A Dallas Gem Dealer Fired on His Robbers, but Now He's Fighting for His Gun License

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Howard Marcon had just finished stowing shopping bags in his trunk following a trip to the Russell Stover store in Oklahoma City when he was stopped by a man approaching from the front of his car. The man was dressed in all black and wore a mask, and he demanded that Marcon hand over the sapphires and rubies, some $350,000 worth, he was carrying in his pocket.

Marcon refused. The masked man pulled out a gun, put it to Marcon's face, and again demanded the jewels. As Marcon backed away, he was grabbed by two other men, also wearing masks. He tried to force his attackers into the candy store, where he could get help, but they managed to reach into his pocket. Jewels in hand, they threw Marcon to the ground and jumped into a car driven by a fourth man, who gunned the engine and pulled away.

Marcon, 66, has been an independent gem dealer for more than three decades. He's heard any number of stories from colleagues and news reports of South American gangs that target dealers such as himself, robbing them as they travel around the country carrying large quantities of precious stones.

In other words, Marcon was prepared. He pulled out his concealed handgun, for which he had a Texas license, stepped into the street, and got off five rounds, two of which struck the fleeing vehicle and one of which hit one of the occupants. Another bullet struck a passing Porsche. Soon after, police found the car abandoned in a parking lot a few blocks away.

Police never solved the gem heist. The Oklahoma County District Attorney, however, did come to the conclusion that, though Marcon was legally in possession of the gun (the two states recognize one another's gun permits), he had behaved recklessly. He was charged and subsequently pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of reckless conduct while in possession of a firearm. He was given a five-year deferred sentence, forced to pay $343, and barred from carrying a firearm in Oklahoma.

Marcon lives in Dallas, so the latter punishment wasn't a huge deal until the state of Texas got wind of his case. Texas has numerous provisions in its concealed carry law shielding licensed handgun owners from prosecution when they fire their weapon in self-defense, in defense of their property, or in any number of other situations, but it also mandates automatic revocation when a carrier is convicted of a Class A or Class B misdemeanor.

Marcon is appealing the revocation. He claimed in a filing yesterday in Dallas County court that his plea agreement means his criminal charges will be expunged from his record upon completion of his deferred sentence. Since he hasn't done anything to violate the terms of the agreement, he argues that he should be allowed to keep his Texas license. That's the only way he'll be able to continue working, giving that carrying a gun is more or less a necessity for a traveling gem dealer.

The law seems to be on the state's side. His guilty plea amounts to a misdemeanor conviction, which is grounds for automatic revocation under the law.

Marcon feels like he's gotten railroaded. Reached briefly today by cell phone, he lamented the irony of a situation in which he was getting charged with a crime while the men who robbed him got off scot-free. He acted in self-defense, and he thinks Texas should recognize that, no matter what Oklahoma court records say.

"I .... think Texas law ought to have a little more leeway."

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24 comments
wilme2
wilme2

Oklahoma went open carry November 1st, I believe.  So if it happens today he just needs to wear the gun on the OUTSIDE of his clothes for all to see.  (Which I don't think is a great idea..)

 

If he hadn't hit the Porsche I would be on his side.  But once they were out of effective range he shouldn't have fired, in my opinion.  Adrenaline might make it hard to think, but that is what you sign up for when getting a license.

hilllbillle
hilllbillle

should've drawn, fired soon as he saw the guy in the mask, watched around hisself a li'l better fer accomplices. after three guys robbed him, rifled his pockets anyways, he still had his gun? amazin' they didn't take it. that sounds fishy anyways. ...i'm armed, totin' jewels, watchin' fer robbers like usual, but today i ain't watchin very good....but after i git robbed i shoot at'em while they're runnin' off with the gun they didn't find...an' hit a passin' rich persons car...  if you gotta shoot to defend, best not to hit no cars or bystanders...might lose yer license or git throwed in jail. it ain't right to bust a crime victim fer self defense, while blowin' off chasin'  the robbers, but our injustice system has long been a bad joke. an' he did shoot a passin' car. thass pretty careless  shootin'. idjit's lucky he didn't kill no non-robber types. mebbe pullin' his license ain't such a bad idea.

cynicaloldbastard
cynicaloldbastard

Why is someone buying candy with $350,000 of jewels in his pocket?

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

The  instantaneous excited moment and the legal line that in 20/20  hindsight becomes a eight-lane hwy between being in the Right and facing the heavy repercussions for using the Firearm tool incorrectly is what scares me about carrying one out the  door of my house .

 

The thugs got away but he sure was easy pickings for The legal actions Law enforcement brought against him .

 

 

observist
observist

The perps were driving away and  the victim was alive and no longer under any threat.  At that point opening fire on the car isn't self defense, it's revenge.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

And nobody bothered to check any ERs for gunshot victims?

 

I like the PR hack in the video link that states: "... The victim was accosted ..."

 

Accosted my a$$!  Shoving a gun into some one is aggravated assault!

 

I'll bet the OKC PD is just wonderful with rapes and murders ...

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

I would think insurance might be a more effective loss mitigation plan.

 

Not nearly as fun as going all Dirty Harry on their asses, but I digress.

CraigT42
CraigT42

 @observist his property and livelihood were still being threatened and assaulted.

I personally would rather see 4 or 5 dead criminals in the street than one honest man having to pay his insurance deductible.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

 @CraigT42  @observist And I'd rather see 4-5 criminals get away than see one innocent passerby get killed, which is not beyond the realm of possibility in the scenario described in the story.  No amount of gems and property is worth the life of one innocent.

observist
observist

 @CraigT42  "I will agree that he should never have shot at a fleeing car."   Nothing to argue about then.

 

 

CraigT42
CraigT42

 @observist Nice straw man.  Might even be applicable if anyone had said anything about tracking criminals down and shooting them in their homes.  But in this case the crime was still in progress, he had a chance to recover his property and stop a violent felon before he could harm anyone else.

 

I will agree that he should never have shot at a fleeing car.  That is reckless and dangerous to innocent victims.  But as far as the criminals are concerned they made the choice to acquire a weapon for use in a criminal activity and chose to become dangerous parasites when they stuck that weapon in someone else's face.   Screw em, let them die.  No great loss.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

 @observist  @CraigT42 Excellent question.

 

Considering the fact that there are a shit-ton of folks out there that seem to be quaking in fear of the unknown 24 / 7, there will never be a time when they are NOT in fear for their lives, therefore will always feel justified in using deadly force.

observist
observist

 @CraigT42  Is there some amount of time that needs to pass before it's no longer OK for the victim to shoot the attacker?  In this case, the victim was no longer in danger, the attackers were in retreat, and you're OK with him shooting at them down the street.  If he saw them on the street the next day would it be OK for him to shoot them?  How about a month later?  Does being the victim of a robbery give you an non-expiring license to shoot the robber?

CraigT42
CraigT42

 @observist Dead serious.  When you choose to live by victimizing others, especially when you choose to do so by way of violent robbery your death is a zero loss to society.  In fact I would classify it as a net gain.

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