New York City, New York State has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. As a resident here, I like it that way; there are A LOT of people (approx: 8 million) living LITERALLY on top of each other. As a virture of life in the densely-populated urban jungle, one just sort of accepts intense gun laws as a matter of public safety. I'm completely cool with that.
That said, if you're moving to New York City from, say, Texas, for college, it's probably best to familiarize yourself with the laws of your new home. 20-year-old NYU junior Bernard Goal didn't do that and now he's in a whole heap of trouble with the authorities. Goal lives in a NYU dorm at 80 Lafayette Street in Lower Manhattan. On Monday, Resident Hall staff saw very realistic-looking guns on his bed (one source says "pistols" another says "rifles"... obviously there's a difference) and informed campus police. His room was searched and police found five airsoft rifles, "one of which resembled an AK47," reports the Village Voice. Goal was reportedly selling his products online for upwards of $500.
New York Post reports he was arrested and charged with six misdemeanor violations of a local law that prohibits the possession or sale of air rifles and replica firearms.
Then a statement from NYU was released:
"NYU does not permit guns—real or fake—on campus," the university's Vice President for Global Security and Crisis Management, Jules Martin, wrote in an email to residents of Goal's dorm today. "In this day and age, especially given recent events at Virginia Tech and Newtown, Conn., the University will respond swiftly to protect the safety of our community when there is even a possibility of gun involvement."
We spoke with three of Goal’s suitemates last night after police left their room. The boys, who wished to remain anonymous, described the events of Monday night and Tuesday afternoon. “The cops were in our room for the entire night,” they said. “The NYU guards and the NYPD were here at all times, and they would switch shifts. They were basically here making sure nobody tampered with the evidence in the room.”
Goal’s suitemates, however, believe that in light of the recent events in Boston, their roommate’s story has been overhyped. “It’s all a result of what happened in Boston and people reacting,” said one. A second agreed, and added that “that’s exactly how NYU wants to view it. Because they don’t want it to be like, ‘crazy NYU student, don’t come here!’” And as for the claims that he ran a “weapons factory” out of his dorm room? His roommates dismissed this, reiterating that his collection had just been part of a hobby.
Guns on college campus are already a hot button issue in itself, part of a spoke in the much bigger societal debate of gun regulation at large. Just a few weeks ago a massive campus shooter scare was sparked by a 'Humans vs. Zombies' game at the University of Rhode Island. Goes without saying that it's probably best to not push it. That's just common sense.
Pic via Gawker