Ryan Jerome risked his life for his country and was honorably discharged for his service, but now New York City wants to throw him in jail for what seems to be an honest mistake.
Jerome carried his handgun — a.45 Ruger legally registered in Indiana — into notoriously 2nd-amendment-averse New York City. During a visit to the Empire State Building, Jerome tried to check his weapon with authorities on September 27th, and is now facing over three years in jail.
Before arriving in NYC, Jerome checked online with his phone to determine if his Indiana carry permit was reciprocal with New York, but had problems with his cell phone.
His Leatherneck brethren are outraged at what appears a heavy-handed miscarriage of justice, and they refuse to let one of their own go down without a fight.
According the the New York Post, Jerome said that “It is just overwhelming, the love and support I am receiving from my fellow Marines.” Jerome was a former private first class (PFC) who was a TOW gunner before his honorable discharge in 2005. He comes from a long line of marines — his father and grandfather both served in the Corps.
It has not been lost on the public that a man who is both highly trained with weapons, and highly trusted by Uncle Sam, would now face several years in prison for an honest mistake with absolutely no negative outcome. Nobody was injured, nothing was damaged — it does not appear that anyone at the site of the incident was even particularly alarmed.
Dave Bruce, a former Marine himself and Boston lawyer, is putting together an online campaign through leatherneck.com that, according to the NY Post, “will send its first 14 e-mails to Kelly, Mayor Bloomberg and DA Cyrus Vance today.” There is also a Facebook group that supports Ryan Jerome’s release.
There have been a number of tourists arrested in NYC for gun possession in recent months, spurring analysts and onlookers across the country to wonder how it is possible that a city government can, in their view, so blithely abrogate the 2nd Amendment and threaten citizens with years of imprisonment.