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NY gun law: James Ross of New Paltz charged with criminal contempt after failed firearm buy

A New Paltz man ran afoul of New York's strict gun laws when he tried to buy a firearm at a sporting goods store near Kingston despite an active order of protection against him, the Ulster County sheriff's office said.

James Ross, 63, went to Gander Mountain in Kingston on April 30 looking to buy a gun -- police didn't say what kind -- and he was rejected because of an order of protection out of Suffolk County Family Court, cops said.

The attempted purchase flagged police via a state database, and sheriff's deputies arrested Ross at 8 p.m. Monday at his home on Church Hill Road in New Paltz. It's not clear why police waited more than a month after the attempted purchase to arrest Ross. The Ulster County sheriff's office, which announced the arrest Thursday, did not return a call from Newsday.

Ross was charged with second-degree criminal contempt, a misdemeanor.

New York is one of only a handful of states where domestic violence offenders are required to surrender their firearms, although lawmakers in several other states have considered similar requirements in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Conn. in December.

In March, the National Rifle Association's lower New York field representative made headlines when he was hit with an order of protection after a confrontation with his wife, and police seized 39 rifles, pistols and shotguns from his home in Suffolk County. The NRA official, Richard D'Alauro, was prohibited from owning firearms for one year after pleading guilty to a harassment charge associated with a domestic violence incident involving his ex-wife.

It wasn't immediately clear if the Suffolk County Family Court order of protection was related to possible criminal charges against Ross. Attempts to reach Ross on Thursday afternoon were unsuccessful, and an online state Unified Court System database showed no earlier pending cases against him.

Ross was arraigned in Ulster Town Court and was sent to county jail in lieu of $1,000 cash or $2,000 bond bail. He's scheduled to return to court at 1 p.m. June 18.

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