First Weapons Bust Under Tough N.Y. Gun Law

     MANHATTAN (CN) — Newly free from a Supreme Court challenge, New York’s attorney general deployed the state’s tough gun laws for the first time against three federally licensed dealers accused of selling more than 100 assault weapons.
     New York’s case against the owner and employees of Jackson Guns and Ammo in Henrietta, N.Y. marks the first prosecution under the Safe Act, which the state passed shortly after the massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
     “The SAFE Act stops criminals and the dangerously mentally ill from buying a gun by requiring universal background checks on gun purchases, increases penalties for people who use illegal guns, mandates life in prison without parole for anyone who murders a first responder, and imposes the toughest assault weapons ban in the country,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo says on a government website for the law. “For hunters, sportsmen, and law abiding gun owners, this new law preserves and protects your right to buy, sell, keep or use your guns.”
     Since Cuomo signed the law in early 2013, the statute largely collected dust as gun owners challenged it in court.
     On Monday, the Supreme Court refused to hear a legal challenge to the New York law and its Connecticut equivalent without comment.
     New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that the statute was being enforced for the first time against Jackson’s owner Kordell Jackson and employees Ken Youngren and Joshua Perkins a day after the court denied certiorari and a week after an anti-gay massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla.
     “New York has enacted some of the toughest, most sensible gun safety laws in the country, and with today’s charges, we are sending a message that these laws will be vigorously enforced,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “The tragedies in Orlando, Newtown, Aurora, and too many other communities across the country are clear signs that we need to get our national gun violence epidemic under control. Weapons of war have no place on the streets of America and, in New York, we’re doing something about it.”
     The attorney general’s office insists that the timing of the announcement is coincidental.
     It has been two years since the investigation of Jackson Guns and Ammo began, after the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives detected irregularities in the store’s records, prosecutors say.
     Amid federal scrutiny, the gun shop closed its doors permanently last January.
     The probe, however, continued, and it turned a corner last week when New York state police searched Perkins’ home for an unrelated matter, and discovered three illegal, high-capacity ammunition feeding devices in plain view.
     State police came back with a search warrant and found dozens of other similar devices, plus four assault rifles, dozens of untaxed cigarettes, Suboxone painkillers repackaged for resale and $25,000 in cash, prosecutors say.
     Jackson and Perkins are in police custody, and Youngren is expected to surrender today.
     Each of the men faces felony charges.

%d bloggers like this: