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Shaw Pleads Not Guilty

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Back in November, I wrote a post about New York City tattoo pioneer, Jonathan Shaw and the rather immense weapons cache of his that was discovered.  Well, yesterday Shaw was in attendance for his first day of court at Manhattan Supreme Court.  Charged with 89 counts of criminal possession of weapons (three of which are felony charges) for his absolutely massive weapons cache, the 57-year-old Shaw pleaded not guilty.

Shaw, who has never owned a firearms license or a rifle permit in the state of New York, has been released on $250,000 bail.  The weapons cache itself was found in a storage locker in November and contained numerous loaded weapons.

‘Guns in the locker included the AK-47 loaded with 31 rounds of ammo, a British military rifle; a Mossberg 12 gauge pump-action pistol-grip shotgun and a loaded .30 caliber semiautomatic riffle, officials said.

More than 80 knives, including 66 illegal switchblades, two daggers, a bayonet, fives sets of metal knuckles, eight expandable batons, two leather blackjacks and five blank-firing handguns, were also discovered officials said.’

If found guilty of the charges against him, Shaw could face up to 15 years in prison.  The not guilty plea is based on his claim that the weapons were part of a personal collection and nothing more.  Three of the knives found amongst the weapons stockpile were engraved with the Ku Klux Klan logo, something that Shaw’s lawyer Stacey Richman says makes them “…without question historical pieces.”

It’ll certainly be interesting to see how the remainder of this thing plays out.  What I don’t understand is why you need to have the firearms loaded if they are sitting in a storage locker and are part of a historical collection.  I also don’t understand why the judge presiding over the case, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr would bring the recent shooting in Arizona into the equation.

‘”The events of this past weekend remind us that gun violence continues to plague our nation,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr said, referring to the Arizona massacre that left six people dead and a U.S. congresswoman with a bullet in her brain.

“The defendant’s illegal weapons cache endangered workers and customers at the storage facility and in the entire community,” Vance said.’

Sure, Shaw did break the law by having an illegal weapons cache in a storage locker, but bringing in imagery of the Arizona shootings will surely have an impact on the jury that isn’t necessarily going to be good or fair for Jonathan Shaw.  All this being said of course, Shaw really seems to be on thin ice here and tattoo legend or not, this entire episode is more than a little unsettling.  Stay tuned.

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