Watertown man’s arrest fuels questions about gun control

Nathan Haddad in an undated photograph from the Fort Drum Mountaineer

At the meeting between gun owners and state police yesterday in Lake Placid, one of the people in the crowd demanded more information about the case of a man arrested in Jefferson County for allegedly carrying high-capacity 30-round magazines in the trunk of his car.

I hadn’t heard of the case in the Watertown area, so I googled it.

According to the Watertown Daily Times, Nathan Haddad, a 32-year-old veteran and former Fort Drum soldier, was allegedly found with five 30-round clips for an AR-15 assault rifle.

New York state currently has a ban on magazines that carry more than 10 rounds of ammunition, and the new gun control law approved earlier this month gradually reduces the size of an allowed clip to 7 rounds.

The newspaper reports that Haddad faces five felony counts for violating state law.

I also found that Haddad’s case has sort of gone viral in a minor way in the gun rights community.

The story was linked to on the “Legal Insurrection” website, where the arrest was described as an example of the way new gun laws are “applied to the little people.”

On the Survivalist boards site, one commenter called Haddad’s arrest “a load of crap” and argued that “New York is seriously moving in the wrong direction, and so damned quickly.”

At the NYfirearms website, a commenter questions whether Haddad’s clips were empty or full when he was arrested.

Haddad served multiple tours overseas before being injured while training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in 2005.  Another gun-advocate website described his arrest as pitting a “military wounded veteran vs the Commies of Albany.”

One reason this case seems to resonate — if I read the mood accurately at yesterday’s meeting in Lake Placid — is that a significant number of gun owners may not comply with these new, tighter restrictions.

A number of gun-owners said point-blank that they wouldn’t register their assault rifles, or modify their high capacity magazines.  Others demanded to know if police would make efforts to find and confiscate newly illegal weapons or clips.

So what do you think?

Are arrests like Haddad’s likely to be more common in the future, as more gun owners in New York possess hardware banned under the tighter restrictions approved this month?

Do you see those who hold onto banned weapons as criminals, or as people committing acts of civil disobedience?



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56 Comments on “Watertown man’s arrest fuels questions about gun control”

  1. Paul says:

    “The magazines were empty, and Nate owns a pickup, not a car, they were in the cab of his truck..no ammo, no gun, just 5 empty magazines.”

    How do you have any idea when these magazines were made? Did they have a serial number like a gun that can date them? If they don’t this is an unenforceable regulation.

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  2. Jasno V says:

    Does anyone know who the arresting officer was?

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  3. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Warren and Two Cents- I think you should look into probable cause a whole lot more. Obviously you don’t have law enforcement backgrounds. Speeding for instance is not probable cause for a search. Alcohol on the breath is not probable cause for a search. And if you read the article this guy is a FORMER soldier, he wasn’t in uniform!

    Dang, and people accuse me of not reading the articles?

    If he was in a pickup as Jason says it’s possible they were in plain view. That would certainly explain some of this, and give you a good idea on just how accurate the press is!

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  4. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    If I had a uniform that nice I’d wear it all the time.

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  5. Two Cents says:

    rancid, no i do not have any such experience, not at either end of the nightstick, and i know nothing of my rights about search and probable cause. i figure if an officer is asking, let him look, or wait for the warrant and then he gets to look anyway!
    i always figured the real deal is not to ever be in a position to be asked- or never to be in the position to worry about being asked, you know- lawfull!
    and your right i didn’t read the article, i was burned out reading the Madison Papers link.
    the comment was a bad attempt at humor.
    most certainly there are things we definately will never aagree on, but i suspect we have alot more in our natures in common.
    i wanted to respond since you took the time to reply.

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  6. Rancid Crabtree says:

    I’m sure we agree on a many things Two Cents, or so it appears.

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