Earlier this month, New York City was home to the largest weapons bust in the city’s history, in which more than 200 illegal weapons were confiscated. The bust was a spin-off of a large scale drug investigation, and made heavy use of undercover police officers.
When drugs are involved, many weapons violations automatically become federal crimes. In this case, the large scale of the alleged gunrunning operation will mean a great number of charges leveled against those accused.
The police investigation of gunrunning in New York City lasted for approximately 10 months, wrapping up in July of this year. Undercover officers met with the alleged gun smugglers approximately 45 times; they were arrested this month and charged with several hundred counts of weapons-related crime.
Though the alleged smugglers have been apprehended, some in New York are pointing fingers at North Carolina, saying that the laws in our state are partially to blame.
Most of the guns used in the smuggling operation were taken from North and South Carolina. Critics say gun laws in these states are among the loosest in the country, allowing criminals to easily acquire weapons. Smugglers can then take those weapons to New York City, which has the strictest gun laws in the country. Weapons sales there reportedly allowed the smugglers to reap a 300 percent profit.
Gun laws can change quickly, and they are often drastically different from state to state. This complexity can make it difficult to understand the nature of one’s crime or the severity of the charges. While the men involved in the New York smuggling ring were probably well aware of the illegality of their actions, others can find themselves facing charges unexpectedly, or facing much harsher penalties than they could have imagined. In such situations, it is often valuable to speak to a defense attorney for more information about the legalities of the situation.
Source: The State, “Rock Hill residents among those accused of smuggling guns” Anna Douglas, Aug. 20, 2013