N.Y. court says man wrongly denied his illegal handgunby Nancy
N.Y. court says man wrongly denied his illegal handgun
By MICHAEL GORMLEY, Associated Press
Last updated: 12:13 p.m., Tuesday, April 3, 2007
ALBANY -- A man accused of assault who had to turn over his firearms
in a domestic violence case, including an unlicensed .44 Magnum,
shouldn't face an illegal weapons charge, the state's highest court
The Court of Appeals decided William Havrish of Schoharie County was
placed in an "impossible dilemma" when he was ordered to surrender
all of his guns in the domestic violence case. If he didn't turn over
the pistol, he could have faced a criminal contempt charge for
refusing to comply with a court order. But if he turned over the
unlicensed handgun, as he did, he would face an illegal weapons
That violated Havrish's Fifth Amendment right under the U.S.
Constitution against incriminating himself in a crime, the state
"Given that (turning over the handgun) involved the commission of a
crime in the presence of police, it can hardly be argued that the
conduct was unlikely to result in criminal prosecution," the court
ruled. Havrish's "surrender of the unlicensed handgun was privileged
under the Fifth Amendment."
Havrish turned over his firearms as part of a court's order of
protection in the domestic dispute and mentioned that he had given
his ex-wife the pistol.
The ex-wife said she didn't have it.
"With some equivocation," the court stated, "she also indicated that
the handgun was not licensed."
The high court didn't say the handgun should be returned.
"Justice was served," said Patrick Cannon, the lawyer for Havrish who
now lives out of state.
The Schoharie County District Attorney's Office didn't immediately
respond to a request for comment. The county office had appealed a
Delhi Town Court ruling that, like the state Court of
Appeals, "suppressed" the evidence of the handgun needed to make an
illegal weapons charge stick.
FAIR USE: FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Second Amendment IS Homeland Security !
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