Fellow Marines Rush to Rescue Arrested Tourist

PFC Ryan Jerome

Last September you may recall hearing about Ryan Jerome’s arrest in NYC under a felony gun possession charge. He voluntarily checked in his firearm at the Empire State Building, as it was legally registered in another state, and he believed he was in compliance with the law. Possession of a firearm that the owner did not register in NYC is a major offense, under New York City’s local laws.

PFC Ryan Jerome
PFC Ryan Jerome

Jerome, a 28-year-old jeweler from Indiana, carried his legally registered Ruger P345, to the Big Apple since he also happened to be carrying $15,000 in gold to a refinery in Long Island. NYC police arrested him on the spot at the entrance of the Empire State Building.

What the Manhattan District Attorney’s office didn’t expect was the enormous uproar in support of Jerome. Fellow marines rushed to the rescue when the news of his arrest went national.

“It is just overwhelming, the love and support I am receiving from my fellow Marines,” said Jerome, who was a TOW gunner before his honorable discharge in 2005.

In light of the overwhelming support for Jerome, the prosecution offered a plea deal to a misdemeanor with no jail time. However, Jerome adamantly refuses any deal. He wants all charges dropped. Period.

It is a felony to possess a handgun in New York City whether the owner registered the gun anywhere else or not. Those caught violating this draconian statute face a mandatory three and a half-year sentence, but defense attorneys often reach lesser plea deals due to prosecutorial discretion.

“We continue to believe the case should be dismissed outright,” said Jerome’s lawyer, Mark Bederow.

A document released regarding the case states: “The New York District Attorney‘s Office is offering to allow your client to plead guilty to a single Class ’A’ misdemeanor in full satisfaction of all charges.” The prosecutor heading the up the case apparently addressed the letter to Jerome’s attorney.

New York City has seen an outbreak of tourist gun arrests in recent months.

Cheaper Than Dirt will continue to update you on developments in the case against Ryan Jerome in the coming weeks.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (54)

  1. The local gun laws keep changing on were you can carry, they should have a web site so you can keep up with the changes other wise you will have problems like this person, sure New York city has seen a spike in Tourist Gun arrest, people know at home or when they travel the Police can’t be everywhere. So you carry and it’s always better to have it and not need to use it, than not have it and need to use it. Only in America.

  2. I would like to see people that believe in the Second Amendment boycott NYC and vacation and visit elsewhere. And COMPLAIN and make your voice heard. As a former Marine, I hope this is behind him and all ends well.

  3. New York knows that if concealed carry were allowed, SEVERAL months TO A YEAR would find a tremendous spike in the homicide rate-as hoodlums were SHOT AND KILLED in the act of aggravated crimes against LAW ABIDING CITIZENS. NYPD would have lots and lots of cold cases and loose ends to tie up. Might even need to promote more officers to detective.

  4. Listen, last thing the US needs is a Concealed Carry Law passed by Congress.
    Would you trust Congress to never repeal the law? I thought so.
    The best concealed carry law is one that is passed individually and administered by that state, and also recognized by virtually all other states.
    I wonder if NYC has ever considered that sidearms or any other firearms being shipped thru or from that city might somehow be illegal? Arrest the UPS or Fed-Ex delivery guy or company warehouse management? My guess is that provisions for commercial shipping of firearms, especially handguns, would be too much for NYC to take on. Would this come under various clauses relating to Interstate commerce? Then at least, shouldnt an individual IN Interstate Commerce ie traveling thru NYC or ANY OTHER MUNICIPALITY,COUNTY, OR STATE TO another destination BE AFFORDED THE SAME PROTECTION? and guaranteed to be INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW?
    Maybe the good old boys of the region around NYC need to stage an old fashioned protest parade thru places like NYC, Philly? and Pittsburgh. For one day, strip every iota of gun, ammunition, knives, weapons, etc from their hunting vehicle, put an empty gun rack in the rear window, and ride by City Hall en masse. Like the tractorcades, or Indians surrounding a wagon train. Basically, daring the local cops to search their ‘suspect’ vehicle for Illegal weapons. With cell-phone and camera recorders running, posting to websites, and generous pro bono assistance from friendly attorneys. A few thousand ought to do it, make CNN and other news outlets. Of course, some might might feel a little threatened by going into such cities unarmed. So, ask the police for a full escort to keep us safe. Fair enough?

