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NYC to Gun-Owning Tourists: Drop Dead

Don't take your guns to town.

Have a gun license? Plan to bring your gun to my hometown? Don't.

Mean New York authorities will make your life miserable.

Patricia Jordan and her daughter flew here from her home state of Georgia. She wanted her gun nearby for protection.

Jordan obeyed all the Transportation Security Administration's rules: She put her gun in a locked TSA-approved case with its bullets separate. She informed the airline that she had a gun. The airline had no problem with that.

In New York City, she kept the gun locked in her hotel room. She never needed it, but her daughter told me, "I was glad she brought it just in case something did happen."

When leaving the city, Jordan followed the TSA's rules again. At the airline counter, she again told the agent she wanted to check her gun. But this time, she was told: "Wait."

"Next thing I know, they're getting ready to arrest me," she said.

Her daughter was crying, "Please don't arrest my mom!" But New York City cops arrested her, jailed her and told her she was guilty of a felony that mandates a minimum 3 1/2 years in jail.

Jordan's ordeal is not unique. Roughly once a week, New York City locks up people for carrying guns legally licensed by other states.

Another Georgia visitor, Avi Wolf, was jailed although he didn't even have a gun. He just had part of a gun—an empty magazine—a little plastic box with a small metal spring. He brought it to the city because it wasn't working well and he thought a New York friend might repair it. He couldn't believe he was being arrested.

"Somebody could've done more damage to an individual with a fork from McDonald's," Wolf told me.

Wolf, too, checked with the TSA beforehand. They said, just declare it to TSA agents. So he did.

"I'm telling them... I have a magazine here. It's empty, no bullets... Next thing I know they're pulling me over to the side, they're like, 'Do you know what you have in your bag?!' 'I know what I have in my bag, I told you what I have in my bag.'"

Following TSA instructions didn't do Wolf any good. "Fast forward about an hour and it was four Port Authority police there. The chief of LaGuardia airport is there, [as if] they thought they found somebody trying to do 9/11 repeat," he says.

"They asked me if I had a gun license. Of course I had a license. I'm from Georgia, and everybody there's got a gun license. And they're like, well, sir, you're going to be getting arrested now."

Wolf and Jordan spent less than a day in jail, but each had to pay lawyers $15,000 to bargain the felony charge down to "public disorder."

"We are not going to apologize for enforcing our gun laws," said Assistant District Attorney Jack Ryan when I confronted him about these pointless and cruel arrests. He said New York City enforces laws as "humanely and as compassionately as we can."

But the system is neither fair nor humane.

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  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    "enforces laws as humanely and compassionately as we can."

    The sad thing is, I have no doubt that this actually is as close to humane and compassionate as they can get.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    The law says we must draw and quarter anyone we find with a gun. But we enforce this law as humanely and compassionately as possible by bashing the criminal's head in first.

  • Jerryskids||

    I was going to say the same thing, I don't think the guy's lying. But it's like with the "procedures were followed" thing, there's no reflection on the idea that if following procedures can result in things like babies getting flash-banged and children and dogs and random passers-by getting shot - or somebody getting arrested for possessing a magazine - maybe there's a problem with your procedures.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    maybe there's a problem with your procedures.

    Admitting that there's a problem with the procedures would be to admit that government isn't populated with infallible supermen. Once people believe that their government isn't run by Gods among men they might start to question the legitimacy of that government or at least question why they trust it with so much power. Can't have that, the whole house of cards might fall down.

  • sarcasmic||

    That is exactly it. The term is "public trust." The government can never admit to making mistakes because that could erode "public trust" and at that point it would be complete anarchy. Instead people are more likely to trust the government when the police kill people without consequence, when they enforce inane laws, when they can't balance a budget, and so on and so forth. Public trust is already at a minimum. They govern by fear, not trust.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    "Admitting that there's a problem with the procedures would be to admit that government isn't populated with infallible supermen."

    As opposed to inflatable pseudo-men.

