Benjamin Wassell, a Marine veteran who served two tours of duty in the Iraq war, and received a Certificate of Commendation for having rescued fellow Marines from further injury despite suffering his own traumatic brain injury, is the first person to be charged under New York’s new gun law.
Via Buffalo News:
Benjamin M. Wassell is more than just the state’s first defendant accused of illegal weapon sales under its tough new gun control law.
He’s 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, according to loved ones and military records.
The 32-year-old Silver Creek man, who family members say would still be in the Marines had he not been severely injured, is also a devoted husband and father of two young children.
But Wednesday morning in Hanover Town Court, Wassell found himself at the center of the fierce debate spawned by the New York SAFE Act, adopted in response to the slaughter of Connecticut schoolchildren late last year.
Wassell is charged with selling rifles that are illegal under the SAFE Act, by adding accessories to the weapons and making them more valuable.
He could spend up to seven years in prison.