Combat veteran arrested in NYS for 30-round magazines

| February 1, 2013

Several of you folks have sent us links to the story about former sergeant Nathan H. Haddad who was arrested in Jefferson County, NY, near Fort Drum for possession of five 30-round magazines. Reports are sketchy on the actual facts. The Watertown Times says that he was arrested “when he was found with prohibited rounds of ammunition” – but there are no “prohibited rounds” in New York State except exploding ammunition and it’s doubtful that he had any of those. More likely, he was arrested for possession of 30-round magazines as others are reporting. Like this one at Off-Grid;

On Sunday January 6th Staff Sgt. Nathan Haddad, a decorated combat veteran, was driving through Jefferson County New York when he was randomly pulled over for a vehicle check. Haddad, who had five 30 round empty magazines in his possession, was arrested by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department and charged with five felony counts.

According to Haddad’s brother, Michael Haddad, Nathan thought these magazines were legally made before the New York Assault Weapons Ban. When Nathan Haddad was arrested the new ban had not even been fully enacted yet.

The problem with that analysis is that 30-round magazines have been illegal in New York State since September 14, 1994 under the last Governor Cuomo. The latest legislation which defines “large capacity ammunition feeding device” as having more than seven-round capacity and that legislation doesn’t take effect until next year, but 30-round magazines are currently illegal there regardless.

But, yes, it is bullshit. By all accounts, Nathan H. Haddad was a fine soldier and a model for other wounded soldiers to emulate, but as anyone who has ever lived in New York knows, you don’t give them an excuse to make an example of you – because they will certainly do that, no matter who you are.

Category: Guns

Comments (44)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Doc Bailey says:

    I think this is going to prove to back fire spectacularly for Gov Cuomo

  2. NRPax says:

    To be honest, Doc, I doubt it. The state will merely double down on stupid and shriek about this “evil combat vet who had those horrible high capacity clips that could have gone off at any time!!”

  3. A Proud Infidel says:

    I REFUSE to ever visit Nooh Yawk ever again!!

  4. 1stCavRVN11B says:

    You couldn’t pay me enough to live in NY.

  5. DFK says:

    @1 I don’t know about that, the majority of people, particularly in a place like NY, like the idea of veterans, as an abstract plurality that stays on post and out of their lives. But an individual veteran? That’s something terrifying to them. They’ll think of PTSD and the Sikh Temple Shooting and Newtown and Assault Weapons and they won’t care about an individual soldier, no matter how decorated, being scapegoated on the altar of emotionally reassuring punishment.

    The majority of people outside of the veteran community didn’t give a shit when Lt. Kim got railroaded by DCPD despite Kim having not broken any laws. Barring something coming to light that we don’t know about this case, Haddad actually broke the law. If they didn’t have sympathy for Kim, they aren’t going to have any for Haddad.

    Jonn’s dead on, the law is stupid, but it is the law. Don’t give them a chance to make an example of you.

  6. LostBoys says:

    This is why, when you are “randomly pulled over for a vehicle check” you very politely decline, as is your absolute right.

  7. Countryboy says:

    Has a career LEO I cannot understand why he apparently gave consent for a search of his vehicle. Remember folks a LEO can ASK to search your vehicle it is a request one that you have no obligation to honor (be advised the officer can search areas of the vehicle within operators immediate reach in the name of officer safety). If I am ever asked to consent to a search my first question to the Officer will be a respectful.. Sir, please explain your probable cause to request to search my vehicle. He can say whatever he wants but my most likely response will NO just on principle.

  8. From this quote:
    “According to Haddad’s brother, Michael Haddad, Nathan thought these magazines were legally made before the New York Assault Weapons Ban.”

    It sounds like Haddad was under the impression that these magazines were pre-1994 ban, which are completely legal to own. From the site Jonn posted:

    “So called assault weapons lawfully possessed prior to September 14, 1994 and large capacity ammunition feeding devices manufactured prior to such date can continue to be lawfully possessed..”

