Getting your car towed is bad enough on its own, but it is even worse when your car contains an illegal weapon. That is the situation 25-year-old Elwood Barrett found himself in, and his night went from bad to worse when a towing company prepared to haul off his car and weapon. Before the towing company could leave, Barrett entered the vehicle, retrieved the weapon and ran off.
The towing company called authorities, who later found Barrett at a nearby fast food establishment. Police searched Barrett to discover a .45 caliber Hi-Point semi-automatic handgun, extra ammunition, 21.5 grams of marijuana, .04 grams of crack cocaine and $355 in what police believe is drug money.
Barrett is in for a lot of trouble. In addition to the drug charges, Barrett is prohibited from owning a firearm. He was convicted of second-degree assault for injuring a police officer during a 2006 incident.
A story like this can provoke a mixed reaction from gun rights advocates. The good news is that the police were able to catch a criminal red-handed. The bad news is that the only reason why they were even able to search Barrett was because of Delaware’s relatively strict gun control laws. Delaware citizens generally need a permit to carry around a gun in public, so the police would have been able to search Barrett as soon as they found out that he did not have a permit.
If Delaware had looser gun laws that had allowed Barrett to openly carry a firearm without needing to present identification, the police would not have had any reasonable grounds to search Barrett or find out that he is a convicted felon.
What are your thoughts on this arrest? Are you glad that Delaware’s relatively strict gun control laws allowed Delaware police to nab drug-toting a criminal? Would you gladly embrace looser gun carry laws if it meant that police would have a harder time catching criminals?
Source: Delaware Online