has more details . . .

Wassell allegedly sold assault weapons to an undercover police officer on two separate occasions. According to Buffalo news outlets, the first sale started on Jan. 24 when Wassell attempted to sell a DelTon AR15 rifle [above], a banned weapon due to a pistol grip, telescoping butt stock and bayonet mount, to the undercover officer. The sale between Wassell and the officer was finalized at Aunt Millie’s Restaurant for $1,900 and included 299 rounds of ammunition as well as six large-capacity clips.

Following the first purchase, the officer kept in contact with Wassell. A month later in the parking lot of Lakeshore Lanes, Wassell allegedly sold a Armalite AR10 Magnum semi-automatic rifle to the officer for $2,600. Once again, the sale included ammunition – 21 rounds. On this sale, the officer told Wassell about a previous felony conviction.

The State’s AG reckons this is a bad, bad thing.

“By selling these illegal firearms, Mr. Wassell’s actions had potentially dangerous consequences for New Yorkers,” said State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “We have seen far too much gun violence in our state in recent months, and the sale of illegal semi-automatic weapons will not go unpunished.”

Wassell was released on his own recognizance. Prosecutors said he didn’t have an attorney. [h/t Tommy Knocker]