Saturday, August 10, 2013

New Hampshire Supreme Court Defines 'loaded gun'

A loaded gun means exactly that, a gun that's loaded with ammunition, according to a state Supreme Court ruling made public Wednesday. 
The decision means a misdemeanor charge of illegally possessing a loaded handgun without a license will be dropped against Oriol Dor of Manchester. 
Dor was arrested on May 8, 2012, after police searched his vehicle and found a .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol with a loaded magazine next to it in the glove box. The pistol did not have a cartridge in the chamber, and the magazine well was empty. 
Still, police charged Dor with a class A misdemeanor for "knowingly carry(ing) a loaded pistol as defined in RSA 159:4 in a vehicle without a valid license." 
Dor filed a motion to dismiss the charge, arguing no license was required because the gun wasn't loaded and no crime was committed.
"We would have preferred it go the other way," said assistant attorney general Nicholas Cort, who argued the case before the Supreme Court. Assistant Manchester city solicitor Jeremy Harmon, the prosecutor on the case, was in trial Wednesday and unavailable for comment. A message left for appellate defender James B. Reis was not immediately returned. 
Judge Gregory E. Michael of 9th Circuit Court, Manchester District Division, found the law "potentially ambiguous" and, without issuing a ruling, sent the case to the Supreme Court for an interlocutory appeal. 
The question before the court was: Does the definition of a "loaded pistol or revolver" (under RSA 159:4 (2002) encompass … a firearm with no cartridge in the firearm, and no magazine in the magazine well(,) but with a loaded magazine located next to it and easily accessible? 
The court ruled it did not.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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