Some of New York’s most strident gun control advocates have rushed to the defense of an unwitting traveler who was arrested at an airport for a technical violation of a draconian gun law. Has a new era of sanity arrived in the Big Apple? Not really. This defendant happens to be an NYPD officer who is alleged to have violated India’s strict firearm regulations.
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On March 10th, NYPD Officer Manny Encarnacion was arrested when officials at the airport in New Delhi discovered three rounds of ammunition in his baggage. New York City’s NBC affiliate reports that Encarnacion had been to the shooting range before his trip and put three rounds into a jacket pocket. Encarnacion later packed that jacket, forgetting that it contained the ammunition. Since his arrest, he has not been allowed to leave India and faces charges that could land him seven years in prison.
Encarnacion’s detainment has turned into somewhat of an international incident between officials in New York and India. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio expressed support for the officer and suggested that the Indian government may have had an ulterior reason for the arrest. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) wrote a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, in which he states, “This excessive act by the Indian government is clearly politically motivated,” and alleges that the incident is retaliation for the December 2013 arrest of an Indian official in New York. The New York Daily News reports that Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has also lent his support to the stranded officer, remarking, “I would hope that India, a country that we have a good relationship with, would not stoop to the petty level of making a political pawn of this decorated NYPD cop and veteran.”