LOCKPORT – A Lockport man who found himself at the center of controversy two weeks ago when he was charged under an unpopular section of the SAFE Act, limiting ammunition in a magazine, has been ordered by a Niagara County judge to hand over his pistol permit and all his handguns.
Paul A. Wojdan, 26, of Parkwood Drive, was a passenger in a vehicle pulled over by Lockport police Oct. 12, when he was charged after surrendering a loaded semiautomatic handgun in a holster retrieved from the glove compartment.
Although the gun was legal, the ammunition wasn’t. He had 10 rounds of 9 mm ammunition in the magazine, violating the new law, which limits a magazine to seven rounds. He was charged with unlawful possession of an ammunition feeding device, a misdemeanor.
Last weekend, Niagara County sheriff’s deputies were sent to Wojdan’s home to confiscate his pistol permit and handguns.
Wojdan told deputies he had received a “notice of objection” from the Niagara County Pistol Permit Office. Handguns seized included a Glock 9 mm pistol, a Walther .22-caliber semiautomatic pistol, a Springfield 40-caliber semiautomatic pistol, a GSG .22-caliber semiautomatic pistol and an Iver Johnson .22-calber semiautomatic pistol.
The report interviews Lockport Chief of Police Lawrence M. Eggert and hints that Wojdan may have been targeted by Eggert and Officer Adam Piedmont because Wojdan “appears on his Facebook site as a supporter of gun rights and has posted a number of pictures of himself carrying weapons.” We’re told that Eggert has referred to Wojdan’s two centerfire and three rimfire pistols as an “arsenal.” He has no idea.
Eggert expressed outrage that the public was criticizing him and his black-shirted officers.
“One of the comments said, ‘When are you going to start loading people into cattle cars?’ ” Eggert said.
Eggert has made it pretty clear to the Buffalo News that the answer is: minutes after Cuomo gets the law through.
[T]he department’s role is to enforce the law, whether it is popular or not.
“It’s on the books, and if we see it, we have to do something about it,” Eggert said.
A lot of people have commented on this case. But one thing we haven’t seen anyone comment about is the weapons that deputies seized from Wojdan, or the one that Eggert’s blackshirts grabbed when they stopped a car in which Wojdan was a passenger for speeding.
The things that struck us about Wojdan’s guns:
- They’re all inexpensive for what they are; workingman’s guns, not collector pieces.
- The two centerfire guns are models and calibers often carried by police.
- And… one of the .22s was imported by ATI, the company that just announced they were leaving New York over this law.
The law itself is bad enough; aggressive enforcement by Dirty Harry wannabees like the Lockshirts may actually accelerate its overturn, even in 50-shades-of-blue New York. But gun law bloggers (like the 2nd Amendment Foundation) have suggested that Piedmont didn’t have probable cause to examine the magazine, so Wojdan may escape conviction. (Of course, the revocation of his permit is administrative not legal, and even an acquittal wouldn’t restore it).
The probable cause issue might give the Lockshirts a way out or a public-relations disaster, but they’re not talking like they want one.
And we really shouldn’t criticize Lawrence Eggert or Adam Piedmont. After all, they were just following orders.