This has been a good week for gun-toting tourists! Yesterday that Tennessee woman who brought her fully-loaded .22 to the 9/11 Memorial got off easy with a "no-jail, misdemeanor deal" and today the former Marine who brought his loaded weapon to the Empire State Building managed to do the same. This, despite New York's tough anti-gun laws which are supposed to carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 1/2 years in prison. Who needs rules?
"I definitely did not know it was illegal to bring a gun into New York City," Ryan Jerome, 29, of West Bend, reportedly said after pleading guilty in Manhattan Criminal Court today. Yup, a man who says that he has to carry a gun for his job (he's now a jeweler) quite possibly never bothered to look up the gun rules in a city he was visiting—something even the NRA recommends any gun owner do. Jerome claims he looked up the reciprocity rules on his phone but because of a formatting error misunderstood and thought that registered Indiana guns were allowed in the Big Apple (instead of the other way around). Presumably Jerome thinks it's appropriate to research intrastate firearms statutes the same way you'd find out if Dave & Busters is open past 11 p.m.
If recent history is any indication, despite our strict laws against bringing guns registered anywhere else into the city being on the books and our mayor being quite vocal telling the world about our strict gun laws... you can get away with bringing your firearm into New York City. As long as you come from a, uh, certain demographic. Sigh. Either we're tough on guns or we're not!