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GUN STUN: Gun control activist swears he forgot he was carrying gun while visiting school

February 10, 2014

A Buffalo, N.Y. community activist who is well known locally for pushing for  a highly restrictive 2013 gun control law has been arrested for — wait for it —  carrying a gun illegally at a public elementary school.

The arrested gun-control advocate, Dwayne Ferguson, caused quite a scene at  Harvey Austin Elementary School, reports local CBS affiliate WIVB.

At about 4:15 p.m. on Thursday, police acted on a pair of anonymous 911 tips.  A battalion of cops quickly swarmed the school. The brigade included over a  dozen squad cars, the SWAT team and K9 units. The Erie County Sheriff’s Air One  helicopter and what appears to be an armored vehicle also turned up.

The school was immediately placed on lockdown. Parts of two streets were  closed.

About 60 students who were still on campus participating in after-school  activities were funneled to the cafeteria.

Cops searched the school room by room and would not let parents on campus  until they were satisfied that no shooting threat existed.

Ferguson, 52, was at Harvey Elementary because he works as a mentor in an  after-school program for disadvantaged students.

He said he frequently carries a pistol. He has a license but the license does  not matter under the strict state law Ferguson helped pass.

Among much else, the 2013 law, deemed New York’s SAFE Act, made it a felony  to carry a gun on school property, according to The Buffalo News.

While it was always illegal to carry a gun on school grounds, the new law  bumped the crime from a misdemeanor to a felony in response to the Sandy Hook  Elementary School shooting.

The community activist has claimed that he forgot he was carrying his gun in  a felony gun-free zone he helped create.

Rev. James E. Giles, Ferguson’s friend and the president of Buffalo’s Back to  Basics Outreach Ministries, vouched for this claim.

“I’m sure Dwayne went into the school not thinking he had the gun on him,”  Giles told The Buffalo News.

Giles said Ferguson even asked police on the scene what was going on.

“Dwayne’s reaction was to get his kids — he had about 50 of them — and make  sure they were safe,” Giles explained.

Ferguson was eventually busted when police were patting down the people at  the school so they could evacuate. He was wearing the gun in a holster.  Throughout the duration of the terrifying lockdown, the community activist never  bothered to tell the cops that he was carrying a gun.

“He had opportunities,” local chief of police Kevin Brinkworth told the  News.

“I will say he had no ill intent to harm these students,” Brinkworth noted.  “I don’t know why he had it on him.”

Ferguson is the head of the Buffalo chapter of MAD DADS, a national group  that opposes gang violence and illegal drugs. MAD DADS is an acronym for Men  Against Destruction Defending Against Drugs and Social Disorder.

The father of three also belongs to Buffalo Peacemakers, a separate  anti-violence group that stands athwart gang-related crime.

Still more, Ferguson is something of a professional vigilante in Buffalo. He  can be seen patrolling local malls and city streets in an effort to stop gang  violence.

Ferguson now faces two felony charges of criminal gun possession.

He faced his first court hearing on Friday, reports local NBC affiliate WGRZ. Prosecutors  had asked Judge Jeanette Ogden to set bail at $10,000. However, Ogden allowed  Ferguson to walk out of her courtroom on his own recognizance, citing his  community involvement and his squeaky clean criminal record.

Ogden did order Ferguson to submit all of his guns to authorities and to stay  away from Harvey Austin Elementary until his criminal case has been  resolved.
CREDIT TO:  Eric Owens / The Daily Caller
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