The police department of Lockport, New York is taking some heat from its residents today after an officer arrested a man for having a magazine clip capable of holding too many rounds.
Under the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act (SAFE), it is illegal to knowingly possess a magazine clip capable of holding more than seven bullets.
The arrested man had a magazine clip loaded with ten bullets. Residents are upset at the arrest because the owner of the gun, Paul Wojdan, was not suspected of any crime.
The gun was found when a car driven by Tanisha White was pulled over. Wojdan was a passenger. White led the Lockport officer on a brief chase before pulling over. The officer asked White if there were any guns in the car, and she said yes. Wojdan handed the officer the gun.
The officer looked up the gun in the states firearm registry and found it was registered to Wojdan. Wojdan has a permit for the gun, so he faces no illegal firearm possession charge. The magazine is illegal, though, and Lockport Police Chief Lawrence Eggert says the law must be enforced regardless of its popularity.
“It’s on the books, and if we see it, we have to do something about it,” Eggert said.
According to a rulebook given to New York police departments on enforcing the SAFE law, the officer followed protocol during the stop:
“If an officer has probable cause to believe that a particular magazine is unlawful, he or she may seize and inspect it. If there is founded suspicion of criminal activity, the officer may ask for consent to check the magazine. However, the mere existence of a magazine, which may or may not be legal, does not provide probable cause to believe that any law is being broken.”
Wojdan was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of an ammunition-feeding device. He posted a $250 bail.