    The real question is did Haddad take someone’s word that they were pre-ban “grandfathered” magazines or is he just trying to claim that he did. If it’s legit, he’ll have some way to prove that they are pre-ban.

  9. royh says:

    I think the core of the problem here is that LE is allowed to just randomly stop people.

  10. Cas6 says:

    He should have pulled the card that rappers use; “the glove box is locked and so’s the trunk in the back and I know my rights you’re gonna need a warrant for that.”

  11. Hondo says:

    Cas6: except, unfortunately, the police don’t need a warrant to search your car without your consent if they have “probable cause” to “suspect” you might have anything unlawful in your car. It’s perfectly OK under Federal law, so if the state constitution where you’re stopped doesn’t prohibit it, you’re SOL and refusing is not going to do any good.

  12. Contin says:

    Common sense and the 4th amendment seem to not exist where he was arrested. The ACLU has come to the conclusion that if you are withen 100 miles of the US bordar, you are in “The Constitution Free Zone”. SCOTUS has ruled that these checks are constitutional within 100 miles of the border because they are for the public good.

    it really is sad that this veteran is going to be hung outto dry like this. I will never go back to New York again. Our civil liberties are gone and not one elected official from New York seems to care. Pathetic.

  13. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    @5 I am not certain folks are terrified of an individual vet, I suspect most are apathetic at best and at worst view the individual in articles of this nature as they do stories about the homeless being charged with felony possession of anything in that they are glad the cops got him.

    The majority of Americans don’t give a sh1t when a veteran or anyone else is railroaded by a stupid law or a corrupt/inept DA because most Americans don’t care much about anything other than themselves. A nation of lazy, fat, self centered buffoons who keep electing the same people to a body they disapprove of at a 85-15 ration is a clear indicator of just how lazy and apathetic we have become.

    We are getting the laws and government we deserve as a nation because as a nation (the view on this forum are hardly representative of the nation at large) we don’t give a sh1t what the politicians do as long as we can pay our mortgage and buy a new car every few years, when something disrupts that we pick a new president. If things improve even a little we keep the new president for a second term, whether he’s a lying adulterer, or a overspending big government zealot. That’s why we are where we are today, because of a generation of coddled little fat bodies too busy playing with their XBox to pay attention to their surroundings.

  14. Bill R. says:

    So, they can just pull you over for no reason and search your car? I think I’d be pretty upset about that one too.

  15. damnaged says:

    wtf is a random vehicle check? smells like a violation of constitutional rights

  16. damnaged says:

    Once they take away your second amendment, it makes it easier to take away your 4th amendment right, your first amendment right and all other rights you have

  17. Hondo says:

    Bill R.: not positive, but in certain areas I believe that is a “yes”. In some parts of the country, the INS has checkpoints on major roads where all vehicles heading away from the border must stop. Drug busts and/or immigration sometimes often occur at those checkpoints.

    Outside those areas, technically I think the police need “probable cause” to think you’re carrying illegal contraband. However, it’s often absurdly easy for a policeman to come up with such probable cause if they really want to.

  18. LostBoys says:

    @12 Actually, a 1990s Supreme Court decision on a Michigan case allows for random traffic stops if it is a pattern, every 4th, 10th etc car to do sobriety checks. But the SC went on to say that officers can only ‘search’ the area in an around the driver for things in plain sight. They went to great lengths to say that the driver “looking nervous” was not probable cause. In other words, if there isn’t obvious evidence like an open container or paraphernalia, there is no probable cause.

  19. Hondo says:

    Lost Boys: true – for a “random” stop of that type. However, if the police have probable cause to suspect the possibility of contraband, they can search the vehicle and containers therein – without a warrant. See Pennsylvania v. Labron (1996),

    If the guy made any statements during the “random” stop that he was carrying a weapon and indicated it was of a “scary” type, he’s IMO screwed. That would appear to give the police fair reason to suspect he might also have a large-capacity magazine for said weapon.