  5. 46. Unify the CCW laws under one National umbrella law as specified by the Constitution. Make it the most liberal broad based freewielding gun law you can make it. Criminials carrying gun, around guns or with amo – Life Sentance. Drug dealers with guns – death sentance – convicted murders in possession of a gun – trial phase followed immediately by sentancing – single sentance immediate death No time for appeal. In Georgia our CCW is a Carry Permit visible or otherwise, no limit on caliber, weapon, or number of rounds you can carry. Because Georgia recognizes, criminials will not adhere to the limitations of the law, why are we giong to disadvantage legal citizens to do what criminals won’t?

  6. Up roar? New York had better drop all charges against Ryan Jerome or they’ll find themselves in Constitutional battle they can’t win. Constitutional Law supersedes, state, city, district, county and municipality law on all levels. The Constitution is the document that States build their laws on so the country is on the same page.

    For instance, Just because the state of California has rule that a supply of marijuana can be grown under regulation within the state for medicinal purposes. There is no law striking down the fact that the Federal Government can legally seize the dope, charge the growers and the law makers that allowed this breech of the legal process.

    Still the argument come “the people decide what the law is!” Then let them amend the Constitution as they did in prohibition. The reason that didn’t work by the way was that the People – Those who choose to govern the governed, tried to use the Amendment process without asking for the consent of the people. The law was over turned and the corrupt politicians and Justices responsible for going around the core of power in this country (you and I) were jailed.

    Now we’re back to Ryan Jerome, New York Be Damned should be its flags motto. I no longer care about New York as patriotic symbolism. Read the Second Amendment. You don’t get a choice New York – High judicial guidance lives in the Constitution. Release Ryan Jerome, apologize to us, our founding fathers, and the living document of procedures called the Constitution or each and every damn one of you can step down right now.

    Your officers should not be allowed to aresst contrary to Constitional edict.

  7. Sad as it is, this Marine should’ve looked up the laws of NY. Every CCW holder needs to know the carry laws of each state they plan to visit, if carrying a weapon. He broke the law as soon as he crossed the border into NY state. NY state does not honor any other permits. So if you are planning to go to NY, leave your gun at home. I am a NRA and CCW holder, I have an app on my Iphone that tells me reciprocity for each state. C’mon people, be smart gun owners. This is why the anti gunners come down on us, we are always portrayed as law breakers and rednecks.

  8. Everyone who “voluntarially” surrendered a gun, up to the police force, trying to be legal, who then got arrested and tried for breaking the law, raise your hand. Mines up, and so are a whole lot of people that survived the Katrina hurricane aftermath, whos confiscated guns were never returned as promised, and left to rust in barrels of water. Ruby Ridge and Waco are also good examples of people who believed they had the right to keep and bear arms. Join the NRA, National Rifle Association, they are the only reason we are allowed to have any guns at all, they are the strongest lobby for your gun rights on capital hill.

  9. First, why would someone be outraged at a Marine being treated this way, but not any other average, honest free American? Does the Bill of Rights apply to government employees more than to mere citizens? Second, PLEASE stop perpetrating the myth that firearms can or need to be “registered” to be legitimate. In most states there is no such thing as a “registered” gun, there is only a record of the original purchaser. I’ve had friends/coworkers (in MN) ask me “I’m selling so-and-so a gun, how do we get it registered in his name?” and I have to tell them “YOU LIVE IN A FREE COUNTRY!!! STOP ASSUMING YOU CAN’T DO THINGS!!!” Unfortunately, every big-city cop show on tv repeats the phrase over and over when it’s discovered that a private citizen owns a gun; they always specify that they’re “legally registered and everything.”

