New York City has a history of the most restrictive gun control laws in the country. Some of those laws got shattered with Bruen, but enough remain in place that plenty of otherwise law-abiding people find themselves hit with gun charges.
That’s always rubbed me as wrong, for what should be obvious reasons. If we have the right to keep and bear arms and someone didn’t use a gun in such a way that broke the law–i.e. used in the commission of some crime like robbery–there’s no reason for them to be charged with anything.
Yet it happens, such as with this New York City man who used a firearm to fend off an intruder in what police agree was a self-defense shooting, but is now facing felony gun charges.
A Brooklyn landlord was hit with gun charges Monday in the fatal shooting of his tenant who broke into his apartment armed with a Taser over the weekend, prosecutors and law enforcement sources said.
LaShawn Craig — an MTA employee and military veteran — allegedly opened fire after finding Timothy Jones inside his Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment, wearing a mask and gloves and toting a Taser at around 9:40 p.m. on Friday, according to authorities and the sources.
Craig, a 45-year-old train operator, told Jones to get out of the apartment and then saw him reaching into his pockets, which is when he unloaded a handgun, according to prosecutors.
He called 911 after the shooting and surrendered the illegal gun, a Smith and Wesson 40 caliber pistol, to police, according to sources and the criminal complaint against him.
Sources said Craig and Jones, a 64-year-old career criminal, had been arguing about family photos before the spat took a violent turn.
There’s no indication the two were related, so why there was an argument about family photos between the two remains a mystery.
Craig, however, has no prior criminal history was arraigned on two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, one a felony and the other a misdemeanor.
Now, understand that there’s little dispute that Craig is the good guy in this. Jones had a history of criminal activity and had even been shot previously in a drug deal that went bad. Craig is apparently a law-abiding citizen except with his gun possession.
Yet for a long time, New York didn’t exactly make it easy for people to get guns. The gun control laws in place often pushed many to buy and carry guns illegally, figuring facing gun charges was preferable to, you know, facing death.
I can’t say I disagree there.
However, it shouldn’t be an either/or thing. Law-abiding people shouldn’t have to risk their freedom in order to protect their lives.
In New York City, though, they don’t see it that way.
Never mind that this was a lifelong criminal that decided to attack someone over a disagreement about photographs, someone who was involved in an illicit drug deal that resulted in him being shot and a woman killed. Oh no, that doesn’t matter. All that matters is that Craig apparently didn’t do the whole “Mother, may I?” bit to get a firearm and register it with the government.
Which he shouldn’t have to do anyway.
And people wonder why you couldn’t pay me enough to live in New York City.