New York: Where Possessing an Unregistered Shotgun Can Get You Hard Time

Mr. Waldron's shotguns (courtesy

OK, let’s try this again. The first version of this blog got the facts wrong, as the story upon which it was based was confusing, to say the least. Thanks to TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia, I now have a clearer idea of WTF happened. Let’s start with the account: “A New Jersey man was arrested in Great Kills Park Friday night after two shot guns and shell casings were recovered from his vehicle. Gerald Waldron of New Jersey was approached after an officer noticed his Jeep parked in the parking lot after hours without a permit . . .

Upon approaching the car, the officer observed two shot guns and shell casings inside the vehicle; Waldron could not produce paperwork for the guns. He said he was hunting turkeys in New Jersey, but could not produce a hunting license.

He was arrested for possession of two shotguns and three boxes of shotgun shells.

Federal authorities charged Waldron with possession of an unlicensed shotgun.

He was released and a court date is pending.

So here’s what happened, to the best of our readers’ understanding (though not mine, initially).

Mr. Waldron was not “hunting turkeys in New Jersey.” He was hunting turkeys on federal land in New York City. The cops who apprehended him, were, therefore, feds. Mr. Waldron, hunting illegally, was charged with possession of an unlicensed shotgun.

A what, you say?

TTAG reader Jared (we went to Jared!) offers an explanation: “He doesn’t need a shotgun license or register if he is in NYC for less than 24 hours.” [Also pointed out: if Mr. Waldron had been in New Jersey with his shotguns without an FID card on his person he would have been charged with illegal possession, too.]

The law on carrying a firearm on federal lands is simple enough: you have to conform to all local and state laws. So, if you can open carry in Wyoming, you can open carry in a Wyoming National Park.

So, Waldron, a New Jersey resident was charged for bringing his [otherwise] lawful shotguns into a federal park in New York City — presumably after being in the City That Never Met A Gun Control Law It Didn’t Like for more than 24 hours. Where, presumably, they were banned (because of New York City laws).


Bottom line for me remains the same: in a “free state” Mr. Waldron would have been charged with hunting without a permit, and that would be that. Instead he’s looking at gun charges which will no doubt lead to a lifetime firearms ban, in both New York, New Jersey and everywhere else for that matter.

Clear? And thanks guys.


  1. avatar Jared says:

    And you believe this article????

    What federal law prohibits “unlicensed shotguns”?

    Come on….

    1. avatar MikeP says:

      Was going to ask the same thing – why were the feds involved? Unless the shotties were cut down?

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Great Kills Park is under Federal jurisdiction.

        1. avatar neiowa says:

          “Great Kills” Sounds like a place Hillary would take a date.

      2. avatar Brian is homophobic for objecting to a weiner in his mouth. Typical homeless scum. says:

        How were the feds involved? What are the Federal Police? Why are they giving my personal info out to people, along with straight up telling them what names to call me? And why are these people that were with this sh#tfag&ot in the shirt that said “Federal Police” suddenly showing up where I hang out trying to steal my laptop?

        How is it when I was homeless a few years ago that one morning my smartphone suddenly drained of power in my hand, so I cannot take video or call 911, something I just recently found out a hacking device called a “Stingray”, which is only available through DOD channels can do, then when I went to set up my hobo blanket and sleep, a bunch of men drove up in a van, made a beeline for me over several hundred feet in Kapiolani park, and took their wieners out? Two started playing kiss the wiener, and the third stood over me, and ran away when he saw my tiny pocketknife. The others had to run away. Why were they not arrested, but I was surrounded with cops?

        PROTIP: They like to watch the toilets. They like to watch children there, too. After all, it must be God’s will, otherwise it would not happen…

        1. avatar Mr. 308 says:

          I do hope you are getting help. Not trying to be snarky here.

    2. avatar gs650g says:

      Ever been to the Democratic Peoples Republic of New Jersey?

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        I once lived in the Glorious Democratic Peoples Republic of New Jersey…

        1. avatar gs650g says:

          I avoid driving through it

    3. avatar Davis Thompson says:

      Part of New York City where long guns have to be registered. As there article states, local laws apply. If he was outside of the 5 boroughs they could not have gotten him on the licensing biz.

  2. avatar Mr. 308 says:

    “He was arrested for possession of two shotguns and three boxes of shotgun shells.”

    What’s that word again? Infringed? Maybe I have the definition of that wrong.

    “Federal authorities charged Waldron with possession of an unlicensed shotgun.”

    Why the feds? All shotguns are supposed to be licensed? The story of course is pretty fact sparse.

    I’ve spent plenty of time in NJ, expensive, crowded, they really like control there. You can’t have a pocket knife either, unless you have a specific reason to need it. How do you like that one?

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Why the feds?

      He was in a Federal park.

      1. avatar Mr. 308 says:

        Yea I saw that, thx.

        You know these reporters it seems don’t know their asses from a hole in the ground. You can see them standing there with their little notepads scribbling away dutifully while the federales tells them what to write. “Man, shotgun, federal, arrest, ok?”, “Ya, got it”, “One more thing, clipazine”, “Check”.

