Soldier charged after allegedly carrying an illegal firearm while protesting at BLM protest

TROY — A Fort Drum solider, who police said carried a loaded “ghost gun” at a Black Lives Matter protest on Sunday, has been charged and released under monitoring to Fort Drum.

Noah Latham, 22, who led a coalition to make Jefferson County a Second Amendment Sanctuary, was detained by Troy police at about 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 7, at a peaceful protest in which between 8,000 and 11,000 participated, said Matthew B. Hauf, Rensselaer County’s chief assistant district attorney.

Mr. Latham, who Mr. Hauf said was wearing a fatigue-colored vest in a group with several others, was formally charged later Sunday with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class C violent felony, after allegedly having possession of a “ghost gun.”

The type of gun often times comes mostly-assembled in a kit for the buyer to build the rest. Mr. Hauf said the ghost gun Mr. Latham allegedly carried did not have a serial number and was a handgun loaded with ammunition. He said Mr. Latham did not have a New York State pistol permit.

At this point under an ongoing investigation, Mr. Hauf said it would be speculative to say what Mr. Latham and his group had intended to do at the protest.

Mr. Latham was arraigned Sunday evening and released to Fort Drum wearing a GPS monitoring device. No one else in Mr. Latham’s group had been arrested as of Saturday morning.

In early March, Mr. Latham lead a coalition to make Jefferson County a Second Amendment sanctuary, which they had hoped would preempt future state gun control measures in the county. He previously submitted an ordinance that, if adopted, would prohibit county employees or officials from enforcing “any unlawful act” for guns, ammunition and accessories, as well as the use of funds to enforce “an unlawful act.” The Board of Legislators took no action on the ordinance but adopted a resolution declaring opposition toward laws that “would intentionally violate the inalienable rights of the people of Jefferson County.”


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