  10. Where is Al-Quaida when we need them ? The very least that should happen as a result of the United States of Russia’s assualt on this Marine is : All parties involved should be: stripped naked, bound,gagged,tarred,feather and put on display in Times Square. Personally I would prefer they be hunted down like rabbid dogs and SHOT DEAD.! Marines,Private Citizen, tourist, I dont give a dam who it is. The Nazis in our government need to be dealt with in a manner that sends a ONE TIME UNMISTAKEABLE MESSEGE. Get your head out of your a….Washington. American has been down this road before with King George, and he got his a… kicked. Next!

  11. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. That being said,who in their right mind can know all the laws we have on the books? If we make enough laws,we can all be criminals. I agree,before he took his weapon with him,he should have researched the laws in that state,however,I disagree with the DA/prosecutions treatment of this man.That will be on his record for the rest of his life,even though the DA offered to drop to a misdemeanor…it should be dropped completely,I really do not see where this man is a threat to society in any way,shape or form.
    Remember…..If we make enough laws,we can ALL be criminals!

  12. First off, i want to thank this man for his service to this country, but through all the hand gun courses and training that I have been through, they always advise to be knowledgeable of the laws that govern other states you may visit. Whether it was business or pleasure, the law is still the same. I know when I travel, I research the laws of the states I travel through and visit so that I don’t end up in this type of situation.

  13. he is a fool if he doesn’t take this plea deal. I am a gun owner, have a concealed permit and also have a FFL and they ALWAYS tell you to make sure you know the laws before you take your firearms into another state. I don’t like the law but it is the law and ignorance to the laws of another state do not make you immune to them.

    It seems that the State of NY is doing what they can to let him off with basically nothing and he is being stubborn and refusing, I would imagine they are taking into account his service to his country in their reduction of his charges in this as well. I am sure they are still maintaining some charge just to make it clear to others that you cannot bring guns into their state and even a mistake is still breaking the law.

  14. Fact is that there are over 10,000 federal laws on the books, so many that our government can’t say for sure how many there really are. In all likelihood each and every one of you is breaking one or more right now. Heap onto that the state and local codes and there is almost no chance that any of us is living %100 within the law. It would take many lifetimes to learn all the laws we are supposed to live within by the age of majority. It takes a brave person to walk out his front door without legal representation walking ahead of him. Land of the free? NO! Home of the brave? YES!

  15. I know the law regarding carrying a weapon in the State of NY, however, I watch several shows that always mention that it is illegal to carry in the State of NY. I do, however,feel that ALL CHARGES SHOULD HAVE BEEN DISMISSED. Especially since there is such a high crime rate in the city. Only the criminals seem to be armed, citizens of NY NEED to be able to protect themselves.

  16. How can some thing legal thought the country be a felony in a state this state sucks and really needs help from the nra any mag over 10 rounds thats not a pre ban is a felony meaning jail time over 1 year this is some bull shit!!!!

  17. As passed by the Congress:
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.What part of shall not be infringed do these prosecutors and lawyers not understand?

  18. What about the National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill, that was passed last November?
    The bill, H.R. 822, allows persons who hold a concealed carry permit from one state to also carry anywhere in the country, with the exception of Illinois and Washington, D.C. wich do not allow concealed carry.
    In light of that bill being passed, you would think this charge would be tossed out.

  19. I live in NY. I am a member of the NY Army National Guard and I have a full carry permit issued by the state of NY. On my permit it states that I cannot carry my weapon in NY city. My problem is when the hell did the 5 bouroughs of NY city become a seperate part of the state of NY. The NYC police chief and the mayor have fought to keep guns out of NYC. I say it is the illegal guns and the criminals that are using them that are causing the problems. STOP harrassing the citizens of this great country for doing the right thing. Licensed handgun owners apply legally for the right to carry. We take multitudes of safety course to get our permits. If NY state grew a pair and figured that licensed and trained citizens would actually reduce the amount of crime, because no criminal would dare try anything if they knew that people are carrying a weapon.

  20. ALL Americans, not just former military members, should be free of this type of harassment by law enforcement. We need to fight to overturn all gun laws and demand reciprocity between the States. Join and support the NRA/ILA…they’re doing the most work to make this a reality for all of us.

