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Slingshot-Firing County Employee Pleads Guilty to Shooting at Cars

Randolph man also admitted to having BB gun without a permit, authorities say.

A 19-year employee of Morris County pleaded guilty to third-degree weapon possession charges Tuesday after he had a BB handgun and used a slingshot to fire at passing vehicles, according to Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp.

Lawrence Ball, 55, of Randolph, did not have a legal permit for the BB gun, Knapp said.

Ball was arrested on September 13, 2010 on several counts of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose after authorities reported he had been firing the weapons at passing cars. 

Ball could be sentenced to probationary supervision for five years, as the state is planning to recommend, Knapp said, and be forced to undergo psychiatric and psychological treatment and have no contact with weapons. 

Additionally, Ball will be forced to forfeit all public employment if the state's recommendations are carried out.

The state was represented by Assistant Prosecutor Brian DiGiacomo in the plea agreement and the Hon. Mary Gibbons Whipple presided.

Ball is out of jail on bail and scheduled for sentencing on April 19.

Knapp thanked Police Chief Robert Mason of the Randolph Police Department, Police Chief Scott Thompson and the Morris Plains Police Department, Police Chief John McGuinness and the Morris Township Police Department and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office General Investigations Unit for assisting with the investigation.

Kenny J. March 15, 2013 at 04:54 PM
What don't you need a permit for in NJ? You even need a permit to have a garage sale! Laughable and pathetic.
David March 15, 2013 at 10:51 PM
Legally, you absolutely DO NOT NEED A PERMIT to own a BB gun or even any type of real firearm. The Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID) is only needed to BUY a gun, not OWN one. Despite this, authorities in the state have long seemed to require a FOID card to be in possession of any time of gun. (I am not a lawyer).
Bubo March 15, 2013 at 11:54 PM
You need a FOID and a Permit before you can buy a handgun in NJ. You have to have a FOID to be able to get a Permit, unless you apply for both at the same time. Permits are good for one and only one handgun purchase and are valid for 90 days. They can be extended for another 90 days by your local police chief for good cause. And even with both in hand you still are going to have to go through an FBI NICS background sale if you go to a licensed firearms dealer. Despite the fact the I is for "Instant" there are so many people buying weapons the FBI lines are all jammed up and you may not be able to "buy" your handgun the day you go to the store. That is because until the background check comes back clear no licensed dealer is going to sell you a handgun, or take a deposit on it, or hold it against a credit card. We are not talking about buying handtools at Lowes.
Mrs. Smith March 20, 2013 at 10:55 AM
Is this article about a 19 year old who recently shot a BB gun and slingshot at vehicles, or about a 55 year old man who didn't have a permit in Sept 2012? Very confusing.
Chris March 20, 2013 at 01:04 PM
I had to re-read, too. the 55 y/o employee has worked for the County for 19 years. But I can see how its misleading. I can def see a stupid 19 y/o kid doing something like this, but a 55 y/o man? Come on. What was he thinking?

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