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Elderly retired teacher arrested for Queen Anne flintrock

Discussion in 'Legal' started by elhombreconnonombre, Feb 19, 2015.

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  1. elhombreconnonombre

    elhombreconnonombre Member

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    Ok...first off this was in NJ!!! 72 y.o. retired teacher Gordon Van Gilder was arrested when police found a recently acquired Queen Anne flintlock pistol wrapped in a cloth in the glove box of his car during a traffic shop. He is looking at 3 1/2 years in the can with no parole, 10 years probation, and loss of his teachers pensión. He had taught school for 34 years.

    Is NJ really this Draconian with regard to gun control, despite such items being considered exempt per federal regs. A defense fund has been set up at Go Get Funding. Thus far $14k has been raised. Spread the word through yalls other forums to help this gent. If Texas had not changed their laws just a few years ago, one could have been charged with a similar charge just for carrying a new hand gun in the car from the gun store to ones home.

    Mods, feel free ro move this to another THR forum section. I posted here since it was for sure bp related.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2015
  2. Willie Sutton

    Willie Sutton Member

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    "Is NJ really this Draconian with regard to gun control, despite such items being considered exempt per federal regs?"

    ^^ Yes, it really is. I lived there for almost 50 years, and was actively involved with RKBA politics there for about 15 of those years.

    Black Powder arms are considered firearms in NJ, and require all of the paperwork needed for modern arms. Have a flintlock in your car without a FID card and not cased separately from it's "ammunition" and not driving directly to or from a shooting range and you're a felon. Same with a BB gun.

    NJ is *the* worst state in the USA for firearms ownership. It's not so much that their laws are any worse than other states, it's the vigor with which tiny transgressions from the letter of the law is enforced that's the problem. As for black powder replicas, in NJ you need an individual pistol permit to buy any handgun, issued after up to a 6 month wait and good for 90 days for one purchase. Guess how many people "waste" one on a black powder handgun? Zero. They go to Pennsylvania or New York, buy them over the counter, and bring them home. Guess what? NJ asks that you register them even so. It's insane. And to add insult to injury, I used to drive to S&S in *New York City* to buy my Uberti cap and ball revolvers and carried them out of the door and down the city street without fanfare. In NEW YORK CITY. To "smuggle" them into New Jersey. That's just nuts. Other insane example: I personally was arrested and prosecuted for "manufacturing firearms without a license" for *assembling* an AR-15 from a lower that I had purchased from a FFL in NJ with all applicable paperwork done. The NJ state definition of "manufacturing" is "operability", so even though the lower had been purchased legally, making it "operable" was seen as a crime. I fought it and won, and then moved out of the state taking my business, employees, and tax revenue with me. Never regretted it for a moment.



    Willie

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  3. damoc

    damoc Member

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    WOW and I thought California was bad
     
  4. Crawdad1

    Crawdad1 Member

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    I hate to see anyone go through this and especially at his age. I would call a lawyer and start the process to the Supreme Court.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2015
  5. rogerjames

    rogerjames member

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    The success or lack-there-of, of NJ's strict gun laws can be summed up in one word... Camden
     
  6. SleazyRider

    SleazyRider Member

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    There's some aspects of this case that trouble me:

    1. Mr. Van Gilder is a savvy collector of antique firearms, and I suspect the pistol is worth quite a few dollars. Why was he transporting it in his glove box? Why not a case in the truck of his car?

    2. I've been pulled over a time or two in New Jersey and never has the officer asked to search my car. What made the police want to search his car for a "minor infraction" of traffic rules?

    3. If he was indeed being charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon, why did the police not arrest him on the spot? He was arrested the next day, at his home, with video cameras rolling (or perhaps it was a reenactment). What's up with that?

    4. Is it plausible that a firearms enthusiast living in New Jersey is unaware of the laws governing antique firearms (as obnoxious as they are)?

    Not making any judgments here, but I'd sure like to know the "rest of the story."
     