    Bottom line: if the police have probable cause to suspect you’re carrying illegal contraband, as I read it you’re SOL. Under those conditions they can search your vehicle without consent.

  20. OWB says:

    Dang! I really, really hate this one.

    Not sure that there is enough information here to justify my knee jerk support of the veteran. Of course, I hope he is found not guilty. But, ignorance of a law is not an excuse for violating a law no matter how stupid the law might be. That equal protection thing applies to us as well as the morons.

  21. Adirondack Patriot says:

    #16 is right on, unless the driver was stupid enough to leave the magazines in plain sight.

    Random stop? Okay, but when police ask you if you have any weapons, you answer “no” because MAGAZINES ARE NOT WEAPONS.

    I know there are geniuses in Washington and Albany who fail to comprehend that.

    Limiting magazine size is like limiting the size of gas tanks on cars of traffic violators.

    Stoo. Pid.

  22. Hondo says:

    AP: or unless the individual mentioned he had the magazines in his car. That would also give the police probable cause to suspect they might be unlawful – and hence reason to search the vehicle in order to inspect them and determine whether they were indeed illegal.

    In any case, your advice is sound. Sometimes technical honesty is a better course of action than being completely open and above-board.

  23. ItAllFades says:

    He should have got out of that state once his time at Drum was up.

  24. pete says:

    he should have said he was related to david gregory and that he was immune to those laws.

  25. Powerpoint Ranger says:

    This sounds like a perfect opportunity to sue the state of New York and challenge the constitutionality of their law.

  26. Redleg says:

    Didn’t anybody notice where this happened? Watertown and Jefferson County are right outside Ft Drum. There is a chance, a small one maybe, but a chance, that these magazines were in the SSGs web gear.

  27. Cacti35 says:

    Why does such a liberal state have such a limitation on citizens rights? In Washington that search would never fly. Of course we allow people to have magazines of any capacity(at least for the present).

  28. Flagwaver says:

    Redleg is right. I know that I have a couple of 3o-round mags in my personal LBE (the one I purchased on my own dime). Sometimes people forget to take them out after training, especially if they are empty.

  29. Hondo says:

    Flagwaver: true, but also probably irrelevant. The law often doesn’t recognize “I forgot” as an excuse.

    Years ago, I lived in a dry county (e.g., no alcohol sales) next to a major military base. Alcohol was available on base. The local law enforcement types weren’t too keen on folks “forgetting” that they couldn’t bring beer/wine/liquor home with them if they lived off-post. Since there was no state liquor tax stamp, that was technically bootlegging.

  30. 77 11C20 says:

    There is too much information missing from the article to get a true feeling of the story. Prior to NY’s new SAFER Act passed on January 14, 2013 magazines with a capacity of more than ten rounds were legal in NY state if manufactured prior to the 1992. After the SAFER Act there is a provision if you are found by law enforcement you have 30 days to dispose of them. I do not recall if AR-15/M-16 magazines are date stamped so it would be his word unless they are obviously newer plastic magazines used today.
    As for the random stop it is lawful in NY but as said before there has to be some sort of probable cause to search the trunk without permission, even just asking the question is frowned on by some judges without cause. What was said by the officers to get that permission will be adjudicated in court. As for charging him with five felony counts, one for each magazine, that appears to be creative overcharging, which is instilled in many departments.
    I have question on what is the relationship to the Sheriff’s office and to the military near Ft. Drum. The last time I was there it was still Camp Drum and used by the national guard, when we were using UH-1c, talk about long in the tooth, gunships in the early 80’s.

  31. Ex-PH2 says:

    @28 – “Liberal” and “conservative” used now as political terms have inferred meanings that are the complete opposite of their real meanings.

    “Liberal” in politics means anal retentive, ultra-convservative, a bit lazy, easily conned into doing stupide things, strongly desirous of mollycoddling, and afraid of your own shadow.

