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Published On: Mon, Feb 25th, 2013

Nate Haddad, Army Vet in New York, faces prison time for possessing 30-round ammunition magazines

An Army veteran is facing up to seven years in prison for possessing five empty 30-round ammunition magazines in NewYork where they are illegal.

Last month Nate Haddad parked along a road not far from his home in the state’s North Country, where he still works at Fort Drum as a civilian employee, to meet someone interested in buying the 30-round magazines for an AR-15 rifle.

Nate Haddad photo“I certainly did not think I was committing a felony crime by having these,” Haddad told WGRZ-TV, while speaking of the magazines, which he claims he bought at an army surplus store.

“My understanding of what I had in my possession was that it was manufactured before 1994, but the arresting officers told me otherwise after I showed them the magazines that I had in my possession,” Haddad said.

Magazines over 10 rounds have been illegal in New York since 1994, unless they were manufactured before the law went into effect.

Haddad says he thought his were legal, until he found out otherwise.

Jefferson County prosecutors offered Haddad a deal, according to Haddad’s attorney Seth Buchman, who said the offer was for his client to plead to five misdemeanor counts, in exchange for which Haddad would get a conditional discharge, sparing him from incarceration.

Haddad turned down the offer.

“Even if I took that deal I would still be branded as a criminal, and I don’t think I should be,” Haddad said.

Beyond principle, though, there is also a practical reason behind Haddad’s reluctance to plead guilty.

“At this point, I can’t say for sure how doing so might impact my access to Fort Drum. If it were to be restricted, then I would likely lose my job,” Haddad said.

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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