We were pleased to learn that our recent efforts in Orleans County to reinstate a Pistol Permit proved successful. The suspension of the Pistol Permit arose from a June incident in Orleans County involving our client legally possessing and carrying his handgun.
Our client observed two individuals being violently assaulted. One victim was stabbed more than a dozen times. The second victim had been beaten unconscious.
Our client displayed his handgun informed the perpetrators of his intent to use it if they did not cease their assaultive behavior. When the perpetrators failed to heed these warnings, our client fired one shot into the air in a direction clear of obstructions. The desired effect was achieved. The assaults stopped and the perpetrators fled.
Unfortunately, responding police did very little to investigate and secure the identities and arrest of the perpetrators of these felony assaults. Instead, most of the fact-finding energy was spent in investigating our client. The investigation led to a request to the "Issuing Official" (in this case a County Court Judge) by the local police agency for the immediate suspension of our client's pistol permit pending a revocation hearing. Today almost six months later, the felony assaults remain unsolved, the perpetrators remain at-large and our client has been without his handgun. The victims of the assaults are alive and our client’s Pistol Permit has been reinstated.
The tactic of firing a "warning shot" is less than ideal. In spite of the Vice-President telling us to fire a couple of warning shots at attackers during a home invasion, there is almost no rational circumstance that would justify firing a weapon with any intent other than stopping a threat. In the scenario our client faced and under New York Law, he would have been legally justified in using deadly force against the perpetrators of the assaults. He made a snap decision based upon the circumstances he faced and his own life experiences. He chose not to justifiably kill someone that day.
The Court's in its well-reasoned decision to reinstate our client's pistol permit held:
"The Court....finds that the discharge of the weapon on June 15, 2014, was a legitimate use of force to defend a third person; that there was no intent to harm anyone with the weapon; that no one, in fact, was so harmed; that there was no reasonable alternative other than to discharge the weapon. giving a warning shot: that the harm being done to the third person was deliberate, vicious and immediate. and was effectively stopped as a direct result of the warning shot."