Nathan Haddad: the great magazine war in New York

| February 24, 2013

Earlier this month, I wrote about Nathan Haddad, the 32-year-old who was arrested in New York State for having in his possession five 30-round AR-style magazines. Many of you have sent links to articles about the arrest and I’ve tried to answer them all. But the links keep coming. So, here let me lay out the story for you and why I’m not going to knot my panties over this arrest;

From what I understand about the case, Haddad was arrested in an empty parking lot where he was waiting for a prospective purchaser of the magazines – magazines which have been illegal to possess since 1994 when (Republican) Governor George Pataki (Democrat) Governor Mario Cuomo signed New York’s scary-looking gun ban into law. Haddad’s brother, Michael claims that the magazines were grandfathered, that would make them 18 years old, and how Nathan would know they were grandfathered is curious – the magazines had federal stock numbers on them, so they were originally government property – Nathan was 14-years-old when the ban took effect, so obviously he wasn’t in possession of them in 1994.

New York law forbids selling the magazines even if they’re grandfathered, so just being in the parking lot with the intent of transferring them to someone else was prohibited.

Now, let me be clear, I think the scary-weapons and the scarier magazines ban is completely silly. I’ve been stocking up on the scary magazines since the Newtown thing occurred. But, I don’t live in New York State – and it’s gun laws are one of the reasons I left the state fourteen years ago. While I agree that David Gregory, the NBC news guy who waved a thirty-round magazine on his TV show in a jurisdiction where the magazine was illegal to own, should have been arrested, I must also agree that Haddad should be arrested.

If it turns out that my research is correct that he was selling government property to a private purchaser in contradiction to current New York State laws, Haddad will get what he deserves. This isn’t the Rosa Parks case that the pro-gun people have been hoping for – there are no Rosa Parks in the gun debate. If we’re willing to violate the gun laws in effect in the various states, we must be willing to pay the price. If NYS wants to overturn those scary-gun laws that have been foisted uon them, they should do it in the courts and the legislature, not in dark, empty parking lots.

Category: Guns, Veterans Issues

Comments (22)

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  1. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    According to the reports concerning the arrest, the LEO asked him what he was doing and the guy told him the truth, that he was waiting for the buyer of the magazines to arrive. Whoops. The prosecutor offered him a deal and he rejected it. I understand the necessity for plea bargaining but the deals usually sicken me. In exchange for saving the state time, money, and effort, prosecutors routinely cut deals that allow real bad guys off with lighter charges and light sentences. Is that justice, that a guy would be facing a misdemeanor IF he player along but faces a felony when he doesn’t? Not to me it isn’t.

  2. Civilwarrior says:

    WELL WRITTEN AND WELL REASONED.Thank you for providing info that the more rabid among choose to ignore.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I always say that if you don’t like the laws, try and get them changed or follow them. He broke the law, apparently- and now he must suffer the consequences.

  4. defendUSA says:

    Whoops…private browsing…that was me…

  5. Spade says:

    At the time he was arrested the transfer of grandfathered weapons and magazines was not prohibited. When the fed 1994 ban ended there was even a thing among gun owners to sell their pre-1994 stuff to New Yorkers to increase their supply and buy ourselves new gear.

  6. Adirondack Patriot says:

    George Pataki was not governor in New York State in 1994. He was elected in 1994 and took office in 1995.

    Mario Cuomo was New York State Governor in 1994.

  7. Jonn Lilyea says:

    My mistake. I thought that I remembered Pataki being elected in 1993, but I guess not.

  8. Just an Old Dog says:

    Methinks the number of “sting” operations will drastically increase. The media and anti-2nd Amendment folks are just itching to get stories about “black Market gun dealers” selling scary magazines so some nut can kill children, puppies and unicorns.
    Bottom line, don’t trust strangers wanting to buy shit. I knew a guy a few years back that wasn’t exactly in line with the typical American mindset. As a matter of fact he was a weasel, He got himself on the skyline with the feds. This dumbass got set up beautifully. An undercover agent asked him if he wanted to buy a pair of AR-15s. The guy said he really had the need or money to buy them at the time. After a bit of needling he agreed to take them and sell them to some people he knew, on commission. BAM!! hes doing 15-20 years without making a dime or so much as touching the weapons.

  9. Army Sergeant says:

    Yeah, the transfer of grandfathered stuff is only illegal as of a month ago in fly-by-night legislation.

  10. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    @2. “Thank you for providing info that the more rabid among choose to ignore.” Okay, I’ll bite. What information are some folks choosing to ignore?

  11. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    Guilty as Charged!


  12. pete says:

    the only problem with this clusterfuck is the fact it was another vet.this gives the libtards/anti-gun idiots more ammo/fuel too continue discrediting all vets as mean and nasty!
    this story did not merit national attention as such!
    if,in fact this young man broke the stupid law,,,he’s an idiot

  13. Common Sense says:

    The other answer, besides fighting to change the laws, is to vote with your feet and leave. Just like the out-migration from CA, IL,and NYC for tax reasons.

    In fact, gun lovers in those states need to come here to Colorado to help change us back to a red state. It’s damn embarrassing to see CO with increasing nanny laws smack in the middle of all those beautiful red states.

  14. Kirk says:

    I’m not tracking on why you think the NSN is so significant. In my experience, the presence or lack of an NSN marking or a US marking is pretty much immaterial. Manufacturers sell production overruns on the civilian market all the time, and the government does not do a damn thing to enforce the value of those markings by making the manufacturers deface them. Nor does Uncle Sam bother to deface anything else marked US.

