Man Arrested with Gun in New Haven Theater Calls Charges 'Baseless' [VIDEO]

Arrested New Haven attorney Sung-Ho Hwang and the New Haven Police Department both held press conferences on Wednesday, August 8th.


On Tuesday, August 7th, New Haven attorney Sung-Ho Hwang entered the Criterion - Bow Tie Cinema with

Today, Hwang, who has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, held a press conference at his Audobon Street business, the Law Offices of Sung-Ho Hwang, LLC, during which he explained the circumstances that led him to bring a weapon into the movie theater. Hwang also discussed his 2nd amendment right to bear arms.

New Haven Police Chief Dean M. Esserman and New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. held a separate press conference on Church Street, in which they praised the actions of New Haven Police, Yale Police, and Criterion - Bow Tie Cinemas.

Hwang allegedly did not comply with officers' demands in the theater, hence the interfering charges.

This comes less than three weeks after  

View the above video for more information.

Below is a statement from Sung-Ho Hwang:

'I would like to take this opportunity the to explain what had happened. I have had a valid state carry permit for many years. I normally do not carry, but I live in downtown new haven and the movie was getting out at 1am, so I felt that I should protect myself since I was alone.

I have a special conceal holster that goes under my pants and the shirt covers the holster. There is no posting at Criterion at [sic] states that weapons are not permitted. As far as the law is concerned, I have a right to carry there.

I understand that we are in a state of heightened security since the incident at Colorado a couple of months ago. I really feel for the victims and I pray for their family members.

I don’t think that the patrons did any thing wrong. If they did suspect that someone had a weapon I would expect them to call the police. If I were in their situation I would have done the same thing.

I would also like to thank the uniformed police who acted very well under a tough situation. They were very professional and understanding once they discovered that I had a valid state carry permit."

I was cooperative and followed all the directions of the police. I think that the Second amendment is crucially important to protect. When baseless breach of peace and interfering charges are brought against people that have a right to carry, it really threatens our constitution [sic] right to bear arms.'

