Actually, this was the first recent case of an otherwise law-abiding out-of-towner caught carrying a handgun in The Big Apple. Last spring, NYC cops arrested Maryland concealed carry permit holder Stephen Grant when maids found a gatt in his Muse Hotel room. Like three other recently nabbed CCW permit-holding tourists, Grant was looking at a mandatory three-and-a-half year stretch. nypost.com reports that the Manhattan DA’s making this one go away. “Prosecutors did not seek an indictment against him, and allowed him to plead guilty to fourth degree weapons possession, a blanket misdemeanor that covers any gun, knife, brass knuckles or the like.” As Beretta used to say . . .
“If you’re travelling into another state with your firearm, know the rules and regulations that apply. THEN if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.” Or something like that.
Needless to say (’cause we already said it), Mayor Bloomberg’s minions will offer a similar deal to the other three inadvertent scofflaws; so as to avoid providing ammunition for supporters of House-approved H.R.822, the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act.
No really. Clock this excerpt from yesterday’s nypost editorial by Peter F. Vallone Jr. (D-Queens), chairman of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee [above]:
Don’t get me wrong: I’ve written and helped pass many strict gun-control laws to prevent the flow of illegal weapons into New York, and prevent their possession here. But legal guns, with permits granted here or elsewhere, are not the ones being used to commit crimes, and they aren’t the problem our strict gun laws were enacted to combat . . .
We still need to fix our gun laws, both for the sake of fairness and to head off that bill in Washington. While our carry laws are too strict (only a few thousand people in New York City have carry permits), New York should set its own standards, and not be bound by the actions of states like Florida, which recently gave 1,700 permits to felons (in violation of federal law).
But with cases like Meredith Graves’, we’re giving the rest of the country ammunition to force passage of the House bill. If that happens, we’ll have truly shot ourselves in the foot.
And so, back to today’s deal-cutting denouement . ..
The DA’s office did not comment on whether the same deal would be offered in two related cases which The Post has gone to bat for: Meredith Graves, the Tennesseean tourist busted trying to check her gun at the 9/11 Memorial, and Ryan Jerome, the Indiana jeweler and former Marine tail gunner busted trying to check his gun at the Empire State Building.
It seems likely that Graves and Jerome will take the deal. It seems equally clear that Tea Party Patriots co-founder and California concealed carry permit holder Mark Meckler, nabbed for gun charges at the airport, will fight.
Maybe not. Maybe Graves or Jerome will do the GTFO thing to the DA and become poster children for H.R.822 and Meckler will deal. We shall see.