First, a correction. We reported Sept. 25 that a Stafford man found with an "assault rifle" was on probation at the time of his arrest.
He was not on probation.
Brett William Snyder, 50, of Batavia Stafford Townline Road, was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, third degree.
One count under Section 2, Subsection 7 for alleged possession of an "assault weapon," and one count under Section 2, Subsection 8 for alleged possession of a "a large capacity ammunition feeding device."
While this might sound like a violation of the NYS SAFE Act, it is not. Both laws banning the particular rifle and magazines allegedly found in Snyder's home have been on the books in New York since 1994.
Snyder was allegedly found in possession of a Windham Weaponry semi-automatic assault rifle Model WW15 with a pistol grip, bi-pod, scope and expandable stock.
He was also allegedly found in possession of three 30-round clips and two 20-round clips. One of the 30-round clips allegedly had 30 .22 rounds in it.
The weapon was reportedly discovered by a probation officer who was at Snyder's residence to do a routine check of a person on probation who resides at the same place.
The probation officer reported seeing an unlocked weapon's case with the rifle in plain view. He reported seeing a flash suppressor on the weapon and contacted the Sheriff's Office about a possible SAFE Act violation.
The officer said he asked Snyder if he knew that it was a violation of the terms of probation for the other person living with him to possess a firearm and Snyder said he didn't think it was a problem because that person wasn't holding it. The probation officer said he informed Snyder the weapon needed to be locked away in order for it to not be a probation violation.
According to the probation officer's statement, Snyder was known to him because Snyder was at one time on probation because of a prior felony conviction.
The District Attorney's Office clarified for us today that both laws being used to prosecute Snyder were on the books prior to passage of the SAFE Act and this is not a SAFE Act case.