RONALD M GOLDWYN August 09, 2012 at 04:02 AM
I just heard the interview and now I am convinced that everyone did their job and no laws were broken. Just a few headlines that scared a number of citizens into enlarging the small incicent into a major one.
Grifhunter August 09, 2012 at 05:55 AM
What? Wait a minute there chief and mayor. If you want to throw out numbers, cars kill way more people than handguns. Why not call the police when you see someone driving on your street? Jeesh, is the SWAT team going to be called out everytime some paranoid, gun phobic sees an off duty cop's sidearm? The media and left have so indoctinated the masses that the mere sight of a gun is cause for alarm? Really? People ought to protest this abusive prosecution by showing up at the next midnight showing all wearing exposed pistols in holsters. Its a civil right, get used to it.
Joe Loschiavo August 09, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Just to be clear, the State of Connecticut does not issue "concealed" carry permits. They are permits to "carry pistols and revolvers". The carry of an exposed handgun is in no way, shape or form prohibited by any Connecticut statute.
G. Gerard August 09, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Good reporting. I like that both sides were represented fairly. Gun control and the 2nd amendment right to bear arms is a very emotional issue and I admire the cool headed approach. The mayor's statement that just because something is legal doesn't make it right is a loaded one. Are we to start condemning legal behavior just because someone does't approve of it?
Starla August 09, 2012 at 01:42 PM
He may be legally permitted to carry a fire arm, but really, less than three weeks passed of the massacre in Colorado? Where is his common sense? At the very least he should have notified the on site manager.
Tom Toohey August 09, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Ron, I agree. It's the Chicken Little syndrome. The sky isn't falling!
brutus August 09, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Chief Esserman: "the situation was quickly made safe." uhh, the "situation" was never unsafe.
Daniel See August 09, 2012 at 02:11 PM
A drunk driver killed someone last night. Don't drive your car for the next week. If you must drive your car then you should call the police department and give them a turn by turn minute by minute itinerary of your driving plans.
Starla August 09, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Wow, Mr. See is comparing driving with a concealed weapon. If you can't see the lunacy of that, you're in a sad situation.
Tom August 09, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Cars kill more people in a month than guns do I a year. I agree with your Staria. Mr. See is comparing guns (12000 deaths a year - 1/2 are suicides) and CARS. Cars are one of the top killers in the US. We should take this as a wake up call and ban all cars. Silly Mr. See for comparing two very different items. One doesn't kill nearly as much as the other does. Wake up sheeple.
Steven Sessoms August 09, 2012 at 02:30 PM
His common sense tells him that you don't go unprepared just because someone feels like it's a bad idea and is appealing to an emotional argument rather than one based on rational thought. To even suggest the idea that someone stop carrying a firearm because a massacre occurred is the exact opposite point of carrying. You're diminishing the ability of someone to have a chance at defending themselves to absolutely zero. The real problem is those who react harshly to someone carrying in a law-abiding manner who poses no threat to public safety. It's ludicrous to state someone shouldn't legally carry because a bad act happened. It's one of the many reasons people DO carry firearms. Fallacious arguments are bad.
Richard Platt August 09, 2012 at 04:12 PM
I agree. if someone carries a firearm into a theater so soon after an incident like that in Colorado, what does he expect? It shows very poor judgment.
RONALD M GOLDWYN August 09, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Joe, according to my "State Permit to Carry Pistols and Revolvers" they issue 4 permit code types. 0= Pistol Permits; 1= Security Guard Firearms Permit; 2= Bail Enforcement Agent Firearms Permit and 3=Combination Security Guard/ BEA Firearms Permit. In CT we are allowed to have guns in our home without a permit if we have them registered at our local Police HQ., but do not remove them from your premiss.
Grifhunter August 09, 2012 at 07:16 PM
No Mr. Platt, it shows extremely good judgement. Suppose some other nut job shows up to start shooting or throwing molotov cocktails inside the theater. Instead of sitting there like sheep for the slaughter, you can exercise the right to fight for your life. (An no, the Aurora shooter was NOT wearing body armour but a cloth vest).
RONALD M GOLDWYN August 09, 2012 at 09:49 PM
As much as a citizen with a lawful gun carry permit has the right to carry his weapon, Another citizen may also call the police and say that he suspects a citizen is carrying a gun. When the police arrive, it then becomes their duty to eliminate the possible threat. If the Police give the gun-totter a hard time, it is just that citizens cost of doing business. Next time he will do a better job of concealment. I have no objection to following a procedure that does not alarm the public.
Grifhunter August 09, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Saying that one suspects somebody of carrying a gun is like saying you suspect someone of using the internet. So what? Its a right. If more psychos and crooks were used to seeing non-law enforcment people with weapons in public places these mass shooting events would be more rare.
Monica August 10, 2012 at 12:59 AM
In lite of the most recent deaths at the showing of this movie; I think it was insensitive of this so call lawyer to bring a gun to this movie!
Grifhunter August 10, 2012 at 04:29 AM
In light of the recent deaths it is grossly insensitive of you to suggest that this lawyer risk becoming a crime statistic to satisfy your gun phobia. Who are you to condemn someone to victimhood when they have the means to fight for their survival?
RONALD M GOLDWYN August 10, 2012 at 04:38 AM
According to the Lawyer, He brought the gun with him that evening, as he was fearful for his life AFTER the movie while on his way home.
Grifhunter August 10, 2012 at 04:59 AM
AFTER, during, before, whatever. He possessed the inalienable right to life, and no law prohibited to him the choice of a gun to preserve his life. We're all pro choice on here, right?
Chase Harber August 10, 2012 at 06:43 AM
So what I've read so far is that this guy was suspected by someone who does not understand the law, arrested by police who do know the law. Chose to not become a victim that day and legally carry his gun. Bece the victim of stupidity ...In recent events he may have been worried for his own safety and the safety of the ones he cares for, and for that chose to be a watchdog for the entire theaer. What a hero. He decided that he would not let himself or his fellow audience become victims of something terrible. Hwang...thank you. If you have a phobia of guns, there is help. Education and experience are the best medicine. To not educate yourself on the laws of the land, and to always stay in the dark about firearms is going to be a hard life. Education is out there, you just have to choose to per sue it. Everyone is afraid of the dark, until they turn on the light.
Johnnyoeung August 10, 2012 at 09:05 PM
I don't think he did no wrong. He has his pistol Premit to carry a firearm and it was conceal at that. What is the point of taking the NRA course and apply for your permit and you can't carry your gun. It's like me going to DMV to get my drivers license and can't drive the car what is the point of doing it then? I think he's entitled to protect himself if he follow the law accordingly with his permit which he did.


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