Charles Foehner, a 65-year-old retired doorman from New York City, faces 24 gun charges following a fatal self-defense shooting incident involving an alleged robber. Foehner’s bail has been doubled to $50,000, signaling heightened scrutiny of his case by the court. While some argue the justice system is merely doing its job, others believe Foehner’s ordeal illuminates the struggles law-abiding citizens confront with rising crime rates in America’s urban centers.
On a Wednesday night in the Kew Gardens neighborhood of Queens, Foehner’s usually quiet life was disrupted by 32-year-old Cody Gonzalez. According to surveillance footage, Gonzalez, a man with over 15 arrests since 2004 and a history of mental illness, staggered towards Foehner, demanding money and cigarettes. Misinterpreting Gonzalez’s pen as a knife, Foehner fatally shot him after several warnings and a perceived lunge from Gonzalez.
Self defense is an inherent Right. What’s being done here is a deliberate erosion of this Right, along with fear indoctrination to gain compliance from other citizens.
The only crime is the absurdity that a citizen require a permit to exercise their Right.https://t.co/9T8H3nEGDB
— Rangermonk (@rangermonk1) June 3, 2023
Foehner wasn’t charged in the fatal shooting, despite surrendering to the authorities the following day. The initial charges centered around the second-degree criminal possession of the weapon he used in the alleged self-defense incident. However, an additional 24 gun charges emerged after a search of Foehner’s apartment revealed a collection of around 26 firearms, including pistols, shotguns, rifles, and an AK-47.
While Foehner had licenses for five rifles, he did not possess permits for the handguns in his collection. He admitted to carrying the unlicensed firearm used in the Gonzalez incident due to rising crime rates in the city. Foehner, who has owned the gun since the 1990s, said, “I read the crime stats and I see so much crime. I had the pistol. I obtained it in a bar one night.”
Despite his valid concerns for personal safety, Foehner’s explanation found no sympathy with Judge Jerry Iannece. Addressing Foehner in Queens Criminal Court, Judge Iannece expressed his worries: “The defendant was on the street with a loaded, unlicensed gun. There are too many shootings in this city! The court is quite concerned with what we see.”
Foehner’s lawyer, Margaret Lin, attempted to argue that the charges and increased bail were overreaches. She highlighted Foehner’s lack of criminal history and proximity to the courthouse, asserting he wasn’t a flight risk. “This incident is a total aberration in his life,” she told the court.
Still, Judge Iannece remained unmoved and doubled Foehner’s bail, underlining the large cache of weapons in Foehner’s apartment as his primary concern.
At a time when crime rates in the city continue to rise, it seems that the authorities are more concerned about a law-abiding citizen’s means of protection than the criminal actions plaguing the streets.