This whole thing played out within about 20 miles of where I live. For those who may be unaware; Emperor Quomo rammed legislation through over a weekend called the "SAFE Act". Part of that states that a removeable magazine may not be loaded with more than 7 rounds. This guy conveniently get's pulled over for a tail light issue and it goes from there...
Posted: Friday, May 24, 2013 12:30 am | Updated: 10:36 am, Fri May 24, 2013.
By Gail Heinsohn For Hudson-Catskill Newspapers | http://www.registerstar.com/news/ar...f887a.html
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District Attorney Paul Czajka dropped a state SAFE Act charge Thursday in county district court against Hopewell Junction resident Gregory Dean Jr., who was the first person charged in the county under the controversal law since it was enacted last month.
Czajka told Town Justice Jessica Byrne that he would not prosecute the SAFE act violation.
“Although I believe that it is not for a district attorney to determine or make blanket policy,” Czajka told Byrne, he said he would “decline to prosecute the unlawful possession of ammunition feed devices.”
“There are a lot of factors that go into a decision that a District Attorney makes,” Czajka said after the court proceedings. “Given the circumstances of this case, it was my decision to exercise my prosecutorial discretion” and decline prosecution of the charge until and unless a higher court rules on the law.
A planned protest of the prosecution of the SAFE Act charge resulted in eight protestors standing outside the New Lebanon courthouse.
But the protest was dissolved when Czajka announced he would not prosecute the SAFE act violation.
Czajka offered a reduction in the other charges against Dean, but Dean’s attorney, Jonna Spilbor, of Poughkeepsie, declined to accept the deal.
“We were prepared to fight like hell” on the SAFE act violation, she said in court, “but we would decline the opportunity to plead on that.”
They will return to Town Court in June.
Czajka told Byrne that there would be “no need for a jury trial.”
The case drew widespread media attention across the state.
Spilbor said she was glad members of the press were present.
“The SAFE Act is something that I think a lot of us are unhappy about,” Spilbor said. “The D.A. took the legs out of the SAFE Act for this particular case.”
Dean was stopped by state police May 12 in New Lebanon for a license-plate bulb that was out. During the motor vehicle stop, police allegedly found Dean in possession of a handgun with a magazine that contained nine bullets, instead of the legal amount of seven under the new law, which went into effect April 15. Dean has been quoted as saying that he was unaware of the law.
He was charged with being in possession of illegal ammunition feeding devices, as well as aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, both of which are misdemeanors, and a traffic infraction for the missing light.
Dean said after court he was “grateful for all the support” he’d received. Spilbor advised him not to answer further questions.
Outside the courthouse, Czajka was questioned about other laws he did not plan to prosecute.
Czajka replied that he “make[s] a decision on each case,” based on the circumstances.
He was, he said, “not making a decision with respect to any particular issue,” only a “particular case. I consider every case on its own merits.”