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NY Prosecutors to press case against retired special forces soldier in high capacity magazine case

NY Prosecutors to press case against retired special forces soldier in high capacity magazine case

I previously reported on the case brought against retired and injured special forces soldier, Nathan Haddad, Injured special forces soldier arrested in upstate NY for possession of high capacity ammunition magazines

Nathan is a decorated soldier who has been recognized for his community service in helping other veterans.  (More on Haddad here.)

Nathan Haddad

Nathan was charged with 5 felony counts for possession of empty 30-bullet magazines.

Nathan had a court appearance today.  I have confirmed that prosecutors insist on pursuing criminal charges, offering Nathan the opportunity to plead guilty to 5 Class A Misdemeanors.  The plea would not result in jail time, but would result in Nathan having a criminal record which would cause him to lose his civilian job with the Department of Defense.

Nathan’s attorney, Seth Buchman, told me that Nathan is not willing to take the plea because of the criminal record, and that their position is that the charges never should have been brought.

The case is being prosecuted under the old NY gun law, not the new law recently passed, as the arrest took place prior to enactment of the new law.

Nathan’s brother Michael has started a legal defense fund.

In related news, the Office of Attorney General in the District of Columbia responded to a FOIA request I served for records regarding the decision not to prosecute David Gregory.

The OAG is refusing to release the letter sent by Gregory’s counsel which was referenced in the Attorney General’s decision not to prosecute.  That letter apparently set forth the facts showing how Gregory came into possession of a high capacity magazine, as well as the grounds upon which Gregory argued that he received confusing advice from the D.C. Police.  We will be pursuing an administrative appeal and will litigate the issue if need be.

Updates 2-21-2013:

Patrick Howley at The Daily Caller, Prosecutors to pursue felony charges against ex-soldier for possessing  high-capacity magazine

Emily Miller at The Washington Times, A gun tale of two cities


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“We’re for veterans unless they contradict our belief system. So we don’t take the chance and ignore them all anyways.”

BannedbytheGuardian | February 20, 2013 at 4:01 pm

So what is the problem ?

The lesser charge than the trading of such as was previously cited on LI.

As to the Defence civilian job – are you going to plead special case ? I thought you all wanted fewer bureaucrats.

Seems more than a fair outcome .

    The problem is a piece of paper that guarantees the right to bear arms, and equal protection under the laws. We know that piece of paper is the problem, because our current President said so.

    The Forbes article focuses on the economic factors, but also includes Obama’s complaints about what the document says the government CAN”T do to you.

    I doubt he ever read the document for himself.

      BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Valerie. | February 20, 2013 at 5:25 pm

      The NY Law been in effect since when ? If it has not been constitutionally challenged & overturned then it appears to comply with the 2nd amendment.

      I do not know every state every law but I do track ones that reach the media eg a concealed Weapon permission in bar in Va ., the lawfulness of transferring weapons by hiking through a national park from a permissible state . These peaked my interest but you show me the rulings on this one.

      The compassion angle regarding injuries etc has no doubt been factored in during plea bargaining.

Professor, just curious – with all the trouble you’re causing – have you started your Legal Defense Fund? Or one that helps people like Nathan Haddad?

    So what he’s doing with his blogs aren’t enough?

    Just because you can go to bed at 2am, wake up at 10am because you have nothing better to do, doesn’t mean everyone else lives like that.

    What a stupid comment.

It’s unbelievable to me that a simple request for a letter that ought to be public record is refused after an FOIA request. Nail ’em to the wall, Professor!

Here is the prosecutor:

I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me if Mr. Haddad was active duty and assigned to Fort Drum when he was arrested, as an infantryman, those magazines would be “tools of the trade” more or less.
Would he have been in violation of NYS law when he was on the military reservation? Ft. Drum is not far from LeRay.
Prosecutor discretion is sorely lacking here, from the deputy to the DA.

I suppose that we should be aware that the 2nd amendment does not apply in the liberal/progressive/democrat controlled northeast. No matter on how much of a war hero and responsible citizen need apply here… Apparently!

