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Under New Jersey's new law, possession of BB gun merits three-year sentence
mycentraljersey.com ^ | July 6, 2008 | KEN SERRANO

Posted on 07/15/2008 7:20:24 PM PDT by neverdem

Caught speeding in Highland Park in April in his father's Acura RSX, Ryan Narciso found out the hard way about a recent change in a New Jersey gun law that could send him to prison for three years.

The 20-year-old sales clerk at a shop at Menlo Park Mall and former Middlesex County College student had a pellet handgun in the car, according to an indictment filed last week in Superior Court, New Brunswick.

The gun, a Gamo P-23, was sitting under the rear window of the 2004 coupe. Looking like a larger-caliber handgun, the firearm drew a quick response from the bicycle-patrol officer who stopped Narciso for doing 40 mph in a 25-mph zone. With gun drawn, the officer arrested him.

Narciso's father, an architect, bought the pellet gun at a garage sale a few years ago to fend off squirrels that made their way into the attic of the families home on Mount Pleasant Avenue in Edison, the father and Narciso's lawyer, Amilcar Perez of Perth Amboy, said.

Under a new state law, Narciso's possession of the weapon qualifies as a Graves Act offense. Narciso could face what prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys call a "hard three," meaning three years with no prospect of parole.

But a state official Wednesday acknowledged that the draconian measure made its way into law by mistake.

Stiffening the law

The Graves Act, adopted in 1981 and named after Frank X. Graves Jr., the late state senator and law-and-order mayor of Paterson known for patroling the city, outlined mandatory-minimum prison sentences for anyone guilty of using a gun in the commission of a crime in New Jersey. A burglar caught with a handgun, for instance, faced a solid three years behind bars for the gun crime alone.

With little or no fanfare, lawmakers stiffened the Graves Act in the last session. They folded the amendment into anti-gang legislation that Gov. Jon S. Corzine signed into law in January.

Now, the simple unlawful possession of any firearm can bring mandatory penalties for anyone who pleads guilty to or is convicted of that crime alone.

The law does not trigger hard time in each case.

As the law stands, Narciso could avoid prison if he enters a pretrial-intervention program, allowing him to eventually erase his criminal record, or benefits from a narrow alternative for probation under the Graves Act. But the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office could block the first of those possibilities and must initiate the second.

A 50-year-old businessman from Somerset County faces longer odds for gaining such mercy. Police charged the man in a drunken-driving accident this year. While investigating, officers found an unsecured handgun the man had just lawfully purchased.

"It was unboxed in his car," said his attorney, Blair Zwillman of Woodbridge.

Because of the change to the Graves Act, the businessman is now looking at a 5-year minimum prison term, Zwillman said. He declined to provide his client's name.

Steven Altman, a New Brunswick criminal-defense attorney, said the stiffer gun law casts a wide net.

"It is going to impact a great many people who have nothing to do with gangs," he said.

But the businessman and Narciso may not face any hard time.

"Huge mistake'

Neither Narciso, nor his father knew they broke the law by having the gun without a firearms registration card, both men said.

"If we knew it was illegal, my dad never would have gotten it," Narciso said.

And it proved ineffective in controlling the problem in the attic, they said.

"That gun couldn't even kill a squirrel," the father, Emiliano Narciso, said.

Regardless of the change to the Graves Act, possession of the pellet gun is still a crime that can theoretically bring three to five years in prison, but rarely means incarceration for first-time offenders. Past offenders would likely see several months of jail at most.

Narciso has never had a brush with the law.

His father said his son was recently playing with the gun and threw it in the back of the car. Ryan Narciso said he forgot it was there.

Despite the revelations about the confused legislation, Ryan Narciso, who hopes to return to college to study fashion or product design, did not seem relieved Thursday outside his home where he lives with his siblings and parents.

"Every time I think about it, I think of what a huge mistake it was," Narciso said. "I'm sorry for all the trouble I caused."

Ken Serrano: (732) 565-7212; kserrano@mycentraljersey.com




TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: New Jersey
KEYWORDS: banglist; gravesact; policestate; shallnotbeinfringed
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1 posted on 07/15/2008 7:20:24 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem
If this is true, I will have broken the law several times. I never thought that even in NJ, my air pistol would be considered a "deadly weapon."

I really despise the idiots who govern my state. I despise even more the majority of New Jersey voters who keep voting for Dems like its their religion, or for RINOs for that matter.

