Benjamin Wassell, USMC Veteran, 1st Arrest under SAFE Act, Charges Dismissed
USMC veteran Benjamin Wassell was the first person convicted under New York’s SAFE Act back in 2014. He sold two of his ARs to an undercover investigator, but because of a brain injury he received in Iraq there was some confusion about what he thought he could do. In April of this year, his conviction was overturned. Today he walked into the Chautauqua County courthouse where those charges were formally dismissed. He cannot be retried for the same crime. But it’s small comfort for a man that lost everything.
The Iraq War veteran was arrested in 2013, convicted in 2014 – seven long years is how long it took for the State of New York to recognize there was a problem…oh wait…they still haven’t recognized that their law is unconstitutional.
The original court documents stated that the sale involved an AR-15, about 300 rounds of ammo with six magazines, and an AR-10 along with 31 rounds of ammo and one magazine. The total sale was $1900.
“The simple truth is that Second Amendment civil rights won today, and the agenda of unconstitutional gun control force-fed to Upstate New York by the progressive totalitarians occupying the imperial palace in Albany lost.” Civil Rights Advocate Steve Felanownynews
They lost only because there were questions raised over the jurisdiction of the State Attorney General to prosecute the case. The court made no ruling on the actual SAFE Act, which should have been stopped before it went into law.
“Yes, it’s a win, but my life has been turned upside-down for almost seven years now,” the Marine Corps veteran said in a telephone interview Sunday evening. “This whole thing has been hell for me and my family. We’ll never get those years back.
“I got fired from the job I had when I got arrested. I was also under consideration for a job with the federal government, and I was told I was no longer under consideration, because of the arrest. I tried to get back on active duty with the Marines and was turned down. And with all that has happened, there was no ruling in my case on whether the SAFE Act is unconstitutional or not.” Benjamin WassellBuffalo News
As we’ve said a hundred or more times, laws like the SAFE Act harm everybody except the real criminals. Mr. Wassell is correct, he’ll never get those years back. He made some mistakes in this case, some of which may have been due to the brain injury. But the New York SAFE Act is the biggest mistake of all.