Busted for defending your own home

This is probably one of my least favorite subjects to cover, but it’s the sort of thing we need to remain aware of. Questions of self-defense, the castle doctrine and home security come up often enough, and they can impact nearly anyone in the country if your luck runs low. But a story from upstate New York is now making the rounds for an unusual reason. The Daily Signal has the story of Ronald Stolarczyk, who lives in the Utica, New York region. He found himself forced into a position where he had to use lethal force to save his life in his own home when armed intruders broke in. He thankfully survived (the intruders did not) but that turned out to only be the beginning of his problems.

[L]ook to the case of Ronald Stolarczyk of Oneida County, New York. He’s now facing felony charges for lawfully protecting himself against criminals without first getting the county’s permission to possess a handgun in his home—something that would cost him hundreds of dollars and months of paperwork.

The 64-year-old Stolarczyk was “minding his own business in his kitchen” one day when he heard voices coming from his garage. Stolarczyk tried simply waiting for the intruders to leave, but the two assailants soon ascended the stairs and attempted to enter his central living space.

Stolarczyk then yelled at the burglars to leave, hoping that knowledge of his presence would scare them away. The burglars were undeterred by his warning, and one even aggressively advanced toward him.

With two intruders in his garage and attempting to break into the rest of the house despite repeated verbal warnings, Stolarczyk retrieved his .38-caliber revolver and fired multiple shots at the intruders, killing both of them. He proceeded to immediately contact the police who arrived and determined that it was a case of self-defense, so the homeowner wouldn’t be charged with killing them. Sounds like a happy ending, right?

Not so much. Instead of charging Stolarczyk with murder, they charged him with illegal possession of a handgun and he’s now facing a possible sentence of four years. The case is complicated because of how he came to be in possession of the revolver. The gun belonged to his father, who shared the home with him. The father passed away, leaving all of his possessions (including the gun) to his son. There’s no report of him carrying it outside the home. It was simply in the house. But Stolarczyk never went through the mind-numbing process of trying to apply for a handgun permit in his home county.

It’s also worth noting that Stolarczyk was in such financial distress that he couldn’t even afford to keep the electricity on at his home, to say nothing of paying the endless fees involved in trying to get a permit to own a handgun. If this guy winds up doing time over a “crime” like this, there’s simply no justice in the unhinged state of New York.

Making it worth the click above, the Daily Signal walked through the entire process of attempting to get the permit that Stolarczyk lacked. You should read it. You could probably get permission to build a new nuclear power plant more quickly and cheaply than jumping through all of those hoops.