When is a Gun Found in a Vehicle Considered Loaded? Youngstown Judge to Decide

Municipal Court Judge Carla Baldwin will take two weeks to decide as she put on hold Wednesday binding a charge of improper handling of a firearm of a motor vehicle against 18-year-old Million Perry over to a Mahoning County grand jury.

Police searched the car because they smelled a strong odor of raw marijuana. In the center console, they found a magazine for a handgun loaded with 21 rounds of 9mm ammunition. In the back seat, they found an unloaded 9mm handgun and in the trunk, they found four rounds of 9mm ammunition.

Police charged 18-year-old Million Perry with the fourth degree felony because they contend the handgun and ammunition were in close proximity to each other; thus, for legal purposes, it would be considered a “loaded” firearm.

Perry’s lawyer, Lou DeFabio told Judge Baldwin that the most recent legislative changes say that if ammunition for a gun is in a type of container that needs to be unfastened and it is stored within an inner compartment, it is not accessible to the driver and therefore the unloaded gun that was found could not be considered loaded.

Assistant City Prosecutor Gene Fehr said that when a person is pulled over, they can remove the magazine, put it in the center console and throw the unloaded pistol on the back seat.

Both sides agree that the law has changed as to what constitutes a loaded gun several times through the years and will change again shortly.

◾️Perry was originally pulled over for “excessive window tint.”


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