2 posted on 07/15/2008 7:22:36 PM PDT by Clemenza (We are a REPUBLIC, not a "Will of the People" Mobocracy)
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To: Coleus; jocon307; Alberta's Child; Pharmboy; Calpernia; Malsua; dead; nj26; OldFriend; Clemenza; ...
BANG!
3 posted on 07/15/2008 7:22:36 PM PDT by neverdem (I'm praying for a Divine Intervention.)
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To: neverdem
so a pellet gun is now a firearm... must be NewSpeak.
4 posted on 07/15/2008 7:24:45 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist ©®-CTHULHU/NYARLATHOTEP'08=Nothing LESS!!!)
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To: neverdem

“Every time I think about it, I think of what a huge mistake it was,” Narciso said. “I’m sorry for all the trouble I caused.”

Bluebellies ain’t what they use to be.


5 posted on 07/15/2008 7:25:40 PM PDT by silentreignofheroes (Old Dogs and Children,and Watermelon Wine.)
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To: neverdem

These people are insane.


6 posted on 07/15/2008 7:26:11 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Chode

Doubleplusgood, prole.


7 posted on 07/15/2008 7:26:17 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: neverdem

NJ is a toxic toilet. (would have used ‘commode’ but am an alliteration aficionado)

The only reason to ever go there is cheap gas. Duck across the border and fill up, then adios Garden State.

Honestly, we would be better off with a wall around New Jersey than along the Mexican border.


8 posted on 07/15/2008 7:27:01 PM PDT by xDGx
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To: neverdem
The Graves Act, adopted in 1981 and named after Frank X. Graves Jr

Let me guess what the X stands for..."xhole"

9 posted on 07/15/2008 7:28:05 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: neverdem; Joe Brower
Totalitarianism on display.

Another reason I'd never live in such a state.


10 posted on 07/15/2008 7:32:20 PM PDT by Travis McGee (--- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com ---)
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To: neverdem
Why would ANYONE but a whack job live in a place like that? My Aunt left there due to their outrageous property taxes: Her taxes went from around $6,000 a year in New Jersey to $0 in Mississippi (on a BIGGER HOUSE!!)
11 posted on 07/15/2008 7:32:42 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (McCain could never convince me to vote for him. Only the Marxist Obama can!)
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To: mylife

Frank Graves was quite a character. A law and order nut who nevertheless could not stop Paterson from descending into chaos from the 1960s on. Allowed organized crime and drug dealing to go on while leading neighborhood “patrols”, the media always in tow. Something of a racist until changing demographics changed him into Mr. Affirmative Action. He was the last of the old school Paterson machine Dems, which are only distinguished from the current crop of miscreants by being able to read.


12 posted on 07/15/2008 7:33:16 PM PDT by Clemenza (We are a REPUBLIC, not a "Will of the People" Mobocracy)
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To: Clemenza
I really despise the idiots who govern my state. I despise even more the majority of New Jersey voters who keep voting for Dems like its their religion, or for RINOs for that matter.

Global warming to late Cretaceous levels would do wonders for this country. Higher sea levels would submerge quite a number of small blue states and force the removal of their representation. The elimination of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, and Deleware would improve Republican prospects in the Senate and the Electoral College.

13 posted on 07/15/2008 7:34:26 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative (Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less.)
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To: Clemenza

Thanks for the history lesson.


14 posted on 07/15/2008 7:37:14 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: neverdem

Disgusting - we are living to support lawyers, judges, and cops.


15 posted on 07/15/2008 7:37:24 PM PDT by spanalot
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To: neverdem
Its insane! To put an innocent person in prison for three years for possessing a BB gun that can't even kill a squirrel! I hope the DA sees this case is squashed.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

16 posted on 07/15/2008 7:38:32 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: Paleo Conservative

and would lead to a better quality of life for the rest of America.


17 posted on 07/15/2008 7:38:41 PM PDT by RightWingConspirator (Redefeat Communism by defeating the Obamanation in 2008)
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To: Clemenza

Here in Virginia, anything capable of discharging a projectile is considered a firearm, no matter what the actual method of propulsion is. And considering that, properly pumped up, my old Crossman air pistol can fire a .177 caliber pellet or dart at up to 1000 fps, that’s probably fair.

I’m a little unclear on what the specific offense in this case is. The air pistol was “unsecured” lying in the backseat or window of the car. What action is necessary to acceptably secure it? There was no firearms registration card with it. Is one required for a pellet gun?


18 posted on 07/15/2008 7:38:50 PM PDT by Captain Rhino ( If we have the WILL to do it, there is nothing built in China that we cannot do without.)
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To: neverdem

Good Lord. I remember removing the barrel from my Red Ryder when the cops came around (to prove i wasn’t shooting anything). Darn thing looked like a 16 ga now. I walked right up to their car and said hello. :^) He didn’t say anything but took a good look at the handle. (I was 9, LOL)


19 posted on 07/15/2008 7:39:56 PM PDT by eyedigress
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To: RightWingConspirator
and would lead to a better quality of life for the rest of America.