  • sarcasmic||

    Moral of the story: if you follow the law and obey the rules, you run a good chance of being arrested. Best to hide everything and not tell anyone. If they don't know then they can't arrest you.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    People who follow the rules are obviously criminals trying to hide something!

  • IceTrey||

    The law was it was illegal for her to have a gun in NY.

  • sarcasmic||

    I find it so ludicrous when the police say they are keeping people safe.
    When they enforce traffic laws they set up speed traps where the speed goes from reasonable to ridiculous. That is enforcing compliance with signs, not safety. If they gave a shit about safety they'd enforce the law in places that are known to have lots of accidents. Or when people complain about people driving unsafely in their neighborhoods they'd come over and do something, instead of mocking the caller for bothering them. No, it's all about revenue.
    And going after people who are doing everything they can to follow the law regarding firearms? Criminals by definition don't follow the law. So these people are not a threat to anyone. Going after them is purely malicious.
    The only thing I can conclude is that these assholes are dishonest and malicious. But I already knew that.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    No, it's all about revenue.

    In both of these cases the "gun toting criminals" they arrested eventually plead down to public disorder. The penalty for public disorder? A fine. So this is all about revenue too. That and "the process is the punishment." These people had to pay $15,000 in legal expenses and go through the hassle and anxiety of being charged with felonies in addition to whatever the fine they had to pay was.

    So the State gets some revenue out of it, and they get to inflict mental distress and financial strain on people who were trying their best to actually follow the law. People, I might add, who don't live in their jurisdiction, so there will be no political consequences for their actions. "Sadistic bully" isn't strong enough to describe that jackass DA.

  • ||

    People, I might add, who don't live in their jurisdiction, so there will be no political consequences for their actions.

    This, IMO, is more the key. You can probably plea down to public disorder for a lot cheaper than $15K and, varyingly, that money doesn't exactly end up in state coffers anyway. It's about telling the rubes and bumpkins not to fuck with New York Culture, even in passing.

  • Brian||

    If you ever go to NYC, you should really ask yourself why.

  • Rhywun||

    If you ever go to __________, you should really ask yourself why.

    Fill in the blank with the locality named in each post.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Funkytown?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    This is very good advice in general. Don't be afraid to stop and think about your life and why you live the way you do.

  • GroundTruth||

    Between the full faith and credit clause and the doctrine of incorporation, how is it possible that someone from (for example) Georgia, who is in possession of a license to carry, can be arrested, charged and convicted in NY?

    The selected, even tortured, reading of the Constitution, and capricious application thereof just gets worse and worse with time.

  • Robbzilla||

    Simple: The government doesn't give two shits about what the Constitution says.

  • Eric||

    States Rights? Turn that argument on its head: Why should the good citizens of Georgia have to recognize the marriage between two men from New York?

  • Jgalt1975||

    Between the full faith and credit clause and the doctrine of incorporation, how is it possible that someone from (for example) Georgia, who is in possession of a license to carry, can be arrested, charged and convicted in NY?

    The full faith and credit clause has basically always been circumscribed by recognition of various public policy exceptions and you would be more likely to find a federal judge willing to strike down NY gun control laws on Second Amendment grounds than you would be to find one willing to declare that states and municipalities do not have a valid public policy concern relating to gun ownership.

  • Tejicano||

    The point I haven't seen mentioned about the guy who was arrested for possessing a magazine - NY state made it illegal to possess magazines with a capacity of 7 rounds - and then found out that 7 round magazines are pretty rare. So they backtracked and stated that you can keep magazines which can hold more than 7 rounds, you just can't load more than 7 rounds into them.

    OK, yeah, it's true. Really. Stopped laughing yet?

    So with this being the case how can they arrest somebody for possessing a "hi-capacity magazine" when it wasn't even loaded at all?

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    It was probably more than a 10 round magazine.

  • Tejicano||

    If it was your standard issue AR-15 magazine he could claim it was for an AR in 50 Beowulf which only holds 10 of those rounds...

