In the midst of his ninth NBA season, New York Knicks point guard Raymond Felton is definitely in the spotlight. However, the attention isn’t because he’s such a great athlete and basketball player, it’s because he has found himself in a heap of trouble with the law, and with his wife of less than two years. Keep in mind that New York has some of the country’s most strict gun-control laws, and the point guard was found to be in possession of a highly illegal fire arm and ammunition: the high powered, semi automatic handgun FNH 5.7 28mm. Although Felton’s wife knew the weapon was in their home in Manhattan, she no longer felt safe with it being there after her husband held onto it during arguments. According to police, Felton was holding a firearm, but not pointing it, during four separate occasions in which he was having an argument with his wife. The couple is currently going through a divorce, with Felton’s wife alleging that Mr. Felton has been continuously unfaithful to her during their marriage.
This past Monday, Felton’s wife and her attorney took the handgun to the police station, telling authorities the illegal weapon belonged to the Knicks player. On Tuesday, Felton was arrested on two felony weapons charges: third degree criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm The prosecutors for the case declined to file a second-degree felony weapons charge and opted for two lesser felonies against Felton because they lacked the evidence required to support the second-degree charge. The second-degree charge involves having intent to use the firearm against someone else and has a mandatory 3.5 year prison term for those convicted. The move by the prosecution is likely the reason Felton still has a job. In fact, he was still practicing with the Knicks the day after his arrest and played against the Miami Heat on Thursday evening.
If we take a look back, New York’s gun laws are tough for everyone, even celebrities who seem to have large enough bank accounts to keep them out of jail. In 2008, football star Plaxico Burress violated the strict firearm law when he brought an unregistered gun into a nightclub, then accidentally shot himself with it. Burress ended up serving 20 months in jail. Burress even offered up some advice for Felton, stating to ESPN that “you just need to be smarter, make better decisions and be knowledgeable about the laws in cities and different states if you do want to be a gun owner to prevent situations like this.” Burress went further, stating that he “didn’t even know that [he] couldn’t carry the weapons in New York City at that time. If [he] would have known then, [the] situation would have never happened.”
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