However, two weeks ago, New York Knicks point guard Raymond Felton was arraigned and charged with second, third and fourth-degree charges of criminal possession of a loaded FN Herstal, a Belgian weapon, which was unregistered.
His soon-to-be ex-wife turned the gun over to the authorities and also alleged that he threatened her with it on multiple occasions.
Two of the charges are felonies, including one involving an ammo clip with more than 10 rounds. According to the court complaint, the gun held 18 bullets when it was turned over to the police. If convicted, Felton faces a minimum sentence of three and a half years, and a maximum of 15 years. Court was adjourned until June 2.
Many people believe Felton will be sentenced to prison, not only because the gun was unregistered and New York City has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, but because he is an athlete that new Mayor Bill de Blasio can make an example of .
The question remains, should he serve time or be given a slap on the wrist?
Felton should do jail time, but it should not be severe. While we support New York’s strict gun laws, he did not fire the weapon or kill anyone.
Unlike Burress, who carried his loaded weapon with him into a New York City night club and ended up shooting himself in the leg.
During the Bloomberg administration, the city approved some of the toughest gun laws in the country, and in January 2013, they passed even stricter ones. Gun permits must be renewed every three years, obtaining a permit to carry a pistol or a revolver is extremely difficult and carrying a rifle or shotgun in the city is illegal.
Out-of-state permits to carry a gun aren't recognized in the city. These strict gun laws have benefitted the city, because in 2012, there were 418 killings last year for a population of 8 million people, the lowest number since reliable records were kept.
On Dec. 31, a federal judge ruled New York’s new gun laws, including an expanded ban on assault weapons, were constitutional, but struck down a provision forbidding gun owners to load more than seven rounds into a magazine.
So, with all of the statistics showing that tough gun laws keep the city safe, why should Felton be given a slap on the wrist? He has no criminal background and he did not use the gun.
We are not condoning Felton’s behavior, but he should not be treated like a hardened criminal.