New Jersey resident Ryan Narciso could get three years in jail for having an air-powered pellet gun in his car, according to a story by Ken Serrano at MyCentralJersey.com:
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.
Granted, it was a little foolish of Narciso to keep a realistic-looking gun in his car where it would be visible through the window. Even if the cops didn’t spot it, there’s a good chance someone would try to steal it.
Still, a three-year prison term for illegal possession of a gun seems excessive. It’s not as if he was brandishing it, or even carrying it.
Also, did I mention it was an airgun? Since when are air-powered guns (pellet guns, BB-guns, etc,) considered firearms? When I was a kid, I used to shoot a pellet gun in my backyard in Chicago. Nobody cared. I guess nowadays the people who run our local governments are just pussies.
Based on the story, it seems unlikely that when the New Jersey legislature increased the penalties for unlawful gun possession, they intended to include airguns. This sort of inane law enforcement seems like a good scenario to use a little prosecutorial discretion…or jury nullification.