A Gun Tale of Two Cities – Different Laws for Iraq Veteran and a Television ‘Star’

Via: Washington Times

By Emily Miller
Thursday, February 21, 2013

Nathan Haddad, a former Army staff sergeant in New York, was selling his gun magazines when he was arrested for violating a state law prohibiting possession of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. He was arrested and charged with five felonies. This is the crime that David Gregory of NBC News committed in Washington a few months ago; Mr. Gregory was not prosecuted because he’s, umm, well, a celebrity.

The district attorney for Jefferson County, N.Y., offered Sgt. Haddad, now a civilian employee at Fort Drum, N.Y., a deal that would require him to plead guilty to five Class A misdemeanors to avoid going to jail. Sgt. Haddad has several weeks to decide whether to go to trial.

“My first reaction was that I’m going to still be branded as a criminal and probably lose my job,” he told The Washington Times. “The military doesn’t consider a 30-round magazine a weapons system — it is just a component of a weapons system.”

Seth Buchman, Sgt. Haddad’s attorney, said the charges “should not have been brought in the first place.” Under the law, the same ammunition feeding device is legal if it was manufactured before 1994 but a felony if made afterward. The only way to tell the difference is by examining markings stamped on the bottom of some — but not all — magazines. After Sgt. Haddad was arrested, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed still another law, this one reducing the round count from 10 to 7.

Sgt. Haddad said he wasn’t aware he had done anything wrong since he has lived in New York as a civilian only since 2010 when he received a medical discharge from the military. Mr. Gregory, on the other hand, knew he was breaking the law on Dec. 23 when he displayed a 30-round magazine on his Sunday show. He had asked the Metropolitan Police Department for permission in advance, but was refused. D.C. prosecutors said there was no point pursuing charges against the host.

Read more: here

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