Marine Corps gunner Ryan Jerome was just trying to make sure his firearm was properly stowed and all safety protocols followed when he visited the Empire State Building and asked where he should check his gun.
Jerome, who has a concealed carry permit in Indiana, was arrested and faces up to 15 years in prison for his ‘crime’ of responsibility. Even if he is indicted by a grand jury, the bare minimum prison sentence is two years. “They couldn’t even offer less if they wanted to,” said Jerome’s attorney Mark Bederow.
Before traveling to New York to sell around $15,000 in jewelry, Jerome looked online to find gun information, but the only sources he could find ended up being inaccurate. So he brought along his gun. It’s possible he might not have bothered coming at all if he’d known he couldn’t bring a weapon, because $15,000 is a lot to travel with without any protection.
Side note: See how anti-gun laws can hurt the economy? Just saying ...
Now the poor guy with no criminal record whatsoever is going to do jail time for doing what he thought was the right thing: Turning in his weapon when he saw a sign that said, “No Guns.”
This isn’t an isolated case, either. Last December, Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler was arrested at a New York airport for trying to check a pistol. He had a California concealed carry permit for the weapon.
Meredith Graves, a nurse from Tennessee, was arrested recently at the World Trade Center site for trying to check her weapon. She faces charges similar to Jerome’s.
These are decent, law-abiding citizens who do not deserve this insane persecution. New York citizens should know better, but visitors that lack information regarding the rules should, at the very most, simply have their weapons confiscated.
As much as I personally disagree with strict gun control laws, I recognize New York’s right to pass and enforce laws they deem beneficial to the citizens. But to unfairly convict people that are doing their gosh-darnedest to be responsible gun-owners is ludicrous.
Image via robertnelson/Flickr