Niagara Gazette

Courts

February 26, 2014

SAFE Act charge dismissed against Lockport man

A charge of violating New York's SAFE Act was dismissed for Paul A. Wojdan during his appearance today in Lockport City Court.

Judge William Watson threw out the charge against the Lockport man, claiming city police had overstepped their bounds by seeing how much ammunition Wojdan had in his Ruger 9mm pistol. Wojdan had a permit for the weapon, which was in a holster in the glove compartment of the vehicle he was riding in when the vehicle was stopped for speeding on Oct. 12.

Wojdan was accused of violating the SAFE Act's restriction concerning the number of rounds of ammunition in a magazine. Police said Wojdan had 10 rounds in a gun, which exceeded the new limit of seven in a magazine.

During a traffic stop, Watson ruled, police have a right to ensure their safety by taking the magazine out of the pistol — but they cannot see how much ammunition is in the weapon without a warrant. That's what Wojdan's attorney James Tresmond argued in court.

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