  7. swathdiver

    swathdiver Member

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    The colonists of New Jersey would NEVER have put up with this garbage in the 1750s. Are people that fat and happy that it bothers them not anymore?
     
  8. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    Wow! I'm so glad these heroes of justice got this tremendous threat to society off the streets before he committed an atrocity! I would hope that a reasonable judge would throw this out and chide the arresting officers for wasting the court's time with such a trivial matter........but then, it is N.J., so we know that won't happen!
     
  9. wojownik

    wojownik Member

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    Great quote from the teacher's lawyer

    I'm unfortunately thinking that the flintlock will not escape NJSP's clutches intact.

    But that's the least of this poor fellow's problems right now.

    The Cumberland County Prosecutor (Jennifer Webb-McRae) is a liberal D, very pro gun control, and probably would not likely take any call from the gov (Christie) hinting using at common sense. Hope I'm wrong on that for the teacher's sake.
     
  10. Willie Sutton

    Willie Sutton Member

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    "The colonists of New Jersey would NEVER have put up with this garbage in the 1750s"


    Actually, they likely would have. New Jersey was a center of loyalist and tory sentiment, and was governed by the very pro-British son of Ben Franklin, from whom he was estranged. New Jersey had many battles fought on its soil in the war due to its position between British held New York and our Continental Capital of Philadelphia, but as for actual contributions to the war effort actually added very little to the rebels. It was never a place of strong patriotism. The New Jersey Militia was never known for it's efficiency or discipline.


    Sad to say, but true.


    "And I’m thinking, ‘What? Ballistics on a flintlock?'"

    I bet the number of recent murders with a .58 caliber unrifled round ball are pretty small....


    Willie

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  11. 4banger

    4banger Member

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    All the anti rhetoric about the 2A being for muskets... This would fit under that definition easily. I hope this goes to higher and higher courts until NJ gets their butts handed to them.
     
  12. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Look at all this money and effort wasted because of New Jersey politicians. Putting a school teacher in jail and ruining his life because he owned a flintlock. Stupid beyond belief.
     
  13. elhombreconnonombre

    elhombreconnonombre Member

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    Well, I guess it goes without saying that there is no such thing as a gun show in NJ and few gun shops....verdad? :(
     
  14. Willie Sutton

    Willie Sutton Member

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    ^^ Many gun shops, actually, people still want guns. Not as many as 20 years ago but the ones that are open are all busy. The state process to buy firearms is convoluted, but in NJ gun enthusiasts just seem to deal with it. handgun permit rationing (one every 30 days maximim, but actually since it takes months to get one you're lucky to get 3-4 a year at best). Rifles and shotguns purchasable after you get a NJ FID card, which takes 6 months or so to get to start with. Mag capacity limits but not as bad as some other places. The real issue is that basically transporting a firearm is prohibited EXCEPRT if you can offer an affirmitive defense to the law, meaning that there are a very few allowable reasons to transport a firearm and if it's not specifically enshrined in the statute, it's illegal. For instance, you cannot legally take a firearm to a gun store to have ity sold for you. You can transport it for gunsmithing though, so... you learn to work around it. Enforcement is haphazard, one cop might shrug at your flintlock and another will lock you up in a heartbeat. It really is firearms hell.... I ive in California now 4 months a year and in comparison to NJ it's paradise: Most of my friends there have CCW's, and you can shoot almost anyplace out in the desert without being hassled. Having also spent time in Maryland, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island I can say that none of them are even close to NJ save for "the new new-york", which might be even worse... and even that's a "might". Even in NY you can get a CCW and you don't need a state issued card to simply purchase a shotgun.


    Willie

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  15. Crawdad1

    Crawdad1 Member

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    It does get the NJ gun laws out into the open but at a terrible cost, but if this case goes to Federal Court, it has a chance to throw these restrictive gun laws in the garbage can where they belong.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2015
  16. wojownik

    wojownik Member

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    I get what your saying, but don't assume this is a .58 flintlock. Could be anything from .32 to .62 ... hopefully the NJSP lab experts (1) leave the pistol alone, seeing as it may not have been fired for hundreds of years, for failing that (2) understand the difference between BP and modern propellant, and understand how to measure for ancient lead ball calibers.