And water skiing in Colorado and Nebraska.

20 posted on 07/15/2008 7:40:20 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative (Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less.)
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To: Captain Rhino

No FOID is required for most airguns. Required for all arms using gun powder (ie what most people understand as “firearms”). You also need a permit to purchase in addition to the FOID.


21 posted on 07/15/2008 7:41:23 PM PDT by Clemenza (We are a REPUBLIC, not a "Will of the People" Mobocracy)
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To: neverdem
Now, the simple unlawful possession of any firearm can bring mandatory penalties for anyone who pleads guilty to or is convicted of that crime alone.

Mandatory = Law. permitting no option; not to be disregarded or modified: a mandatory clause.

So, it's NOT mandatory after all.

The Graves Act, adopted in 1981 and named after Frank X. Graves Jr., the late state senator and law-and-order mayor of Paterson known for patroling the city, outlined mandatory-minimum prison sentences for anyone guilty of using a gun in the commission of a crime in New Jersey. A burglar caught with a handgun, for instance, faced a solid three years behind bars for the gun crime alone.

With little or no fanfare, lawmakers stiffened the Graves Act in the last session. They folded the amendment into anti-gang legislation that Gov. Jon S. Corzine signed into law in January.

Leave it to Corzine and the typical lefties to take something good and GO TOO FAR with it. They do it with everything!
22 posted on 07/15/2008 7:42:44 PM PDT by divine_moment_of_facts (If there were no Cowards there could be no Bullies.)
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To: Captain Rhino

23 posted on 07/15/2008 7:43:22 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Captain Rhino

Here in Jersey, a BB Rifle requires the same license as a hunting rifle or shotgun. It’s insane.


24 posted on 07/15/2008 7:43:36 PM PDT by Focault's Pendulum (Doomage on you)
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To: neverdem
With gun drawn, the officer arrested him.

Who trained this idiot?

25 posted on 07/15/2008 7:44:00 PM PDT by montag813
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To: neverdem

“bicycle-patrol officer who stopped Narciso for doing 40 mph in a 25-mph zone”

The shame is worse than the prison time.


26 posted on 07/15/2008 7:44:45 PM PDT by Liberty 275
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To: Paleo Conservative
Higher sea levels would submerge quite a number of small blue states and force the removal of their representation. The elimination of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, and Deleware would improve Republican prospects in the Senate and the Electoral College.

Based on my personal calculations, you would also be drowning Hyannisport, Ma. Let's see how good they can swim now.

27 posted on 07/15/2008 7:45:24 PM PDT by dfwddr ( Duncan Hunter .)
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To: divine_moment_of_facts
I didn't know air gun equipped gangs were shooting up the hood' in New Jersey. Liberals are idiots on guns!

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

28 posted on 07/15/2008 7:45:25 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: neverdem

If I look at a beer ad on TV while playing road racing games with the kids and a pellet gun is in the basement, am I guilty of a crime in any state yet?


29 posted on 07/15/2008 7:46:42 PM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (Don't cheer for Obama too hard - the krinton syndicate is moving back into the WH.)
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To: Paleo Conservative

“Red-state New Jersey” — Sussex County and parts of Morris and Warren Counties — is mountainous higher elevations and would still be above water, as islands. So justice would be preserved.


30 posted on 07/15/2008 7:46:58 PM PDT by NewJerseyJoe (Rat mantra: "Facts are meaningless! You can use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!")
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To: neverdem
Now, the simple unlawful possession of any firearm can bring mandatory penalties for anyone who pleads guilty to or is convicted of that crime alone.

It would be instructive to know how the law is worded - exactly. They use gun and firearm in this article interchangeably. A firearm is a gun, but not all guns are firearms.

And last time I checked the pellet gun (rifle actually) propped up in the corner of my porch (for discouraging squirrels and coons); no fire of any kind is involved in the action.

31 posted on 07/15/2008 7:47:40 PM PDT by AFreeBird
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To: neverdem

Is it just me, or is the gun irrelevant to the crime committed?


32 posted on 07/15/2008 7:48:01 PM PDT by raygun
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To: Focault's Pendulum

OK !!!
This did it !!!
In Ohio now....gotta move...
Please tell me which state is the REDIST.....ah... more red....
Not kidding..


