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Sunday, February 23, 2003

Can You Shoot An Intruder With An Unlicensed Gun?

Yes and no. We were originally following the Ron Dixon story, but the list of similar stories in the NYC area is now four. The latest:

An armed burglar in search of a Queens woman's lottery winnings was fatally shot by the woman's son, who now faces gun charges, police said.

Manuel Falquez, 22, who is on leave from the Air Force, used an unlicensed 9-mm handgun to shoot the man who shimmied up three stories and used a knife to pry open a sliding glass door on the balcony of Gracia Gutierrez's Corona home Tuesday. Gutierrez, who was not home when the shooting occurred, recently won a $100,000 Win 4 jackpot.

Police said the burglar, who was carrying identification they believe is fake and was still unidentified last night, had his own unlicensed .38-caliber gun, which was recovered in the apartment.

Officials at the Queens district attorney's office said Falquez, an airman based at Maguire Air Force Base in New Jersey, was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.

From the prior link, “it’s highly unlikely Falquez will do any jail time for this,” a law enforcement source added.

And what about Mr. Dixon?

...on Dec. 14, Ronald Dixon, 27, wounded Ivan Thompson, 40, a longtime criminal, after Thompson broke into Dixon’s home and was heading toward the room of Dixon’s 2-year-old son, police said. The Navy veteran also used an unlicensed handgun. He was charged with illegal possession of a firearm.

Prosecutors offered Dixon a plea deal, which he rejected.

In a statement released through his spokesman Wednesday, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said: “We’re not disputing that Mr. Dixon had a right to shoot the person who broke into his house. But he had no right to have that gun.”

The case is pending.

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