  21. As a former Marine TOW gunner, I would like to express my support for Mr. Jerome. I agree that New Yorks laws are draconian. That is one, of many, reason’s I don’t live there. Let the people of New York suffer this if they will, I will gladly continue to live in a state that will not.

  22. There should be 2 class action lawsuit against NYC.

    1St Class Action Lawsuit, violating 2nd Amendment rights

    2nd Class Action Lawsuit, if no firearm possession is allowed to prevent risk of injury or death, the it’s NYC responsibility to provide that protection.

    What Government Entity is responsible for your personnel protection, Answer NONE! ZIP! ZERO! NADA! Since NYC forbids self protection, they should be dealt with accordingly!

  23. NYC police arrest police from other states if they catch them carrying their duty weapon in NY!…Police should be able to carry a firearm anywhere in the U.S. So I know they will arrest a soldier. They are pretty much assholes and I know most jurisdictions around here beg to see a NYC police officer come through their AO armed!

  24. My question why do the nypd get to protect their lives while I an American citizen can not. The 2nd amendment states that I can carry why not in N .Y I.guess only the criminals and NY finest deserve to be protected !!

  25. What about all the illegal immigrants in New York City who carry guns and commit crimes. Why don’t they go after them and deport them. This Marine was upfront and thought he was doing the right thing. I would much rather have a Marine carrying a handgun than a terrorist or felon.

  26. Amendment 2 – Right to Bear Arms. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
    so what gives ny to go againt this?????????????????????????????

  27. Had a similar issue myself. The regs were plain as day and no only did I loose the Beretta, I now have a weapons misdemeanor on my record. 8 Years as a Fire Control Tech on Submarines, working with Tomahawks, Mk 48’s and other things that go BOOM and now when I try to apply for a Federal Job, that pops up and even with Veterans preference, I’m still looking for work. I did it, I own it…doesn’t mean I have to agree with it.

  28. New York’s draconian gun laws are absolute joke. Where can I donate money to support this Marine and get this ridiculous charge dropped?

  29. I hope he pushes this all the way to the Supreme Court and force a change in those states who directly violate the Second Amendment!

  30. Rob K, I think you missed the point of the article. It’s all about how NYC has these insane laws in the first place. I wouldn’t feel safe walking around NYC without a gun on my hip.

  31. If the Marine accepts the deal he will lose his privilage to have a hand gun carrying permit but not his 2nd ammendment. I have one and if you get in any type of misdermenor you lose them. I would not accept the deal and the DA should cut this one loose. It does’nt take a rocket scientist to figure out that you know this man was on bussiness not out to be a terriost. Make the Law known to the state and other state permit holders, so they know what state and citys dont honor permit holders. Dont aim to take advantage of someone when they absolutelty didnt know. A person shouldnt have to call every city they go through to find out if they honor it.

  32. Seriously, who would want to visit NYC without a pistol in your pocket? Maybe if the place wasn’t infested with criminal trash then tourists wouldn’t feel the need to protect themselves.

  33. Just another reason I would not piss on New York if it was on fire! Why are we even required to have a permit if the Constitution guarantees it? Oh yeah, so the government can legally pick-pocket you each year when you renew your! I don’t blame him for wanting it dropped COMPLETELY because anything on your record would tarnish what was not dirty.

  34. I have to agree with AJ. If you carry you better know the laws and quit trying to hide behind being a Marine. He is a civilian who has to abide by local, state and national laws. Ignorance of the law, even by a former member of the law is not a defense. Chalk it up to lesson learned. Everyone knows that New York City has “special” laws so CYA and do the right thing.

