Man charged after selling assault weapon to undercover cop - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Man charged after selling assault weapon to undercover cop

William Greene (State Police) William Greene (State Police)

WILTON, N.Y. - New York State Police have arrested a Moreau resident for allegedly selling an assault rifle under the terms of the new state gun control legislation, the SAFE Act.

Just days after the controversial New York Safe Act officially went into effect State Police in Wilton already made one of their first arrests. Police arrested 51-year-old William Greene on Tuesday at his home on Pine Road in the Town of Moreau. An undercover officer purchased an assault weapon Police say Greene was attempting to sell through a private group of gun enthusiasts on Facebook.

"The law doesn't allow the transfer of this gun without the background check and doesn't allow those lawfully possessed guns to be transferred to a random individual," said Cpt. Timothy Munro with State Police Troop G.

Police were tipped off to the Facebook post by a call made to the NYS Guns Tip line. Although a new law Police say Greene was well aware of it.

"It's clear to us through conversations and through the investigation that he was aware that he was violating the law," said Munro.

Greene has been charged with two misdemeanors for the unlawful transfer of an assault weapon and disposing of a weapon without a background check. Police explained Wednesday why the gun is considered an assault weapon under the new law.

"It has the means of accepting a detachable magazine and it had at least one of the features that makes it an assault weapon," said Munro.

That feature Police say was a pistol grip. But as the safe act is being challenged in court as some believe it's unconstitutional the question of its validity is a concern.

"Before all is said and done the NY court of appeals is going to have to issue a definitive ruling. The constitutionality of the law is right now legally an open question," said Attorney Terry Kindlon with Kindlon & Shanks.

Greene will be in court at a later date. The weapon Police say is a RGuns .223-5.56 caliber assault style rifle with a pistol grip, which meets the definition of an assault weapon.


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