Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Inc.
P.O. Box 270143
Hartford, WI 53027
Phone (800) 869-1884
Fax (425) 451-3959
April 9, 2000
Help Stop Prosecution of Self-Defending Woman
Long-time JPFO members and supporters Russ and Linda Hamilton are asking for your help. Linda is facing prosecution apparently for trying to prevent a crime. You can help. Here is her story:
Linda was driving on a main highway in North Adams, Massachusetts around noon on March 1, 2000, when a huge eighteen-wheeler truck tried to run her off the road. As the trucker was coming after her for the fourth time, Linda pulled out her holster from her purse and held it next to her steering wheel. Inside the holster was her .38 caliber sidearm, although it was mainly the hand grip that was visible.
When the trucker saw the holstered sidearm, he immediately backed off. Linda had not withdrawn the sidearm nor had she even pointed the holster at the trucker. Linda held a Massachusetts concealed-carry permit.
Linda pulled off the road at the first place where she could find a telephone, and trucker kept right on driving away. Linda called the state police and told them what happened. The trooper on the telephone was upset with Linda and told her that she should not have done what she did, and that the trucker could file a complaint against her. The trooper seemed much less interested in what the trucker had done to Linda.
After the call to the police, Linda got back on the road. Minutes later she had to pull of the road again because a tail-gating vehicle was riding her bumper. The tail-gating car carried two female state troopers, and they start yelling at her "Is there a gun in your vehicle?"
As it happened, the trucker had contacted these troopers and told them "there was a lady back there that waved a gun at me." The two officers asked permission of Linda to search her car, and she refused. The two officers, Troopers Curran and Robertson, searched the car anyway, found the gun in the car, and left the gun there. The troopers also frisked Linda.
A few minutes later a detective from North Adams, Rick Lesniak, appeared on the scene. Lesniak berated Linda, asking her what she did to "piss off" the trucker, and told her that she could not have a loaded gun in the car. The troopers read Linda her rights, and Lesniak took her sidearm away. Fearing the harassing trucker might return, Linda said "If you are going to keep my gun I want an escort home." The officers all refused and left.
Three weeks later, Linda was charged with a felony: "Assault with a dangerous weapon." Five-feet, four inches tall and an Anesthetic Nurse in a hospital, Linda is a licensed Massachusetts gun owner, has never even had a speeding ticket, and has never drawn her gun except at the firing range. She is being charged because she used her legal firearm in self-defense -- by just showing the holstered weapon to her attacker. It appears that the prosecution aims to terrorize Linda and any other concealed carry firearm owner so that they will not exercise their rights. The prosecution will put the pressure on Linda, while avoiding the issue of the unlawful search of her vehicle and seizure of her weapon.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: If you live within driving distance of North Adams, Massachusetts, please join the demonstration outside the courthouse on April 11, 2000 at 8:15 a.m. On that date Linda will be arraigned. It will cost you almost nothing but your time. Posters and signs will be supplied.
Even if you cannot attend, but wish to help in other ways, please contact: Russ & Linda Hamilton at once:
Fax: (413) 337-4306
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