  35. its all about ther money and who is incharge not the law they do what they want they dont care what anylaw is but what they make for them selves
    i hope the marine wins

  36. this reminds us of all the stupid people running this country. to not tell the truth, they arrested him and charged him after he volunteerly explained about having a gun? they should’ve checked his credentials and maybe take him to the station and gave him options to retrieve the weapon after leaving the state. instead they arrested him, and treated him like a terrorist or thug and put him through court! God i can’t stand these BOOKSENSE idiots, have a COMMONSENSE! hoooah signed GM3

  37. I am proud of the work this man did for our country. In my town in southern missouri i openly carry many guns weather they be on my hip or slung over my shoulder through town with out one bit of worry. i realize this would be un-wise to do in a city like NY but he followed the law and checked the gun in at the front. I think if anyone gets charged there will be an uproar over this. How dare thay punish him for following the law. WHAT HAPPENED TO FULL FAITh AND CREDIT. He is a resident of Indiana where he got a concealed and carry permit. Thay should give him full faith and credit for that and charges should be dropped

  38. This was a man, a MARINE, no some joe blow off the street, looking to cause trouble. He served our great country with his life and this is how we repay him, by disgracing his ability to carry a firearm and willingly to give it up.

    Shame on NYC for making him do this and treating him this way.

  39. I have to side with Kevin.
    While I think what NY,CA and IL are doing is not in compliance with the constitution, we all do ahve to honor their laws.
    It is up to us to take legal actions (not necessarily in the court of law) against those states and raise our voices.
    My point is simple, I inform myslef about where I can carry.
    If I can not carry somewhere legally, I avoid this place.

    I would wish that this case will force NY and the other states into rethinking how they disrespect the 2nd Amendment.

  40. I have the utmost respect for him being a Marine. However, he has since been discharged and is a civilian. Yes, still a Marine at heart, don’t misunderstand me. There are laws us civilians must follow and know. One of the most important is if you carry, know the laws of the state where you are going to carry. He should take the plea and be happy they gave him a plea.

  41. IF his weapon was indeed registered in his home state ; he should NOT be required to have permits / registrations in every other state that he travels in .. that is ridiculeous!
    They need to release this American Hero and drop all the stupid charges …

  42. I support this Marine whole heartedly. Not only for his and his family’s sacrifice to our country but because of his willingness to surrender his weapon. The ones to worry about are the thugs and punks that carry illegally! Why can’t we have a national Concealed Carry Permit? What would it take to get that? Ohh yeah, cooperation with our national government. ….. never mind.

  43. Well NYC seems to have forgotten about all of the people who went to war because of a terrorist attack on their city.

    If anyone is going to nit pick over some jounalist detail, then they have lost sight of the over all issue.

    The Marine, remember, once a Marine, always a Marine, should be set free of this situation, or how about we start saying that NYC is an oppressive state and we must arm ourselves against such places, as per the U.S. Constitution.

    BTW if you the Nike people have a trademark on their “tennis shoes”, then they are “legally registered tennis shoes”.


  44. When did cities gain the right to over-rule the constitution? A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

  45. He should have taken the plea deal. I don’t think it’s right that he should have been arrested at all but when life gives you a lemon you don’t squirt it in your eye and insist that in a free society it would have been visine.

  46. Just one little nit to pick, but it’s one that reporters do a lot and it bugs me. “it was legally registered in another state” This statement makes no sense. In the state of Indiana where he’s from, there is no such thing as a ‘legally registered gun’. Indiana does not register guns. There is no provision for it in state law, and since Indiana has statewide preemption, no political subdivision can require it. So in Indiana ‘legally registered gun’ is no more meaningful than ‘legally registered tennis shoes’.

  47. He has served his country these laws will change we all have the right to carry, who better to have that right than a soldier, A MARINE ! If he is charged with anything it should be HE is a AMERICAN SOLDIER , A MARINE 1st in last out. God BLESS HIM and his family , This should have never went this far.

  48. As much as I disagree with what has happened and as much as I hope that his charges are dropped, one of the first things they tell you in any gun permit class is to know the law wherever you may be. It’s a shame that someone who served for me and my country is treated this way, but I have to feel that he should have known that in one of the few most anti gun states in our country (California and Illinois being others) and being in such a highly populated tourist attraction, he might have an issue carrying his firearm. If it were up to me I would let everyone carry anywhere logical, but until I’m ruled supreme ruler or the laws change, that is simply the way of life we are forced to abide by. Good luck to him and the cause he is fighting for.

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