Haddad thought that his mags were pre-ban and legal and was trying to sell them. A cop disagreed. Emily Miller has the details but he's looking at 7-years in prison for each mag.
Obviously this is a travesty. Even if his mags were not pre-ban, I don't care. The law is unjust. It was a victimless "crime," not a felony. New York's state government has shown exactly how much respect it has for the rule of law; we should call an unjust law what it is, an evil law.
Ways to take action:
- Consider donating to Haddad's legal defense fund. They are trying to raise $100K, which seems like it would barely get a defense started. They are 1/3 of the way there.
- Join the New York State Rifle Pistol Association. NY will be a highly visible "front line" in the court battle for the 2A, and NYSRPA has already filed intent to sue. They need the members and money.
I would also advise folks to think long and hard about their relationship with law enforcement. I like many police officers. I have worked with them professionally as an adult, and as a college kid worked my way through school as a security guard partnered with the local police. Police officers usually swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution of their state and of the US. Many police officers, including those in rural areas like the Jefferson County Sheriff's department, apparently see no inconsistency between destroying an otherwise law abiding veteran's life over a non-violent victimless offense involving constitutionally protected conduct and that oath, and they will strictly enforce the laws on the books.
Now is a good time to engage politely and professionally with LEOs who shoot at your range. Ask them point blank where they stand. Make them think about the issue now. Remind them politely that they, like you, live and work in the community every day. If your LEOs are actively hostile to law abiding citizens, then consider lobbying with your range to either (A) cut off their access or (B) restrict them to all the rules that everyone else has to follow (for example, if non-gov't employees in your AO are not allowed standard cap mags, neither should LEOs at the range).
Now is also a good time to educate yourself about what remains of your fourth and fifth amendment rights. The easiest way to do this is to read "Arrest Proof Yourself" or "You and the Police" as well as have a tape recorder handy. If a police officer begins an interaction with you, it can lead to disastrous consequences if you do not know and exercise your rights. If Haddad had simply kept his mags in a locked briefcase and declined to allow any searches he would likely be free today.
Luckily, Alaska's LEOs seem to be very professional. I have never had an issue with any of them. They seem to respect the people more than many cops "outside." This is a good thing.
It is sad that we have to discuss this topic, but Nathan Haddad's plight could be a reality for many of us in the near future.