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Prosecution Presents Evidence On First Day Of SAFE Act Trial

March 6, 2014

MAYVILLE — The prosecution called four witnesses to the stand Wednesday to present evidence against Benjamin Wassell....

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Mar-09-14 1:06 PM

I understand he, as non-active LE or military could not own the weapon due to the extra features, and the weapon may not have been grandfathered from 1994, but did the FFL have to blow him in? If he is not able to possess couldn't he sell it to someone out of state, just like the pre-ban 1994 magazines were treated as the Safe Act took affect.. had to sell to LE or sell out of state when that part of the law took affect? You can't tell me that all 15 round magazines in the state, for example, have been pre-ban and if someone wanted to get rid of non-pre-bans to an FFL before the Safe Act went into affect, these FFL's would call the State Police for illegal possession?

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Mar-08-14 10:03 PM

2A, You need to learn something on NYS gun law. It's simple enough for law enforcement to determine the age of the receiver by manufacturer and serial #. The industry records are now so good that a manufacturer can tell you the exact date a serial # was "born" on, so there is absolutely NO question as to its provenance. If the gun that was sold in the parking lot of Aunt Millie's had turned out to be "pre ban" there would be no case, but it turned out to be "NON NY Compliant" made after Sept. 2004, and thus illegal in NYS. Experienced FFL holders have access to the same info, JJ's knew what he was looking at. While you may think that the situation could have been handled differently, there was no lawful way to do so. The FFl's in Erie Co. play under the same rules as the ones here in Chautauqua Co. NONE OF THEM CAN TURN ILLEGAL GUNS INTO LEGAL ONES. My understanding is that the SP had been looking at this for some time previous to his arrest last year.

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Mar-08-14 1:50 AM

The weapon could have been grandfathered since 1994, as many civilians currently own. FFL's in Erie county sell weapons for "LEO only" and are marked appropriately in their stores. The FFL's will buy from them, or order from manufacturers, and sell to active LEO. I just think it could have been handled differently.

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Mar-07-14 4:53 PM

2A, The gun in question is CONTRABAN in this state. No civilian in this state has been allowed to own a post Sept 94' dated receiver with more than one cosmetic doodad on it for about 19 years now. As the accused can't legally own it, he can't sell or otherwise transfer it to any other civilian, including the shop owner. IF JJ's had bought it, and a LEO spotted it on the sale rack with a "LEO Sale Only" tag, JJ's would have most certainly been asked about gun's provenance. The illegal history of the gun would have caused it be confiscated and Jankowiak arrested for buying illegal weapons.

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Mar-07-14 1:11 PM

Next to my "Repeal The Safe Act" sign in my yard will be a new sign: "Repeal JJ's FFL"

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Mar-07-14 10:15 AM

i smell something funny about the gun shop and owner,as maybe the state was crawling around and this was his way out of something else either way i wouldn't even consider buying anything from that shop now

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Mar-07-14 4:32 AM

Too bad the FFL couldn't have helped him to legally sell to an active LEO or sell to someone out of state. Perhaps he's bucking for an Albany position.

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Mar-06-14 7:31 PM

When all the facts come out; we will all know this is a witch hunt.Where do I contribute to this guys defense fund?

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Mar-06-14 6:40 PM

KCW007 continued: The Lockport judge ruled that, while the officer rightfully secured & cleared the gun for safety & control purposes during the traffic stop, the number of bullets in the magazine was NOT a security matter. The prosecution also argued that the number of bullets was an "in plain sight" issue, but the court disagreed.

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Mar-06-14 6:30 PM

"Mum's the word" Joe! I didn't say anything. And I won't comment about Randomthinker's questioning the Governor's hand in this case either. Obviously there WAS a push from The mansion @ Albany to make some aspect of it related to the SAFE Act and that was done with the misdemeanor charge levied @ Hanover concerning the high cap mags which were included with the sale. But, mysteriously, those charges too disappeared by the time of the Grand jury indictment. Could it be that the governor didn't want to risk a jury nullification on the misdemeanor SAFE Act charge? Even if the jury did go on to convict on the felony, non-SAFE Act charges, a nullification on the misdemeanor would be an overall PR disaster wouldn't it. FYI: Last week the Lockport city judge through out the SAFE Act violation on the guy who was found to have more than seven rounds (actually it was more than ten rounds according to the arresting cop) when his vehicle was stopped for speeding.

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Mar-06-14 5:44 PM

OMG2012 has said it perfectly.

I wonder if Cuomo directed his police superintendent to find a scapegoat. I find it almost impossible to believe that the police - who mostly oppose this legislation - would direct limited time and resources to conduct this "sting".

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Mar-06-14 5:27 PM

KCW don't tell Paul we are up here commenting OK?

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Mar-06-14 4:09 PM

Your right Phil, that issue was, rightfully, a BIG deal at the time of the Hanover Town Court arraignment as far as the AG's PR dept. was concerned, but the issue was totally dropped by the time the case was presented to the Grand Jury?! If the feds chose to get involved, conviction on that charge alone is worth up to ten (10) years.

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Mar-06-14 2:09 PM

whatever happened to the convicted felon part? i thought an earlier press release mentioned that the buyer advised the seller he was a convicted felon. no mention of that here.

& a big f*ck you andy cuomo you piece of camel feces!

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Mar-06-14 9:52 AM

Wouldn't it have been much simpler and cost effective for the police to contact the seller and tell him that they are aware he tried to legally sell a gun to a licensed FFL, and remind him that the gun can only be sold out of state or in state to a FFL. No harm no foul... No we tax payers are forced to spend thousands to set an example out of this guy. No wonder we are broke and have a population that has no respect for law enforcement.

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Mar-06-14 2:51 AM

there is a valuable lesson to be learned here,never talk to emperor cuomos storm troopers with out your attorney present

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