To New Yorkers, it may be known that the state’s gun laws are especially strict. But to people from other states, the potential consequences for carrying a weapon may not be quite as clear. That would seem to be the case involving a man from Indiana who could now face 15 years in prison for unknowingly violating one of New York’s strict weapons laws.

The accused man is a former Marine, and Daniel Holloran, a New York City Councilman, has taken issue with the case. The councilman wants the gun charges dismissed, though he thinks it is unlikely that the district attorney will drop the case.

Reportedly, the Indiana man visited New York City in September with intentions of selling $15,000 worth of jewelry. Apparently for his own safety, the man brought with him a gun for which he had a concealed carry permit back in Indiana. The man had read over New York gun laws online and was under the impression that it was within his legal rights to carry the gun.

However, when the former Marine inquired with security officers at the Empire State Building as to whether he should check his gun, he was arrested. A grand jury has yet to indict the man, but if convicted, he could face a mandatory minimum sentence of 3.5 years in prison and a maximum prison term of 15 years.

The city councilman who called for the dismissal of the gun charge characterized the situation as “another unfortunate New York District Attorney fiasco.”

Individuals in New York City and the surrounding area would do well to stay abreast of state and city gun regulations. If a person is accused of a gun crime, he or she will likely want to consult with a criminal defense attorney who is familiar with New York gun laws. Doing so can help ensure that all of the rights of the accused are upheld in court and that a meaningful defense is mounted with a view toward the dismissal or significant reduction of charges.

Source: “NYC councilman demands that Manhattan DA drop gun charges against Marine,” Steven Nelson, Jan. 9, 2012