New York City Councilman Daniel Halloran wants the criminal case against Ryan Jerome, a former Marine facing 15 years in prison for unknowingly violating the state’s tough gun laws, to be dismissed.
Halloran, a Republican, told The Daily Caller that he has been in touch with Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance’s office, but he isn’t optimistic that the DA will let the case go.
Jerome visited New York City in September with $15,000 worth of jewelry he intended to sell. He brought a gun, for which he has a valid Indiana concealed carry permit, after reading online gun law information which he believed indicated it was legal to do so.
Upon asking security officers if he should check his weapon at the Empire State Building, Jerome was arrested. He now faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 3.5 years in prison and a maximum of 15 years behind bars. A grand jury has not yet indicted him.
Halloran said that the case is “another unfortunate New York District Attorney fiasco.”
“I indicated my displeasure with the charge being brought against this Marine [to Vance’s office],” said Halloran. “I’ve also asked for a list of all of the people who have been arrested on weapons charges who have valid out-of-state permits,” he added.
Vance is an opponent of H.R. 822, a bill that passed the House of Representatives in November with broad bipartisan support. If enacted into law, the bill would make what Jerome did perfectly legal by requiring states to honor out-of-state concealed carry permits.
Halloran is requesting a list of cases similar to Jerome’s because, he said, there have been four or five cases within the last year alone that have received press coverage. “I’ve got to imagine there are more,” he said.
The case may be resolved with a plea bargain, Halloran predicted, but he also believes the chances that all charges would be dropped are slim. (RELATED: Marine faces 15 years behind bars for unknowingly violating gun law)
“Cases like the ones we see popping up here in New York City are at the forefront of what is wrong with the way policy is enacted,” added Halloran. “I don’t see how somebody can look at the Constitution, look at the full faith and credit clause, understand that we let drivers licenses, which are a privilege not a right, get reciprocity, [but not concealed carry permits],” he said.
Jerome’s attorney, Mark Bederow, told TheDC he remains hopeful that “district attorney Vance, upon further review, will decide that the charges should not be pursued.”
“We don’t see what useful purpose a criminal conviction and/or lengthy prison sentence would serve in a case with these circumstances, with a third-generation Marine,” said Bederow. “It does not involve an illegal firearm and does not advance the cause of lessening gun violence.”