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Probation on gun charge for accused Cowboys fan-brawler at MetLife

On Sept. 11, 2011, an argument erupted between fans at a Jets-Cowboys game at MetLife Stadium., a 60-year-old Cowboys fan from South Carolina declined to stand during the national anthem, apparently due to a medical condition, it was later learned.

A scuffle ensued, and the Cowboys fan pulled out and used a stun gun he was wearing on his hip. One man reportedly fell down the stairs, and the Cowboys fan was arrested and charged with seven counts of assault, along with felony possession of a weapon.

The South Carolina man pled guilty yesterday to the gun charge in exchange for having the seven assault charges dropped. Although he did agree to the plea bargain, it should be pointed out that he was accustomed to carrying his stun gun in South Carolina and did not realize that possessing one was illegal in New Jersey.

"He wasn't intentionally trying to do something illegal," his criminal defense attorney told reporters.

Possessing a stun gun is prohibited altogether in New Jersey, and being caught with one can result in a Class 4 felony charge. In fact, New Jersey has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation and was the last state to allow stun guns even for police officers. Even so, the officers who carry the non-lethal weapons must be selected personally be each department and may only use the stun gun to prevent harm to the officer or others.

New Jersey's gun laws are complex, and many people run afoul of them without even realize they have committed a crime. If you or someone you care about is ever charged with felony possession of a weapon or another gun offense, you should contact an attorney experienced with weapons charges.

Source: The Record (Bergen County), "Cowboys fan draws probation for stun-gun use at Jets-Dallas game," Michael Copley, Dec. 7, 2012