    Regarding calls to bounce this to Federal court, I don't really see it. NJ requires a pistol permit. The courts have recently upheld laws requiring permits. Plus, putting this into the Federal system may take years that this poor fellow just does not have.
     
  17. Shanghai McCoy

    Shanghai McCoy Member

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    This story makes me want to go down to my Kansas basement and hug my gun safe.
    Heck, it makes me want to just hug Kansas... ;)
     
  18. Mk VII

    Mk VII Member

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    Sounds like he 'consented' to a search, for whatever reason, and after that all bets are off.
     
  19. rogerjames

    rogerjames member

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    Doesn't NJ also restrict hollow point ammo? I seem to have some foggy recollection of an out-of-state LEO stopped in NJ for something or other a few years ago and this coming up in discussion.
     
  20. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Howdy

    I grew up in New Jersey. Things weren't quite so bad there while I was growing up. In 1968 I turned 18 (yes, you can do the math) and I learned that it was legal for an 18 year old to own a Cap & Ball revolver. Not a cartridge firearm, you needed a permit for that, but it was perfectly legal for an 18 year old to own a C&B revolver. So I borrowed my Dad's car and drove down to the Navy Arms showroom in Ridgefield. Plunked $40 down on the counter and bought my first C&B, a brass framed, 44 caliber 'Navy'. Perfectly legal back then.
     
  21. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    Geez. This poor guy. A true American homeland hero being treated like a mugger, or worse. I hope that he works something out. Failing that I hope that the fine folks of NJ waste a ton of cash on trying to figure out the "ballistics" and then trying to pin him to murders that happened a century ago. The more ridiculous this gets, the better off it is because it shows how dumb the laws are, and how not to write them.
     
  22. Surculus

    Surculus Member

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    So did Washington D.C., & look where that got them?

    If the tide is ever going to turn, we must keep the pressure on, via voting, lobbying [NRA: yes, it's severely flawed, but so far the best game in town. Would love to throw out the Beav & get some real representation in there, but he's so entrenched he'll be VP for life...] and the courts.

    The worst thing I can see about this is that the guy is going to lose his retirement if he's convicted [is that even legal, & if so, how has *that* not been fought?] so he can't even effectively plea bargain.
     
  23. wojownik

    wojownik Member

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    Incorrect. Wash DC had a prohibition on the ownership of pistols. The Court ruled that a total prohibition was unconstitutional.

    NJ does not have a prohibition on handguns. NJ does have an onerous permitting system, but it is not a blanket prohibition.

    I don't see the grounds for a strong Federal suit, at least not one that would be resolved in his lifetime. Further discussion on this point might be more appropriate in THR legal forum, but if the point is to attack NJ's permitting system, as noted the courts have already upheld the legality of permitting laws.
     
  24. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    I hope someone in the state has some common sense, and quashes this one. There will be some questions for Christie, I am sure and he may go from "bridgegate" to "flintlockgate."

    Still, I have repeatedly said, here and on other forums, that antique guns generally are exempt from controls on the purchase or ownership of handguns, but they are NOT exempt in any state (that I know of) from laws on illegal carry or transport, armed robbery, ADW, etc. If I stick up a bank with an 1851 percussion revolver in any state in the nation, that is armed robbery. If I shoot at someone with a flintlock musket in any state, that is assault with a deadly weapon. And if I murder someone with a matchlock, that is still murder.

    Jim
     
  25. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    True. Sometime back they're was a case where a deranged woman shot and killed someone with a pre-1898 antique Smith & Wesson. She was still charged with murder - and convicted.

    I did see a picture of the alleged flintlock. Didn't have rock (flint) clamped in the hammer jaws. As such it couldn't be fired. This might present a possible defense. Dumb of course, but so is this whole case. :banghead:
     
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