It is fairly well known that New York has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. This means that a person can be arrested in Nassau County on weapons charges for traffic violations and driving in a way police deem “suspicious.”
A woman driving in Freeport Village was pulled over early one morning in mid-May. Police claimed they stopped the driver because she was driving up and down the same block “suspiciously,” to use Newsday’s term. They also cited her for a broken taillight and an allegedly illegal U-turn.
The officers had received a report of gunshots in the area. No injuries were reported. After performing the traffic stop, the officers arrested the woman, 20, on suspicion of possession of a firearm and imposed several traffic summonses.
It is not clear what sort of gun the woman allegedly possessed, and why that possession would be against the law. New York law requires people to obtain a license to carry or possess a handgun. The penalties for possessing a handgun without a license can be severe, and may include prison time or probation. Whether or not the gun is loaded can make a big difference in the extent of the possible punishments a defendant would face.
Police could not say if the suspect’s gun was the one that fired the shots.
Just as in other criminal cases, a defense attorney may employ various strategies when representing someone charged with a weapons crime. He or she may be able to obtain a dismissal, or challenge the evidence at trial.
Source: Newsday, “Woman arrested on weapons charge after report of gunshots in Freeport,” Jennifer Barrios, May 18, 2014