    “Conservative” in politics means the opposite of all of the above, including an increasingly freedom-oriented stance directly related to following the articles of and amendments to the US Constitution.

  32. TripoXL says:

    I think this is a primary SCotUS case for the ludicrous nature of trying to ban anything, much less associated with a firearm. Because of pre-ban, ban (and LE mags..which aren’t usually marked BTW) and post ban magazines, the inability of most mags to be identified as to their status, and the practical “non-effect” of a magazine capacity ban to provide ANY functional restriction on the performance of a semiautomatic firearm, this is unconstitutional. (One of the Columbine shooters had a High Point carbine with AWB compliant, 10 rd mags and managed to fire 93 rounds from it…whoa that slowed him down). The most obvious effect is that they have shot themselves in the foot by allowing no exception for police and also making the req for 7 round mags…some firearms don’t make those to begin with much less want to tool up for that. I think the law is VAGUE and CAPRICIOUS and will be found to be functionally unenforceable and therefore unconstitutional. However, in the meantime they will realize their over exuberant, knee-jerk reaction has actually been to their detriment. But I’m sure they will have plans to re-do the legislation after it is struck down. Of course maybe the two faced wimp-tards that let it through will rethink it. Maybe, if not too many people go crazy the wrong way, this can be made to work for gun owners. Just sayin’. Keep raising civil hell in NY state and make your voices heard. Push back, peacefully. Be well.

  33. O says:

    Random vehicle stops are illegal so this article is either poorly worded PR he has a hell of a lawsuit he can file. If he went through a checkpoint there still has to be PC for a search if there wasn’t again heck of a case for a lawsuit. If there was or wasn’t not PC he probably consented just out of the fact that in his mind there was nothing “illegal” in the car but I’m sure he won’t make that mistake again

  34. JP says:

    But no charges for that smug, elitist libtarded prick David Gregory when he had one (illegally) on national TV.

    Sounds about right… this country needs a fucking enema.

  35. ComancheDoc says:

    @31 The cops around Drum dont really care for soldiers too much, too many drunks and random sh!tbags running around doing dumb stuff.

  36. FatCircles0311 says:

    If they were military issue they probably were made back before the ban. Is there any way to actually tell between a piece of metal with a spring whether it was made in 1992 or in 2012 if there is no date stamped on them?

    Sounds like they are enforcing speed laws when people with cars don’t have speedometers.

  37. BigBob2013 says:

    Hey….wtf, the cop that pulled him over was in violation of the law also. He was carrying a pistol with more tham 7 rounds in it. This solider should have made a citizens arrest on the cop, as cops were not eliminated from the new law !!!!!And as of today they still are. The stupid ass law makers of this new, NY Safe Act still haven’t corrected the screw up. So, if you get pulled over by the cops, tell him/her you are doing a citizens arrest….see whet happens then.

  38. ComancheDoc says:

    yup, dude totally sounds like a criminal upto no good;

  39. tgace says:

    “According to Jefferson County Sheriff’s office sources, Mr. Haddad was in the parking lot of a closed business at 7:30 p.m. when an officer asked him what he was doing. The police allege that the Fort Drum civilian employee said that he was meeting someone to sell the AR-15 style rifle magazines. A police source also said that the magazines were stamped with the words “Restricted. For military use only.”For the possession of the magazines, Mr. Haddad was arrested, booked in county jail and charged with five counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, according to the arrest report. Mr. Haddad did not have his AR-15 rifle in the car, but it is unclear whether he had another firearm. Police say that he was in possession of a New York State carry permit. He was not charged with any other offenses.”

    Just a little more detail…the picture Im starting to get is that..seeing his proximity to Drum and his Military experience…there is suspicion that he was selling Military property.

  40. ZeeRashan says:

    Welcome to the future Nazi Germany.

  41. Hack Stone says:

    What if you remove the spring from a 30 round magazine? Can you still be arrested for carrying an inoperable magazine? The answer is probably yes, unless you work for NBC.