After our recent win in an ill-conceived Mossberg Shockwave prosecution earlier this year we would have thought that the issue of the legality of “Other” weapons in New York would be resolved. However, rumors started spreading late last week that a New York Licensed gun store owner and licensed dealer was arrested and charged with multiple felonies for selling AR-15 based “Others”.
According to information that we received, Jerome Rallo, the owner of Jerry’s Firearms in Bohemia, New York has been charged with multiple felonies under New York State law for selling illegal weapons including the top counts of Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the First Degree, a class “B” violent felony which carries a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison and a maximum of 25 years in prison.
AR-15 Others are not weapons that are not legally considered to be rifles since by law a rifle is a weapon that is originally designed to be fired from the shoulder and these “Others” are built with pistol braces that are designed to be fired by hand and attached to the wrist. In addition, these “Others” are built with a vertical foregrip for the “off” (non-shooting) hand and so cannot legally be considered handguns due to the fact that pistols are weapons designed to be fired by one hands and these are designed to be fired by two hands. These “Others” generally have short barrels that are less than 16 inches and are required to have an overall length greater than 26 inches.
Since these weapons are not rifles they are allowed to be equipped with barrels that are less than 16 inches according to the ATF as long as the overall length is over 26 inches. In addition, in New York since they are not rifles and not handguns they can be sold with features that are generally not permitted on AR-15 rifles in New York such as pistol grips, flash suppressors or muzzle breaks and the aforementioned vertical foregrip.
As we reported less than two months ago our firm represented an individual charged with possessing a Mossberg Shockwave which similarly cannot be legally considered a shotgun due to its pistol grip and cannot be legally considered a handgun due to its design to be fired by two hands. The charges were recently dismissed by a Supreme Court Justice after our motion to dismiss the Shockwave charges was conceded by the prosecutor. We argued in that motion that a Mossberg Shockwave was not a firearm under existing New York State law and that the NYPD Ballistics Detective who examined and tested the weapon appeared to agree.
The truth is we have found no media reports about the arrest of Jerome Rallo and do not know the circumstances underlying the arrest. Rumors swirled late last year on Social Media that Jerry’s Firearms lost their New York State Firearms Dealers License. Until we learn the details of this arrest it is difficult to know whether there has been any change in the attitude of law enforcement toward “Other” weapons. As of know, I have reason to believe that many New York State dealers are still selling Others.