    I can also tell you that the government doesn’t even bother to prosecute cases where the serial numbered item can’t be proven to have been taken into government service. I bought a set of plates for my IBA before deploying to Iraq the first time in 2003, off of eBay. They were authentic plates, made by Ceradyne. Upon return to the US, I was interviewed by DCIS, and they told me I had to turn my plates over to them, which I’d paid over $600.00 for. I did so. Six months later, I followed up, hoping to find out that the asshole who’d sold them to me on eBay went to jail. What was I told? Since they could not find the acceptance documents for particular serial-numbered items, they could not prosecute the guy for selling stolen government property. My plates are still in a DCIS evidence locker somewhere in Florida, as far as I know.

  15. Eric says:

    The only thing wrong about this is that the reporter didn’t get charged with anything as well. Even if he received a “plea deal” we should’ve heard about it.

    The problem is the media’s lips being firmly affixed to the democratic party’s backside causes them to be immune to the same rules.

    Justice is done when Haddad and David Gregory are sharing a prison cell, in this case. Though true justice would be the gummint not passing hundreds of laws they enforce selectively or unconstitutionally.

  16. Wil says:

    Possession….and SALE…of pre-94 30 rds magazines was perfectly legal at the time of thw arrest. If you are publishing “updates” on this forum, please get the facts straight.

    The issue is donwn to whether the mags were indeed date stamped pre or post 9/1994, the key date. Confusing the issue, is that some reports say the mags were additionally larked as “LE”, or law-enforcement-only, whuch casts additonal doubts on what happened.

    Let’s get all the facts on the table…I still don’t think we have this now.

  17. Wil says:

    Edit for spelling corrections, as it seems I cannot go back and modify my previous post.

    Possession….and SALE…of pre-’94, 30 rds magazines within NYS was perfectly legal at the time of the arrest. If you are publishing “updates” on this forum, please get the facts straight.

    The issue is down to whether the mags were indeed date stamped pre or post 9/1994, the key date. Confusing the issue, is that some reports say the mags were additionally marked as “LE”, or law-enforcement-only, which casts additonal doubts on what happened, and the legality of the sale. How would an ex-veteran get possession of LE marked mags?

    Let’s get all the facts on the table … I still don’t think we have this now.

  18. glitched says:

    I’m Nathan’s other brother (the one that no one talks about, ha) and I appreciate that you are trying to be somewhat impartial with this article. Most of the people who are interested in this case want to make it an ideological struggle and some political battle between democrats and republicans. I’m a registered independent voter and a pacifist, but I don’t think that my values should infringe on others civil liberties (nor yours on mine) and even though I don’t desire any sort of weaponry, I respect one’s right to exercise the 2nd amendment. Be that as it may, I also think it’s important to be aware of the laws in the state in which you reside and if the law gets in the way of your lifestyle, hobbies, etc then you have 2 options: 1) break the law in the privacy of your own home only with people that you trust or 2) lobby to change the law through civic and political activism.

    While I don’t want to see my brother go to jail or have his work situation compromised and I can’t speak to the details of his case on what he thought or didn’t think, I have to say I find it really disgusting to see how many people have taken my brother’s case as an opportunity to trash talk present political leaders, the state and city of New York, and downplay the need to have realistic conversations about how to reduce mass fatal incidents involving high powered munitions in the United States. So, thank you for this article.

  19. Since the state’s magazine ban law is a clear violation of the 2nd ammendment of the federal constitution, I hope the jury votes not guilty (you can’t break an illegal law). That’s what I would do. And no one can force a juror who wants to vote not guily to vote guilty, so don’t tell me a juror can’t handle it that way if he wants.

  20. Maryland_Shooter says:

    I think your conclusion is wrong and here’s why:

    If New York law forbids selling the magazines even if they’re grandfathered, can I travel to PA, buy pre 1994 mags and return to NY?

    Besides that, I’m pretty certain the sale of pre-ban mags (as well as AR15s) is NOT a violation of NY law. You are the first and only person to have made this claim.

    And that’s not what he was charged with; he was was arrested for possessing unloaded 30-round magazines.

    The burden is on the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the mags are post 1994 and that Hadad acquired them in NY.

    Just another reason NOT to talk to police. Unless waiting in a parking lot is unlawful, no justification is required.

    Make no mistake: police that decide to be willing footsoldiers of tyranny have violated their oath to defend the constitution and are guilty of treason. If they’ll abuse a citizen in this manner, it’s pretty much open season on ALL your rights.

  21. Maryland_Shooter says:

    glitched, I think you’ve bought into the fallacy about:

    “mass fatal incidents involving high powered munitions in theUnited States.”

    Go check the CDC numbers for deaths in the 15-25 age group. What you find will surprise you.

    Motor vehicles – 56%
    Poison – 25%

    All rate WAY above firearm deaths, which account for 1.2%

    So this idea that there is an epidemic of firearm fatalaties is propaganda pushed by the MSM and left with an agenda.

    Ever see a story where a firearm was used to thwart a criminal or save a life? Of course not. So is that because they are never used in that manner, or that they it is never reported?

    Food for thought!

  22. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    In case anyone is wondering whatever happened to this case, Haddad took a deal and pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors w/o a fixed sentence. If he stays out of trouble for a year (until April 2014), that’s that. If he gets in trouble before then, he will be hauled back into court for sentencing on the two misdeameanors.