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[Update] BB Gun Complaint Case Against Sen. Meyer Closed, No Criminal Violation Found Police Say

The case involving the complaint lodged against Sen Meyer and a retired Guilford Police Officer is closed, according to Police, with no criminal violation found.

 

Update, 2:00 PM, 1/14/13

According to the Guilford Police Department, the case concerning the complaint against Senator Meyer and Retired Officer Pat Leary involving the use of the BB gun at a Gun Control Forum is closed. 

"From our standpoint, based on our investigation, there was no criminal violation," Sgt. Jeff Provencher of the Guilford Police Department just told Guilford Patch. "According to the officers report after interviewing the involved parties, the organizer of the event at the Church was aware of the presence of the BB gun, and was made aware that it would be used at the presentation prior to the meeting."

Update, 3:15 PM, 1/13/13

The Guilford Police just released the following Press Release:

On this date, police responded to a church for a report of someone carrying a B.B. gun inside of the facility. Police arrived and found that there was an Informational Forum on Gun Control being sponsored by and held at the church, where State Senator Ed Meyer was a speaker.  

Police determined that the B.B. gun was unloaded, there was no ammunition present and it was on private property.  People who organized the meeting were aware of the B.B. gun, and all people who attended the forum were advised at the beginning of the event, that the B.B. gun was a prop and inoperable at the time. 

This case remains under investigation. 

Original Story, 1/13/13

Following state Sen. Ed Meyer's forum on gun-control legislation at the First Congregational Church Sunday, a North Branford resident lodged a complaint to the Guilford Police Department against the senator and recently retired Guilford Officer Pat Leary, who assisted in Meyer's presentation.

According to Richard Burgess, who issued the complaint, both Meyer and Leary were in violation of state statute 53-206 concerning the possession of a BB gun in public. Burgess cited the past arrest of Estelle Margolis, an 86-year-old woman who was arrested for bringing a BB gun to a town hall meeting. 

"There are laws against people possessing and showing a BB gun in public," Burgess said. "At the very least, the officer should have been taken away in handcuffs. The senator should have known better ... these are the laws he helped to make."

Burgess is the president of Connecticut Carry, a nonprofit group organized around the protection of citizens' right to bear arms. He told police that he had taken picture of Leary holding the weapon and was prepared to use that evidence in his statement.

According to Sen. Meyer, the BB gun was disabled and church leader Craig Mullet, who organized the meeting, was aware it would be there, which would exempt him from the statute. Prior to showing the BB gun, he also announced that he had it in his possession and would be using it for educational purposes during the presentation. According to these statements by Sen. Meyer, both he and Leary would fall under an exemption to the statute.

As a result of the complaint, Guilford Police confiscated the BB gun, but no arrests were made. 

"We have confiscated the BB gun for investigatory purposes," Guilford Police Officer Sgt. Robert Dube told Guilford Patch. "We will get statements from Sen. Meyer, Officer Leary, and the man who filed the complaint, and follow up with the issue." 

Burgess is determined to follow up on the issue.

"I am heading down to the police office after this to make my statement, and I am prepared to pursue this issue," Burgess told Patch. "Both the officer and the senator were waving it around in front of the meeting, the retired officer stating he was trained in using weapons. This was meant to create fear of an assault weapon and to stir up hysteria about this issue."

Guilford Patch was unable to get a statement from retired Officer Leary. No arrests were made as a result of the complaint, and the matter is still under investigation. 

Madison Patch editor Pem McNerney contributed to this story.

AMM January 14, 2013 at 11:53 PM
Monica, thank you so much for delivering a 1st person report on the meeting. I don't think unfettered access to firearms is a right, but again I am not anti-gun. I agree that there needs to be a lot more focus on school security and wish that someone would hold a public forum on the sorry state of mental health care in our country. Again, I am so glad to hear the opinion of someone who was there.
AMM January 14, 2013 at 11:56 PM
Great points, well made & absolutely reasonable! I agree Jack, neither extreme will solve our problems - there is a moderate solution. Maybe people don't like that because it isn't as simple as no restrictions OR as simple as ban everything.
teresa miller January 14, 2013 at 11:59 PM
Im upset because Sen Meyers wants to turn my husband whose never done a criminal thing in his life into a felon because he has double barrel and semi automatic duck guns. Is this really America? This is really outrageous what is happening in this state, these law abiding gun owners and hunters never bothered anyone yet there being treated like their seriel killers. Its like a Salem Witch Hunt. Disgusting., including most of the media that fuels it. Arent their any politicians with a sense of fairness?
teresa miller January 15, 2013 at 12:15 AM
PS, Miller isnt really my last name so any would be thieves or burglars dont bother LOL.
Stan January 15, 2013 at 07:42 AM
I am heartened and encouraged that so many ladies are pro second amendment. Women who are so often the victims of crime and must have the right to self defense. More power to you ladies! Please continue to express your views and concerns, you lend great credibility to the cause. Meyer asserts that there are no precedent incidents of armed self defense in CT which might justify armed home owners (according to the "numerous" cops he has spoken to). Did he ask the Cheshire detectives or State Police officers who investigated the Cheshire home invasion? Could a legally owned firearm have made a difference? I say to you a tripod mounted belt fed heavy machine gun would have been justifiable in that incident. Ed Meyers has lost it.

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