The Office of the Attorney General has dismissed two of seven charges against Sergio M. Rangamar, a 36-year-old man accused of aiming a gun at his two cousins in Gualo Rai.
Assistant attorney general Brian Flaherty asked the Superior Court to drop the charges of illegal possession of a firearm and illegal possession of ammunition against Rangamar.
Flaherty filed an amended information that now charges Rangamar with two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, two counts of disturbing the peace, and one count of criminal contempt.
Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho granted the government’s request Friday.
The dismissal of the gun and ammunition charges means that the court will no longer entertain Rangamar’s motion that questioned the constitutionality of simple possession of handguns in the CNMI.
Attorney Mark Scoggins, counsel for Rangamar, earlier filed a motion to dismiss the charges of illegal possession of a firearm and illegal possession of ammunition. Scoggins pointed out that portions of the Commonwealth Weapons Act are unconstitutional under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Rangamar’s motion prompted Camacho to direct the parties to submit supplemental briefings. He also urged interested parties to submit briefs.
Camacho said how the issue of Rangamar’s motion is resolved has the potential of legalizing handguns in the CNMI.
On Friday, the OAG moved to amend the information and dismiss the two charges that Rangamar had questioned. Camacho granted the OAG’s motion.
The original information charged the defendant with two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, two counts of disturbing the peace, and one count each of illegal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of ammunition, and criminal contempt.
Flaherty said that after reviewing the file and a discussion with the parties involved in this case, the government believes it is in the best interest of justice to make these changes. He said the government also believes that it would have difficulty proving each element of each charge.
He said the government has discussed these amendments with Rangamar’s lawyer.
Flaherty said the government contends that this amendment will neither unduly prejudice Rangamar nor compromise the proceedings.
Police arrested Rangamar for allegedly aiming a gun at his two cousins in Gualo Rai on Jan. 31, 2013. Police recovered at the scene a 9mm semi-automatic pistol with a 9mm live round in the chamber, another live round in the magazine, seven 9mm full rounds, and five 9mm hollow point live rounds.