Ryan Jerome, a 28-year-old former Marine and New York jeweler from West Bend, Ind., has refused to enter a plea deal after being charged with felony possession of a handgun, garnering support from fellow Marines and Second Amendment supporters.
According to The New York Post, Jerome bought the legally registered .45-cal Ruger to New York while transporting $15,000 worth of gold to a Long Island refinery. He was arrested during a visit to the Empire State Building while alerting guards to the firearm, per the instructions of a sign that said all weapons must be checked in.
Prosecutors have offered Jerome a misdemeanor deal with no jail time in exchange for a guilty plea, but Jerome won’t budge, arguing that he does not deserve a criminal record and seeks to have the charges dropped entirely.
“The New York District Attorney’s Office is offering to allow your client to plead guilty to a single Class ‘A’ misdemeanor in full satisfaction of all charges,” wrote lead prosecutor Joseph Davis in a letter to Jerome’s lawyer, Mark Bederow. “This plea deal is made available to your client with the understanding that should he decide to accept said offer, he would be sentenced to pay a fine of $1,000.00 and required to perform 10 days of community service at a place both parties could agree was appropriate.”
Handgun possession is a felony in New York City regardless of whether the gun is legally registered anywhere else. The maximum sentence faced is 3 1/2 years in prison, but prosecutors usually offer plea deals in such cases.
How strange that Mayor Michael Bloomberg claims to support the Second Amendment, yet has no problem allowing a law that infringes on the rights of law-abiding citizens — a former Marine, no less.