By Marilyn W. Thompson and Donna Smith
WASHINGTON | Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:51pm EDT
(Reuters) – Ryan Jerome took his .45-caliber Ruger with him to Manhattan last September and thought he understood the city’s weapons laws when he carried his loaded handgun on a side trip to the Empire State Building.
But Jerome, who is from Indiana, soon found himself in a legal tangle that he said illustrates the confusing array of gun laws in the U.S. and the need for uniformity.
“How can the city of New York override your rights under the second amendment of the Constitution?” said Jerome, 29, who pleaded guilty last month to a misdemeanor weapons possession charge as part of a plea deal with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.
Jerome’s case is one of several widely publicized gun arrests that have prompted a new push for federal legislation requiring states to honor one another’s concealed weapons permits. Jerome’s lifetime concealed weapons permit in Indiana carried no weight in New York, which does not recognize other states’ licenses.
A similar Manhattan case involved a Tennessee woman who was arrested for carrying a gun near the World Trade Center memorial. Both she and Jerome were originally charged with felony gun offenses carrying prison terms of three and a half years.
Proposals for reciprocal arrangements among states, which are now percolating in Congress, would address a common complaint of gun advocates and their chief lobbying group, the National Rifle Association, which holds its annual conference in St Louis, Missouri, this week.
But they are sharply opposed by proponents of stricter gun laws.Read More