Plaxico Has Real Trouble

It is big news – Plaxico Burress shot himself with gun. The incident occurred late night when he was at a crowded bar in New York City.  Beyond the obvious issues, Burress has put himself in an awful legal situation.  While he may have a carry permit in Florida, that is going to do very little for him in NY or New Jersey.  He has been charged with criminal possession of a handgun and is looking at a minimum of three years in jail if convicted of this offense.

I cannot tell you how often I get calls from individuals visiting or driving through New Jersey who get themselves into legal trouble because they have a loaded handgun. The typical scenario is that they were stopped for a relatively routine traffic stop only to be arrested when they freely admit that there is a handgun in the vehicle.  Whether it is a truck driver with a permit for Texas or a single women with a permit to carry from North Carolina, they have no right to possess a loaded handgun once they cross the border into New Jersey.  The most frustrating thing about this consultation is the fact that the caller usually thinks I am full of you no what when I tell them what they are facing. 

I certainly understand that other states allow individuals to possess loaded handguns, but the reality is that very few individuals can satisfy the requirements to buy a handgun let alone “carry” a handgun in NJ or NY.  These rules apply to visitors to the states yet this issue continues to crop up. The real alarming thing about the situation of Plaxico Burress alike those I typically keep out of jail is the fact that he was entirely aware of the fact that he was violating the law in possessing the handgun.  Disregard of the rules seems to be a recurring problem with Mr. Burress but this time it may hit him hard. I am sure some interesting legal arguments shall be raised in the case based on the existence of the Florida permit.

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