33 posted on 07/15/2008 7:48:16 PM PDT by Thinkin
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To: goldstategop
I didn't know air gun equipped gangs were shooting up the hood' in New Jersey. Liberals are idiots on guns!

It's insanity, I know! My brother needed a licence for his air gun because of the caliber.
34 posted on 07/15/2008 7:48:36 PM PDT by divine_moment_of_facts (If there were no Cowards there could be no Bullies.)
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To: NewJerseyJoe
Hey! Don't forget that Monmouth and Ocean are Red-State NJ!
35 posted on 07/15/2008 7:49:57 PM PDT by divine_moment_of_facts (If there were no Cowards there could be no Bullies.)
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To: divine_moment_of_facts
Hey! Don't forget that Monmouth and Ocean are Red-State NJ!

Yeah! Me especially!!!

36 posted on 07/15/2008 7:56:31 PM PDT by Focault's Pendulum (Doomage on you)
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To: mylife

LOL!

Okay, I’ll have to go back and check, but I think some sort of a BARREL is required as well.


37 posted on 07/15/2008 7:57:08 PM PDT by Captain Rhino ( If we have the WILL to do it, there is nothing built in China that we cannot do without.)
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To: Captain Rhino

Like a peashooter? ;)


38 posted on 07/15/2008 7:58:49 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: neverdem

New Jersey is a red state.

Bolshevik Red


39 posted on 07/15/2008 8:01:40 PM PDT by wastedyears (Show me your precious darlings, and I will crush them all)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

How did she like moving to a totally different part of the country? I’m lucky in that I’m a train ride away from my friends. From Brooklyn, NY to Stamford, CT.

But I don’t know how I’d handle a midwestern state.


40 posted on 07/15/2008 8:04:57 PM PDT by wastedyears (Show me your precious darlings, and I will crush them all)
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To: Focault's Pendulum

I like your profile. Hehe.


41 posted on 07/15/2008 8:05:58 PM PDT by divine_moment_of_facts (If there were no Cowards there could be no Bullies.)
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To: Paleo Conservative

As long as you’re sending some helicopters to get those of us who aren’t Liberals out, I’m fine with that.


42 posted on 07/15/2008 8:06:10 PM PDT by wastedyears (Show me your precious darlings, and I will crush them all)
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To: neverdem
I'm sure that the most corrupt elected officials, the most crooked judges and thuggish cops in the most putrescent state in America only do this in the interest of public safety.

It's sad to think of places named Trenton, Monmouth and Princeton, where so much blood was shed for liberty. New Jersey has become a chancre on America.

43 posted on 07/15/2008 8:06:16 PM PDT by VR-21
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To: Clemenza
> I never thought that even in NJ, my air pistol would be considered a "deadly weapon."

Read Evan Nappen's book Nappen II: New Jersey Gun, Knife & Weapon Law -- you would be amazed at what's a weapon and/or illegal in New Jersey. Some examples -- in New Jersey....


44 posted on 07/15/2008 8:09:29 PM PDT by NewJerseyJoe (Rat mantra: "Facts are meaningless! You can use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!")
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To: divine_moment_of_facts

I try to stay on point.


45 posted on 07/15/2008 8:10:56 PM PDT by Focault's Pendulum (Doomage on you)
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To: divine_moment_of_facts
> Monmouth and Ocean are Red-State NJ!

I know, but the first guy was talking about rising ocean levels -- you'd need to evacuate!

46 posted on 07/15/2008 8:13:22 PM PDT by NewJerseyJoe (Rat mantra: "Facts are meaningless! You can use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!")
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To: Captain Rhino
"Here in Virginia, anything capable of discharging a projectile is considered a firearm, no matter what the actual method of propulsion is." I guess I better warn my daughter about the marshmallow gun, huh? Look how evil this kid looks! /s
47 posted on 07/15/2008 8:20:26 PM PDT by Aunt Polgara
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To: xDGx
NJ is a toxic toilet. (would have used ‘commode’ but am an alliteration aficionado)

How about this headline: "Gamo Gun Gets Good Kid"

48 posted on 07/15/2008 8:20:31 PM PDT by Disambiguator
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To: Focault's Pendulum
I try to stay on point.

There is no Try.. Only Do or Do Not.
49 posted on 07/15/2008 8:26:50 PM PDT by divine_moment_of_facts (If there were no Cowards there could be no Bullies.)
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To: Captain Rhino; mylife
Here in Virginia, anything capable of discharging a projectile is considered a firearm, no matter what the actual method of propulsion is.

Okay, I’ll have to go back and check, but I think some sort of a BARREL is required as well.


50 posted on 07/15/2008 8:28:14 PM PDT by Petrosius
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