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    You could have made $15K with that advice.

  • sarcasmic||

    Most single stacks are 7.

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    Depends on caliber. Even a single-stack 9mm is unlikely to have only 7 unless it's ultra compact (LC9/Nano/etc).

  • sarcasmic||

    Most single stacks are compact.

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    Not my Hi Points.

  • sarcasmic||

    OK. Most quality single stacks are compact.

    I did shoot a Hi Point at the range one. Thing was like an ugly club that could spit bullets. It worked. But damn it was ugly. And heavy. And bulky.

    I've got two single stacks, a .380 that holds 7, and a .22 that holds 10.

  • Tejicano||

    That's pretty much only for a 1911 in 45 ACP. In a standard sized handgun chambered for any other caliber you will get more than 7 rounds per magazine.

  • ||

    There's some issues with recalling litigation in motion.

    The SAFE Act was drawn up in response to Sandy Hook. Where both a 15-round Glock and an AR-15 style rifle were used. The (hyper) focus was, of course, on the AR-15 and pretty much any black rifle. Initially there were some voices who were in support of banning any rifle with a detachable magazine. Realizing from varying sources that it meant rounding up guns and people at a level that would put the Nazi regime to shame *and* win support for the 2A by leaving everyone else with only bolt-action, double-barrel, or muzzle loading arms (with exceptions). 7 (and letting you keep your guns/magazines over 7) was seen as a compromise. This, rightfully, came across as weird to the rifle community as 7 is an odd number. It's not as weird in the handgun community.

    In any event there was lots of speculation as to how exactly the number 7 was achieved, I think the important part is to know/remember that it was a number derived by a group who's only interest in guns was how many they can get rid of.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    So with this being the case how can they arrest somebody for possessing a "hi-capacity magazine" when it wasn't even loaded at all?

    Because FYTW.

  • Brendan||

    Connecticut does that - if you have a pistol carry license, you can only have 10 rounds in the magazine, and the magazine cannot protrude below the bottom of the gun. At home and the range, you can load more than 10 rounds in the magazine.

  • Ride 'Em||

    Admittedly a small point, but is it 10rounds total including the cartridge in the chamber?

  • Trainer||

    The TSA and airline have nothing to do with people who bring guns into NYC for a stay- that would state laws which govern that- which is what Jordan did. Had she been traveling through, catching a connecting flight, it would have been different. As a licensed gun owner, Jordan knows that not all states allow you to legally have gun. The article never tells us the details of Wolf's travel. If he had been in NY and then went to travel with the magazine then that would be much different legally (ie as the laws are written now) then if he had been traveling through.

    This opinion in no way implies that I don't support the 2nd amendment or that I am somehow a communist- it's just reality. I find this article and the video a little less then honest and more sensationalist than they need to be.

  • John C. Randolph||

    not all states allow you to legally have gun

    I would phrase that rather differently: not all states refrain from violating your human rights, in particular your right to keep and bear arms, which they are specifically forbidden to infringe by our constitution.

    -jcr

  • dantheserene||

    Upvote for jcr.

  • Trainer||

    I would agree with that rephrasing.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    The core issue is this; we know that the second amendment was written and passed with the intention of keeping military grade firearms accessible by the citizenry. That is beyond honest question. The 'living document' argument regarding the Constitution really translates as "I know I haven't a hope in hell of getting the changes I want passed, so I'm going to ignore the necessity of amendment and simply assert that the Constitution means what I want."

    All guns control advocates who are not actively attempting to amend the Constitution to make gun control legal are scofflaws.

  • WoodChipperBob||

    It's worth noting, with regard to your second paragraph, that the Bill of Rights was written as a guarantee of rights that the framers agreed that the people just naturally have, not as a grant of rights. So it's beyond honest question that an amendment to remove any of those rights is a perversion of the intent of the Constitution. I would also maintain that an amendment that repeals one of the amendments in the Bill of Rights doesn't remove the right, it just changes the wording of the Constitution.

