Police officers went too far when they counted the bullets in Paul A. Wojdan’s gun, City Judge William J. Watson ruled Wednesday as he dismissed a charge against Wojdan arising from New York’s SAFE Act.
During a hearing in Lockport City Court, Watson threw out the misdemeanor charge against Wojdan that had been filed because the magazine of his Ruger 9 mm pistol contained 10 bullets. That exceeds the SAFE Act’s restriction of seven bullets in a magazine.
Now, Wojdan wants all six of his firearms back. After his Oct. 12 arrest, Niagara County Sheriff’s Office confiscated all of the guns listed on Wojdan’s pistol permit. Attorney James Tresmond will file a motion with Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III for the return of the guns.
After court, Wojdan wasn’t happy about having to wait for them.
“What does he gain keeping my guns?” Wojdan asked.
Wojdan was a passenger in a vehicle that was pulled over by Lockport Police for speeding Oct. 12. The vehicle, driven by Wojdan’s wife, was clocked by radar traveling 44 mph in a 30 mph zone on South Transit Street at about 2 a.m. The vehicle didn’t stop until Lt. Adam Piedmont had followed it for about a mile and a half, finally pulling over near Strauss Road in the town. Piedmont was aided by Officer Daniel Barrancotta, who testified Wednesday that he heard the siren while he was waiting in the drive-through lane at Mighty Taco.
Both officers testified that Wojdan and his wife were asked whether there were any weapons in the vehicle, and the couple indicated a Ruger was in the glove compartment. Barrancotta located the gun and Wojdan’s permit, and verified its listing on the permit. Then Barrancotta was directed by Piedmont to make sure the gun was safe.