Former Gov. Paterson Defends Ex-Marine’s Gun Possession

 
on February 16 2012 7:33 AM

Ex-Governor David Paterson has contacted Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance to dismiss the weapons possession charges against retired Marine Ryan Jerome, according to the NY Post. Jerome is currently being prosecuted after attempting to check in his Indiana-registered handgun at the Empire State Building last year. 

New York's gun laws forbid possession of guns that have not been registered in the state. Possession of an unlicensed gun is considered to be a serious felony that can carry a mandatory minimum sentence of three years. 

Under the law, he's guilty, Paterson said in a broadcast on WOR Radio. But he shouldn't be prosecuted. Paterson has staunchly defended Jerome who told the NY Post that he carries the gun because his job as a jeweler, based in West Bend, requires him to transport gold to and from refineries. 

Hundreds of supporters have written letters in defense of the the former Marine, urging the Manhattan DA's to drop the charges. Prosecutors are willing to reduce the charges if Jerome admits to a misdemeanor and completion of 10 days of community service. However, Jerome's lawyer is urging the DA's office to drop the charges completely. 

Jerome, who is currently free on bail, will return to court on March 20 to learn if he has been indicted or not. 

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