As an aside, I was reviewing concealed handgun reciprocal states, (with Texas), and noticed that I could indeed carry in PA but there’s no practical way to get there without violating the laws of adjoining states…

Maybe concealed carry license laws should be standardized much in the same way as applies to driver’s licenses.

    If you’re travelling from state A to state B, both of which legally allow you to possess firearms, then you can freely travel through state C as long as your presence in state C is merely incidental to get to state B.

    GrumpyOne in reply to GrumpyOne. | February 21, 2013 at 11:50 am

    I was wrong!

    I can get to PA by transiting WV…

    But then what do I do if my ultimate destination is RI???

Professor-please keep following this case. They want everyone being overly careful about what the law may be so they will gradually come to regard the 2nd Amendment as too much of a hassle.

No way. I suspect a whole lot of people are going to come to know the Constitution and why the founders opted for a federal system and a republic and a divided system and ultimate sovereignty in the individual over the next few years than ever thought about it in their adult lives.

I am so tired with reading blueprints to radically transform the nature of this country using Orwellian terms and buying off states with incentives to adopt. For people who love throwing the word Equity for All around, they clearly do not mean it.

Haddad was attempting to sell what he believed to be pre-AWB magazines. That is, magazines manufactured prior to 1994 which were grandfathered into the NY AWB. The possession and sale of those magazines was not illegal at the time he was arrested. Since manufacturers don’t date stamp magazines, the burden of proof is on NY to demonstrate he knew they were produced post 1994. That’s a pretty high bar to cross unless the magazines in question were made by a company that didn’t manufacture magazines until after 1994 or a manufacturer that implemented design changes after the AWB sunset.

I’ve got dozens of 30 round AR magazines. I have no idea when the vast majority of them were manufactured. If you keep them in good working order, there is no expiration date on them.

Imagine ruining a good man’s life over 5 empty sheet-metal boxes.

There should be a special blend of tar for feathers for this kind of little tyrant.

My error, I misread the former post.

BannedbytheGuardian | February 20, 2013 at 5:46 pm

So in effect , the case is going to court with the previous touted 10 year prison term off the table.

The prosecution gets to present their case.

He gets to explain his actions .

Seems to be within western models of justice.

Are you guys trying to bully the court?

    Being arrested for possession of a legal item… legal under NY law…. and then being threatened with prison and being forced to pay tens of thousands of dollars to prove no law was violated seems just a tad extreme to me.

    “…the case is going to court with the previous touted 10 year prison term off the table.”

    Where did you get that?

    “He gets to explain his actions.”

    Perhaps. It depends on how the judge rules on defense theories.

    “Are you guys trying to bully the court?”

    You really have no earthly idea about that which you post…do ya?

      No he does not.

      An annoying a-hole, isn’t he? Probably the only way he can get attention.

      BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Ragspierre. | February 20, 2013 at 11:21 pm

      The 10 years was canvassed on the original LI thread & his brothers follow thru.

      I would hope a man gets to explain why he had these in his possession to the court . Why else have a court case? I have sat thru many Petty Sessions & everyone gets to bleat their excuses.

      Rags – remember The Alamo.

        As in any negotiation, when you refuse an offer, it goes away unless it is expressly stated otherwise.

        This is what makes a plea-bargain offer such a powerful lever.

        You take the offer, or it is the full enchilada (at the discretion of the prosecutor).

        In a strict liability case, a judge could easily rule that WHY he had the mags is not relevant. It is neither a burden of the state, or a defense. That is the kind of law we are dealing with here, unless I’m badly mistaken, and one of the reasons I deplore strict liability generally.

The police officer that decided to arrest Nathan on these charges must be vying for a position on the fuhrer’s private security detail. Despicable.

Seems like a great opportunity to educate potential jurors on “jury nullification”.

BannedbytheGuardian | February 20, 2013 at 10:34 pm

Why cannot you let the case proceed & await the outcome ?

It might answer some questions here including then Samddog’s intriguing idea that the article was legal. (Previously it was agreed. Here it was petty but definitely contraband ).

You guys really need to hang on to your hats when Chris Kyle’s much be -medalled Marine hero killer gets paraded out.

Don’t throw them hats up yet.

The other side know they got you with that one. Kid you can’t successfully argue me out then you are going to get crushed. I know they are going to hit it big.

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