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DA in upstate NY refuses to prosecute man for having 9 bullets in magazine

DA in upstate NY refuses to prosecute man for having 9 bullets in magazine

The so-called SAFE Act passed in a hurry in New York after the Newtown shooting has had many problems.  One of the bizarre aspects of the law was that while 10-round magazines were permitted, only 7 bullets could be loaded in the magazine.

This very odd provision has been one of many reasons there is an upstate county revolt against the law, with the vast majority of county legislatures passing resolutions against the SAFE Act.  Law enforcement and police unions also have protested the law.

In Columbia County, just south of Albany, Gregory Dean, Jr. was pulled over. Police discovered he had a licensed pistol, but had 9 not 7 bullets in the magazine, and they charged him under the SAFE Act:

While interviewing Dean, troopers noticed a handgun on the front seat, partially covered by a sweatshirt.

The troopers determined the gun, a .40-caliber pistol, was legally registered and possessed. However, when the troopers inspected the pistol, its magazine contained the nine bullets – New York’s Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Actonly allows seven bullets per magazine.

Police charged Dean with unlawful possession of certain ammunition feeding devices, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation,both misdemeanors, plus vehicle infractions, police said.

But Dean will not be prosecuted (h/t GunPoliticsNY):

The Columbia County District Attorney is making good on a promise not to prosecute a man arrested under the SAFE Act.

DA Paul Czajka told NewsChannel 13 he would not prosecute Gregory Dean Jr.

Dean was pulled over earlier this month after police say the light over his license plate was out.

Police say he also had a gun in his car.

While they say it was possessed legally, it had nine rounds of ammunition, which exceeds the state’s new limit of seven rounds.

Czaika said he might prosecute others under the SAFE Act, saying each case would be judged on the merits, and he denied taking a sweeping stand against the law.

Nonetheless, the arbitrary designation of 7 bullets in a 10-round magazine as a legal threshold demonstrates the absurdity of the law as applied in real life.

Related post: NY injured special forces soldier takes plea for same offense on which David Gregory walked


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Assuming the arresting officers were carrying standard issue sidearms, Glocks, Sigs, etc…, were they not in violation of the SAFE act as well? When this p.o.s. was passed, there was no carve out for LEOs. Maybe a carve out now exists.

Illustrating Chicago’s Murders, Homicides, Violence and Idiocy at

Good for Czaika.

And very canny, not saying it would be a blanket thing. Nobody can target him.

My question is: Did they check his political donations before they decided whether or not to prosecute?

Update on Nathan Haddad, also targeted by police for SAFE
“…The Jefferson County District Attorney offered Nathan Haddad a plea deal. It was for two misdemeanors that would be conditionally discharged after one year. In addition, he would receive a $200 fine. Further, Nathan’s pistol permit and gun ownership rights would be immediately restored.

“An unjust law is no law at all” but the problem is in a tyrannical system it is now law of all! Nathan chose to accept this plea as it was apparent the only way he would be able to win without a protracted fight was through jury nullification. In a state which elected Andrew Cuomo and a county that elected Cindy Intschert, Nathan didn’t like his odds…
remaining funds will be used to pay Nathan’s legal expenses. The remaining portion will be disposed of with assistance and guidance from Nathan Haddad. To that end, this fund has already given $1,000 to the legal defense fund of a combat wounded veteran Benjamin Wassall. Ben, a Marine, was injured in Iraq. He became the first person charged under the NYS Safe Act. Ben is another good guy who is being targeted by New York State…”

gonna get slammed for this I bet, but…enforce the law fully or refuse to enforce it at all.
I cannot personally disagree with the decision to not prosecute david gregory while at same time agreeing with decision to not prosecute here.
and enforcing the law only when it helps you is wrong.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to dmacleo. | May 24, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Not gonna get slammed by me – I agree. If it’s the new law, then enforce it – and see what reaction you get. If they’re going to selectively enforce laws, the door opens wide for the politicization of the selection process. Just like the Obama administration agencies: DoJ, IRS, EPA, etc.

    NY Dem/libs: Got gun control passed, check – base happy. Not going to actually enforce it, check – most everyone else happy. Unenforced laws stay on books, check – available if needed, wink, wink.

    J. W. in reply to dmacleo. | May 24, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    “enforce the law fully or refuse to enforce it at all.”

    I agree with everything before “or”. It’s a bad law, but it’s the DA’s job to enforce the law. Arbitrary enforcement just means corruption.

      TugboatPhil in reply to J. W.. | May 25, 2013 at 9:06 am

      I think refusing to enforce a bad law is no different than a military member refusing to obey an unlawful order. Just because a legislature and courts say a law is good doesn’t make it good.

      But if he’s going to do it on a case by case basis, I’d say that was opening it up to corruption.

        J. W. in reply to TugboatPhil. | May 26, 2013 at 11:05 pm

        “But if he’s going to do it on a case by case basis, I’d say that was opening it up to corruption.”

        The end of the post suggests that this will be the case, hence my contention that the result will be corrupt.

        “I think refusing to enforce a bad law is no different than a military member refusing to obey an unlawful order.”

        A law can be bad because it’s stupid and it can be bad because it’s unlawful according to a higher law, whether a state constitution, the national constitution, or the natural law. If the law is unlawful, then the DA should explain precisely why he holds it to be unlawful and then act accordingly. But if it’s just stupid, then it is no more the DA’s role to refuse to enforce it than it is the soldier’s role to disobey an order that he thinks to be merely ill-advised. The legislature passes laws and the executive enforces them. If people want the DA to have a veto over the legislature, then they should put it into their constitution. But so long as he does not have a veto, then it’s unlawful for him to refuse to enforce the law even when it’s stupid.

Wow! Pigs are a-flying in New Yawk???

This is what happens when knee jerk reactive legislatures pass really dumb laws that are a waste of taxpayer’s money and often abridge the 2nd Amendment.

Good for you Mr. DA and a pox on the legislature!

    Henry Hawkins in reply to GrumpyOne. | May 24, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    They don’t pass such laws for legitimate reasons, to address a genuine problem – it was passed as a bone tossed to the liberal NY base, and when signed into law it was publicized like the second coming, to sop up political benefits.

    Here’s a link to today’s NY Times online New York page, covering state news:

    You won’t find a word about how they’re not enforcing the new law on this guy.

VetHusbandFather | May 24, 2013 at 4:10 pm

When they realized that 7 rnd magazines were not readily available, they should have just changed there ridiculous law to allow 10 rnds in a 10 rnd magazine. Telling law abiding citizens they can only carry 7 rnds in their 10 rnd magazines goes beyond stupidity. It does however provide a crystal clear example of how these laws only effect law abiding citizens. Afterall if your gun comes standard with a 10 rnd mag how many criminals will only carry 7 rnds in it?

rancidpoodle | May 24, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Just out of curiosity, would mere possession of a gun in a non-custodial stop give rise to sufficient grounds to check the number of rounds in the magazine?

Henry Hawkins | May 24, 2013 at 7:17 pm

I fully expect at some point in some blue state that they pass a law saying an otherwise legal gun owner cannot defend his or her self unless the bad guy shoots first.

Hey folks, not to rain on the parade here, but a Conditional Discharge is non-supervised probation in New York–it’s not a dismissal, it’s a sentence.

He’s lucky to get his permit restored, but if he moves from where he is, he’s liable to find the new jurisdiction not so eager to transfer his permit to their county.

I’m happy for him, but the account made it sound like he got an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal (ACOD)[170.55 CPL], but he didn’t. He now has a record that even a certificate of relief won’t expunge when it is viewed for a handgun permit.