Benjamin M. Wassell, an Iraq War hero who, despite a traumatic brain injury from an improvised explosive device that destroyed his vehicle back in 2006, was able to lead other wounded Marines through a minefield to safety, was the first person charged in violation of the New York State Safe Act.
A Western New York man now faces seven years in prison for violating Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new gun control-law, the NY Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act (or SAFE Act).
Benjamin M. Wassell, an Iraq War veteran, was charged with twice selling newly banned military-style ‘assault’ weapons and standard-capacity magazines to an undercover police officer as part of a sting operation conducted by State Police and the New York Attorney General’s Office, the Buffalo News reported.
Altogether, the 32-year-old Silver Creek resident was slapped with three felony charges and one misdemeanor, which as noted could end up putting Wassell, who has no prior convictions, behind bars for as many as seven years.
“By selling these illegal firearms, Mr. Wassell’s actions had potentially dangerous consequences for New Yorkers,” said state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “We have seen far too much gun violence in our state in recent months, and the sale of illegal semiautomatic weapons will not go unpunished.”
On Jan. 24 Wassell sold a Del-Ton AR-15 to an undercover agent along with six standard-capacity magazines and 299 rounds of ammunition for $1,900.
Due do the fact that the rifle has one or more military cosmetic characteristics, i.e. a detachable magazine, a pistol grip and a telescoping stock, it is considered an ‘assault’ weapon under the NY SAFE Act and cannot be sold to anyone but a licensed dealer or an out-of-state citizen.