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    1. NYC gun laws are terrible and counterproductive.

    2. It's your responsibility to know the law where you're traveling. It's not like NYC's draconian gun laws are new or obscure.

    3. Whatever you do, don't fucking trust the govt stooges to give you legal advice.

    4. I thought the FAA regulations stated that in order to put a gun in checked baggage, you had to have the legal ability to possess a gun at both the origin and final destination of your flight. If so, that means the agent at the origin location fucked up and should have refused the baggage.

  • John C. Randolph||

    NYC's draconian gun laws

    Not laws, acts of usurpation.

    -jcr

  • sarcasmic||

    I remember reading that the reason they do this in the airport is because the person and their baggage are separated. They aren't in possession of it because it isn't with them. Federal law allows for the transportation of firearms if you're in possession of them. So the argument is that federal law no longer applies since the baggage handlers are in possession of the firearm, not the owner. Therefore only state law applies, and the person is now a criminal.

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    Actually the federal peaceable journey provision only applies when you're passing through a state on the way to somewhere else. Once you stop in a state overnight, you lose the protection of the federal law. Some states (including NYS) argue that you even lose federal protection by stopping for something non-essential to the journey, like going to an antique shop or a winery you see on the side of the road.

    These people were traveling to NYC, not just through it. So the peaceable journey provision doesn't apply to them.

  • Trainer||

    This is exactly why I find this article and video sensationalist. They are not arresting everyone and anyone who travels through the state following federal law, TSA and airline guidelines. These are people who broke the law ans are crying ignorance.

  • Bedonkedonk||

    I get the point you're making and I'm not saying it's wrong.
    It just seems that you're either missing the larger point to the article (or choosing to harp on a minor point) which is that arresting people who are clearly making an honest effort to obey the law and are clearly not a threat to the citizens of that state isn't fair or just or sensible. It's just acting out of malice, and using (abusing) the cudgel of the state to do so.

    As Jerryskids said above, "...there's no reflection on the idea that if following procedures can result in things like babies getting flash-banged and children and dogs and random passers-by getting shot - or somebody getting arrested for possessing a magazine - maybe there's a problem with your procedures."

  • Trainer||

    I don't think the fact that I find the article basically dishonest a small point at ll. It debases the whole article until it's meaningless so it's the whole point. And yes, I would expect someone who carries a gun to know that different states have different laws and to check them before they travel there. To not check is not making any type of honest effort.

  • Bedonkedonk||

    This sounds way too close to victim blaming to me.
    The law and procedure are resulting in ridiculous and unjust outcomes which end up having a severe detrimental impact on the victim, and are making criminals out of average citizens. And yet your response is to focus on the victim not doing a good enough job of knowing the local law.

    Knowing the local law is a wise thing to do, but they also clearly made an attempt to do so by calling the TSA and asking. That they were probably naive to ask the TSA and expect them to also provide the state and municipal requirements (or expect them to point out "This is only the law for transporting firearms through airports, and you will need to check with the state and municipality regarding their own laws.") may be true, but being naive doesn't change the fact that they clearly made an effort to obey the law.

    If the point of the law and the procedure for implementing it is to provide justice and safety, then it clearly isn't working (and by not working, I mean it is really f***ing up some people's lives who were a danger to no one and harmed no one), and at a minimum the procedure for how and when the law is enforced should be drastically altered.

    These are the larger points of the article. And you're sitting here responding to it by saying it's the victims' fault and that the article is dishonest for not explicitly pointing out that they were arrested under local law.

    Do you see why this comes off as trivial and derisive (at best)?

  • Trainer||

    Let me womansplain to you what victim blaming is:

    A woman decides to go out with her friends. She gets dressed up, puts in make up and some high heels. On her way to meet her friends, she is grabbed from behind, dragged into an alley and brutally raped and beaten. She stops a passerby who calls the police. The police get some info- how it happened, what the guy looked like and then ask her how much she's had to drink. Why is she wearing such a short dress? Was she flirting or making eye contact. They tell her next time she goes out she should dress more modestly, only travel in a group and carry mace.

