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A Colorado woman was arrested Wednesday for attempting to bring a handgun on a flight. Haley Leach, 28, was arrested after she tried to declare a handgun before checking into her Southwest flight. Leach doesn’t possess a New York State pistol permit and was charged with criminal possession of a weapon.

Another Out-Of-State Gun Owner Arrested in New York

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ALBANY, NEW YORK — Ever since the expansion of concealed carry laws and the gun buying boom really got going in the early 2000’s, lawful gun owners becoming inadvertently snagged by anti-gun states’ ultra-restrictive laws has become a regular thing. Travelers fly into a state like New York from free states like Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri or Texas with their lawfully owned firearms. Then when try to fly home….

The latest victim: 28-year-old Haley Leach from Colorado. She was arrested while trying to declare her pistol at the Southwest Airlines counter in Albany because she doesn’t have a New York State pistol permit. That means one count of criminal possession of a weapon.

Let’s state clearly that it’s always a gun owner’s responsibility to know the laws in states to which they’ll be traveling. Still…

“It’s frustrating for people who don’t know the law,” Leslie McDermott said.

McDermott has been the general manager at the Indoor Range in Brunswick since last March. He said customers come in daily only to find out they’re potentially breaking the law.

It’s more than just frustrating. It’s damned expensive and could cost you a stint in the clink.

Even cops — outside the New York City metro area — think it’s ludicrous.

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“We’re taking so many law abiding citizens and basically making them criminals,” Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said.

Apple said something needs to change.

“These are people that are professionals,” he said. “They are doctors, pilots, lawyers, cops, firemen, whatever the case may be, and then when they go to fly out they get arrested.”

But don’t look for change any time soon. New York’s laws are working just the way Governor Mario Cuomo and his cronies in the state legislature like it. If word of prosecutions of out-of-state gun owners being prosecuted keeps them away, they’ll consider that a win.

Also, never underestimate the ignorance of either cops or journalists when it comes to guns or the labyrinthine laws that regulate them.

(Sheriff Apple) said it’s great the TSA is doing its job and that isn’t the issue. While other states have adopted the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which allows you to travel from one state to another without penalty, New York still has not.

Yeah, no. The sheriff (or the reporter, it’s not quite clear here) is talking about about states that recognize other states’ concealed carry permits. Click here to check your state. Sadly, the federal Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act — HR 38 — is still pending. It’s about the only chance travelers to places like New York and California have of eliminating the legal and financial risk of keeping and bearing arms in those states.

So for now…know before you go.

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About Dan | View all posts by Dan

Dan Zimmerman has been shooting guns for 25 years and writing about them for the last eight. He’s particularly into the shotgun sports, including trap, sporting clays, duck and pheasant hunting.

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