A Buffalo Police Officer has been charged after leaving a loaded gun in his vehicle. Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announced that the 28-year-old police officer was arraigned on Friday afternoon before Buffalo City Court Justice Shannon Heneghan. Mitchell R. Thomas of Buffalo was charged with one count of Failure to Safely Store Firearms in the First Degree, which is a misdemeanor.
On Sunday, October 9, 2022, just after 5 pm, several Buffalo Police Officers responded to a 911 call in the 300 block of Franklin Street. They saw an unsecured pistol in plain sight on a parked, unoccupied car. Thomas, who was employed by the Buffalo Police Department at the time of the incident, was off-duty at the time of the alleged crime. The weapon, which was a personal firearm, was allegedly left outside of his immediate possession.
Thomas is due back in court on Monday, March 13, 2023, at 9:30 am. Thomas was released on his own recognizance. If convicted of the charge he is facing, he could spend a maximum sentence of one year in jail.
As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Gov. Hochul To Spend Almost $500 Million To Fight Gun Violence In New York State
Governor Kathy Hochul has included a hefty chunk of change in her 2024 budget to battle gun violence in New York State. It's no secret that New York, just like most of the rest of America, has a problem with guns. We have seen multiple mass shootings around the country in the past few weeks and it doesn't seem to be getting better. Kids are getting their hands on guns and shooting teachers, classmates, relatives, and friends. I hate to say it, but it seems like Americans are becoming numb to gun violence and the destruction it causes to communities and families.
Gun advocates often argue that criminals are the problem. While that is very much true, another part of the problem is that most guns used in criminal activities start out as legal guns. Criminals get their hands on guns through several methods, according to American Progress,
Guns are diverted into illegal gun markets in three common ways: straw purchases; secondary sales through private sellers; and theft from individual gun owners or firearm dealers.
Another way criminals get guns is by ordering ghost guns.