Three Heavily Armored Individuals Were Arrested Trying To Enter New York City — REPORT
Three people were arrested Tuesday morning trying to enter New York City with a carload of weapons, including long-range guns, handguns, knives, and ballistic vests. The two men, both approximately 50 years old, and the woman, around 20 years old, were stopped for driving with a cracked windshield around 8:00 a.m. on the New Jersey side of the Holland Tunnel, which connects New Jersey to midtown Manhattan. Law enforcement officers searched the car and found seven guns — five pistols and two rifles — one of which was reportedly clearly visible from outside the car. According to New York ABC affiliate WABC, authorities also found ballistic vests, four knives, 10 loaded clips of ammunition, and a camouflage helmet that may have had attached night vision goggles.
One of the suspects reportedly told officers that the group was en route to Queens, where their friend was on heroin and being held against her will. An investigation is underway to investigate this claim, according to New York's local NBC affiliate. As of now, there are no suspected links to any terror organizations or plots, and authorities said that they were simply "gun enthusiasts." The suspects are all reportedly from Pennsylvania, where some of their haul was legal to possess.
The bust comes at a tense for the country, which is still reeling from the recent Orlando shooting and the foiled attack at the Los Angeles Pride festival. This latest incident will undoubtedly become a talking point for those on both sides of the gun control debate, with some arguing these weapons should not be so easily available and others maintaining that Americans have the right to purchase and carry weapons at any time. However, New Jersey does have an assault weapons ban that recently stood up to the test of the U.S. Supreme Court, so if one of the group's weapons falls under that ban, they will have been unquestionably breaking the law.
More information is likely to come forward on the story, but it highlights exactly how easy it is to transport intense weaponry throughout the United States, and the need for federal legislation on what guns are and aren't allowed. Although some states have had success with statewide assault weapons bans, they obviously don't have too much efficacy if they aren't enforceable in other states. Federal legislation is required to close the loopholes on interstate transportation, but judging from the continued inaction in Congress, that could still be a long way off.