        That’s it! That’s a story. No thinking needed, no fact checking, no use of reason. Just scribble.

  3. avatar Illinois Shooter says:

    “Federal authorities charged Waldron with possession of an unlicensed shotgun.”

    Feds? What federal law did he break?

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Maybe none, but he may have broken a state law while he was in a Federal park, so the Feds pinched him.

      1. avatar Davis Thompson says:

        The park is on Staten Island, part of NYC. NYC law requires registration of all firearms. Because NYC sucks. That’s the law he broke.

  4. avatar JackInAlabama says:

    Yeah – I’m kinda wondering about the “Federal authorities” charging someone with an “unlicensed shotgun”…sounds hinky to me. Now, staties, in the enema-exit of the US? Yeah, I can totally believe that!

  5. avatar Staten Island? says:

    Great Kills Park is in Staten Island, NY, part of NYC, and is I believe part of the Gateway Recreation Area, which is administered by the Federal Park Police. So this took place on Federal land within the confines of NYC.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      You are correct. Most of Great Kills was a radioactive landfill, so the confusion with New Jersey is understandable.

  6. avatar Jared says:

    The article is misleading

    As horrible as NJ law is, they do not “register” guns. You can move into the state with firearms and not “register” them (not applicable to machine guns or “assault weapons”.

    And the law also explicitly says you can inherit a firearm without using a dealer or getting an FID card as long as you are not criminally disqualified and as long as the firearm isn’t a MG or AW.

    This article is poorly written. The man was FROM NJ but he was in NYC (staten island). He doesn’t need a shotgun license or register if he is in NYC for less than 24 hours.

    The Feds probably charged him with the national park ban since he wasn’t allowed by state law.

    Typical NYPD, they can’t even correctly charge someone with their unconstitutional laws….

    1. avatar JackInAlabama says:

      Now it does begin to make some semblance of sense. I did wonder if it was like my local national forest, administered by the US Forestry Service. Although in AL at least, if you’re stopped in the woods and do NOT have a firearm, they’ll usually recommend you leave… (no, not really…well, sometimes.. lol)

  7. avatar mark_anthony_78 says:

    Even if he was in NJ, he would have been arrested. You don’t need to register guns, but it you don’t have your FID you can’t just keep guns in the car. If you DO have an FID, unloaded long guns are OK (technically…) unless in a gun free zone.

    It’s all BS. Glad I moved out of there… some of my first actions after leaving were buying 30 round mags and mounting a holster in my center console for my handgun.

  8. avatar Dan says:

    That’s y I like TN. With a CCP I can take my carry weapon into federal parks and there is nothing they can do. Except be passed that I know the law

  9. avatar samuraichatter says:

    Leaving firearms in a vehicle where they are visible is a bad practice. That is if the cops and the reporting are to be believed. But yeah New York and the Feds Sieg Heil.

  10. avatar HP says:

    Puzzling, you don’t have to register/license any type of shotgun in New York State. This park was in NYC? I’m not sure what is going on in NYC, they function outside the bounds of the rest of the state.

    1. avatar AM says:

      They function outside the bounds of reality.

    2. avatar Evan says:

      Look up the laws in ththe city. They are the most atrocious laws in the whole country. And that is coming from a New Jerseyian. It makes California look like heaven. They are really that bad.

    3. A semi-auto shotgun with a pistol grip or thumb-hole stock is an “assault weapon” and must be registered.

  11. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Well, me thinks we are dealing with a less than smart person. Hunting out of state, in a city with draconian gun laws. In a federal park. (Appropriately named though if one is hunting).
    Ding, fries are done!

  12. avatar Wilson says:

    Right, wrong, charged with the right thing or not one thing is certain: this guy’s gonna get crucified.

  13. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    Bottom line for me remains the same: in a “free state” … he’s looking at gun charges which will no doubt lead to a lifetime firearms ban, in both New York, New Jersey and everywhere else for that matter.

    That right there is 1/5 the reason for those laws. The other reasons:
    – Generates fodder for their propaganda campaign.
    – Generates revenue.
    – Opportunity for graft / increases value of public appointment.
    – And because they can.

    None of those seem to be beneficial to the regulated. Huh.

  14. avatar gs650g says:

    Jeez they should arrest him for painting a gun like that

  15. avatar Rich says:

    I gota get out of NJ. It truly is a hell hole.

  16. avatar cc says:

    This guy is an idiot:
    (1) everybody knows Staten Island is one of NYC 5 boroughs
    (2) Great Kills Park is in the very middle of a suburban highly populated area and may be the last place you would want to hunt Turkey
    something is fishy in this story

  17. avatar Wv Cycling says:

    When driving to Maine from WV, I spend an extra four hours driving around areas that would cause me trouble with a trunk load of guns. They get zero of my dollars.

  18. avatar CarlWinslo says:

    You do not need to have an FID card present in NJ. You only need one for purchasing a firearm. I bought all of mine out of state and roll my own ammo. I will never get an FID card.

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