Every gun rights advocate knows that some states are more gun-friendly than others. New York, for example, isn’t. In fact, they’re outright gun hostile. Being a gun owner in the state isn’t necessarily a pleasant thing. After all, your governor hates you and what you stand for, as do many other elected officials.
However, if you support gun rights and live in New York, you probably already know this.
Unfortunately, a soldier stationed at Fort Drum has been arrested for illegal possession of a handgun.
A soldier stationed at Fort Drum, who was among a groups of armed men detained by police during Sunday’s Troy Rally for Black Lives, was arrested for possessing a loaded handgun just blocks from the city police station, police said Monday.
Deputy Police Chief Dan DeWolf commended officers for taking the men into custody, praising them “for averting what may have become a violent encounter that day.” The matter remains under investigation and additional charges are expected to be filed.
Noah Latham, 22, of Lewis Avenue in Fort Drum is being held without bail at the Rensselaer County jail, the Rensselaer County District Attorney’s Office said.
Latham is charged with a single felony count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, Latham could face up to 15 years in state prison if convicted.
Latham is a member of the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum in Jefferson County. He is a specialist E-4 who flies drones for the division.
“We are aware of it. We’ll let it play out,” Major Harold Huff, a spokesman for Fort Drum, said regarding Latham’s incarceration in the county jail.
Latham and the other men dressed in fatigues were taken into custody at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday after police said they learned gun-toting men in military-style clothing were seen near Congress and Ferry streets on Sixth Avenue, police said.
Now, there’s no evidence that Latham intended to harm a soul. He and these other “men dressed in fatigues” may have simply been there to watch the protest, though I doubt it. He may have been there to protect innocent life and businesses, though, which I’d be far more likely to believe.
Regardless, we don’t know they had any plans to initiate violence.
In New York, though, that doesn’t matter. None of that matters and now Latham may be looking at 15 years in prison. Latham was at least somewhat familiar with gun laws in the state. He started a petition to push one county into becoming a sanctuary county, after all, which means he’s a gun-rights supporter. One would think he wouldn’t go down that road without at least understand what the laws actually are.
Not that it should matter, of course. By most estimations, Latham and company didn’t do anything wrong except be present and be armed. That shouldn’t be illegal.
Unfortunately, this is New York we’re talking about here. Simply existing while armed is sternly frowned upon in the state. Latham either knew this or should have known this and is now facing charges because of it. In the meantime, he’s also painting the rest of us in a negative light, which is something we don’t need.
Hopefully, this gets settled quickly and Latham be ruled free to go, but let’s not hold our breath on that one. It’s New York, after all.