Use the First, Lose the Second
All he wanted was to talk to his representative about a political issue — something supposedly guaranteed by the First Amendment’s right to petition clause. True, being an activist with the Minutemen and wanting to discuss concerns over criminal illegal alien activity wasn’t exactly something he expected would resonate with Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), but over the years, Gabriel Razzano had established a rapport with her chief of staff, who had even visited him at his home.
Except there was now a new chief, Razzano found out when he paid a visit to McCarthy’s office. And he didn’t return calls. So Razzano returned to McCarthy’s office to make an appointment, and this time was informed he was no longer one of her constituents due to reapportionment. They promised they’d straighten things out, but a week later, not having heard from them, he came back. They instructed him to go to the board of elections, which he did, returning with a “stamped official copy of his Certificate of Registration along with a Voter Registration Printout,” both confirming he was a McCarthy constituent. Proof in hand, he went back to her office.
There he was confronted by a Nassau County Police detective, who, according to a lawsuit Razzano filed in federal court, “informed [him] that he was not in Rep. McCarthy’s district and that he should leave [her] office alone. [The detective] then told Plaintiff to stop ‘annoying’ Rep. McCarthy and not to contact Rep. McCarthy on any issue until he straightened this ‘entire situation out.’” The detective escorted Razzano down the elevator, where they ran into the congresswoman on the ground floor (she would not respond to Razzano’s request to speak) and saw him out the door.
The bum’s rush, one would think. But that wasn’t the end of it. The next day, police showed up at Razzano’s house and demanded that he surrender his guns or face arrest. Someone from McCarthy’s office called them and complained about his behavior, so police told him they were removing his legally registered weapons — nine rifles, 15 handguns, and his fiance’s handgun — for 90 days.
A week later, Razzano still hadn’t been given a receipt for his property, which he had to request. Three weeks later, he received a letter from Nassau County Police Chief Anthony Rocco stating his pistol license had been revoked, because he “had become ‘increasingly obsessed with the day laborer situation’ and that [his] ‘actions have cause[d] great concern over [his] suitability to possess a pistol license.’” And they weren’t going to return his long guns either, since there was no provision in law to do so.
Meanwhile, Carolyn McCarthy denied any knowledge of the 911 call. It wasn’t until the magistrate ordered it at a discovery hearing that the name of the staffer who made the call became known.
What we have here is an American citizen — with no criminal charges against him, no convictions, no mental health diagnoses, no adjudication of any kind — being stripped of his Second Amendment rights because he exercised those promised in the First.
Most Recent Updated
Man sues Nassau over seized guns
July 21, 2008 By WILLIAM MURPHY
A member of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corp. is suing Nassau County to get back nine rifles and 15 handguns seized from his Freeport home by police after he made repeated visits to the office of Rep. Carolyn McCarthy to complain about what he believed to be "illegal aliens" in his neighborhood.
Aides to McCarthy (D-Mineola), whose husband was one of six people slain by Colin Ferguson in the 1993 Long Island Rail Road massacre, eventually called police, which led to the seizure of the weapons.
Gabriel Razzano, 53, is also seeking $5 million in damages from Nassau County, the county Police Department and McCarthy in his lawsuit filed last year in federal court in the Eastern District. Razzano said in court papers that all the handguns were licensed, and that they were seized in violation of his "valid exercise of his constitutional right to free speech and to petition his representative."
Det. Sgt. Anthony Repalone of the Police Department confirmed that the guns had been licensed and had been seized "based on a complaint by people in McCarthy's office."A spokesman for McCarthy, Ray Zaccaro, declined to comment.
Razzano began writing to McCarthy in early 2003 to complain about the "illegal aliens" in his neighborhood, and sent 15 letters over a period of several years, according to court papers.
Police seized his weapons on March 20, 2007, the lawsuit said. Aides to the congresswoman told him he did not live in her district, and that he was represented by Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), the lawsuit said. Records show Razzano lives in King's district, but Razzano submitted in his lawsuit a certified copy of his voting records showing him registered in McCarthy's district.
Killdozer to the rescue!