Plaxico Burress, a wide receiver for the New York Giants, accidentally shot himself in the thigh two Fridays ago at a New York City nightclub. He was taken to a hospital and held over night, and later released. The bullet did not strike any bones or arteries and the wound should heal quickly. More facts are still coming, but the outlook for Burress’s health is positive. However, he may have some very serious legal issues.
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Plaxico Burress, according to various sources, does not have a gun permit in New York. He had one in Florida, but it has expired recently. Moreover, even if the permit was not expired, it is not valid in New York. Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit can send you to prison for a very long time, up to five years.
Why Burress felt the need to carry a gun in a nightclub and why it went off will probably never be known. What is known though is that Burress could lose a lot of money and potentially spend quite a bit of time in jail.
Many athletes seem to think they are above the law. There are always cases that pop up where a superstar was pulled over for a D.U.I. or got arrested for fighting. It seems silly to the rest of us that any athlete, making so much money, could be so short-sighted and participate in bone-headed acts. Michael Vick is in jail, wasting his talent, because he decided dog fighting was a good time, and now it looks like another star athlete may join him.
Burress plans to plead not guilty to the charges, and he has hired a very good lawyer, Benjamin Brafman. Brafman has defended other stars like P. Diddy and Michael Jackson and has had a lot of success getting stars of the hook with a petty cash fine. Burress getting the maximum sentence of five years in prison in unlikely, but some jail time is most likely going to occur. If Burress is sent to prison or cannot play the remainder of the season, Burress could lose up to $4.5 million in salary and bonuses.
At least Burress did not accidentally shoot someone else, like an innocent bystander. He clearly is not safe with guns and should not be allowed to purchase one ever again. Plaxico has had off the field issues before for missing practices or because of contract issues. He seems like a diva and if he thinks he is above the law, then a little time in jail may be good for him.