    What I'm doing is perpatrator is perpetrator blaming. People who should have known and could have easily found out if their conduct was criminal but they decide to ignore that and commit a crime anyway. Like if a man were to not look up to see if rape was illegal in a different state and raped anyway.

  • Bedonkedonk||

    *sigh* I give up.

  • Liberty =><= Equality||

    And I don't think the baggage handlers are considered to have possession. Otherwise, if one of the baggage handlers is ineligible to possess firearms, you just committed a felony by delivering the gun to their possession.

  • sarcasmic||

    Don't give the cops any more ideas.

  • albo||

    I'd be curious how many New Yorkers registered their 'assault weapons' under the state's Safe Act. Last article I read said that it was less than 10 percent registered.

    If that holds true, an honest lawmaker would ask, "why do we have this onerous law if it's essentially not working?"

  • John C. Randolph||

    an honest lawmaker

    If you're looking for them, they're probably talking to Bigfoot and a Unicorn somewhere.

    -jcr

  • Rhywun||

    Because it's padding the treasury?

  • Rebel Scum||

    "We are not going to apologize for enforcing our gun laws," said Assistant District Attorney Jack Ryan

    Translation: "Fuck you. We have to spend time and effort on people who are clearly no threat. Otherwise we might have to go after people who are actually dangerous."

  • I can't even||

    Wolf and Jordan spent less than a day in jail, but each had to pay lawyers $15,000 to bargain the felony charge down to "public disorder."

    There's the problem. Somebody is going to have to fight it all the way to the Supreme Court. If the Court ever accepted one of these cases, they would annihilate NY gun laws. Until then, the 2A doesn't exist there. That said, I sure as hell don't want to be the test case.

  • Trainer||

    That's the only way they would have gotten any support from me. To plead down to a non-gun charge means that they lost all chance of changing anything.

  • Rebel Scum||

    the gun and bullets were in the same suitcase.

    "Under New York law, if they're together, they're loaded," says Ryan.

    You can carry a gun. But don't you dare make it functional as anything but a paperweight!

  • dantheserene||

    This is as nonsensical as their "gravity knife" law. Actual gravity knives haven't been a thing since WWII, and they've twisted the definition beyond comprehension anyway to include virtually all modern pocket knives.

  • Brandybuck||

    Evil people from evil red states. They probably voted for Trump. No sympathy.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    It was apparent after these people were arrested that they were not criminals by history, past or present. It was also apparent that there was no mens rea on their part, simply a violation of malum prohibitum; these are not criminal prosecutions on the part of NY, they are political prosecutions because that is what their two bit asshole of a governor wants. He plays to his dimwit urban constituents by being "tough on guns" and has delusions of making a political splash on a national scale.

  • Nohbody||

    [Jordan] called [the arresting cop] a sadistic bully (the full video is at JohnStossel.com). He replied that New York City must make sure people are "not threats."

    Of course, being a threat is a privilege they reserve solely for themselves.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    They knew right off they weren't threats; as I stated above, this is political and in line with Cuomo's agenda to be "tough on guns" and to showcase that at every opportunity.

  • brady949||

    "Mean New York authorities will make your life miserable."

    Isn't making your life miserable the MO of most New Yorkers?

  • Ragoftag||

    I still want the job of issuing FEDERAL gun permits to anyone denied one in their state. I'd set up a card table in the lobby of city hall or the state house with a suitcase full of forms.

    Any up for running an FFA store from a truck parked outside?

  • Finrod||

    If the asswipe NYC cops and DAs had to live under the same gun laws they enforce upon their citizens, in short order every single person in NYC would have a gun and permission to carry it everywhere.

  • ranrod||

    just dont travel to 3rd world NYC...........

  • Duelles||

    I now have a set of throwing knives. They are fun. How 'bout it NY? May I carry throwing knives?

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