In another example of egregious stupidity from the Garden State, a retired teacher was driving on a New Jersey roadway when he was stopped by the police. For reasons unknown he consented to a search of his vehicle, and is now facing weapons charges. The weapon? An 18th century flintlock pistol. Excerpt:
Back in November, Gordon Van Gilder, who had retired after 34 years of teaching, was traveling in Cumberland County, N.J., when the vehicle he was in was subjected to a traffic stop. Van Gilder, a collector of historical objects, was traveling at the time with an unloaded and wrapped 1760s flintlock pistol in the glove compartment of his vehicle. The pensioner and a traveling companion were pressured into allowing the officer to conduct a search of the vehicle, at which point Van Gilder told the officer about the antique firearm. Eventually, Van Gilder was allowed to continue on his way.
The next day, however, several law enforcement officers came to Van Gilder’s home and arrested him. Van Gilder was charged with unlawful possession of a handgun. New Jersey law targets “[a]ny person who knowingly has in his possession any handgun, including any antique handgun, without first having obtained a permit to carry the same.” The charge holds a minimum sentence of 3.5 years with maximum sentence of 10.
An NRA News interview conducted with Van Gilder and his attorney, Evan Nappen, recounts the former teacher’s harrowing experience. Van Gilder warned viewers, “Beware of New Jersey. Don’t come here, don’t live here.” His treatment, he added, was “an insult to decent people.”
Other than that, Val Gilder is correct; his treatment at the hand of the New Jersey cops is well to the left of idiotic. Has common sense completely fled that state? Is there not one person in this law enforcement apparatus that looked at the situation and said, “wait, guys, this is a retired schoolteacher with an antique flintlock pistol. This firearm was obsolete at the start of the Civil War. Let this one slide, OK?”
But this is hardly the first time the state of New Jersey has been the (well deserved) subject of ridicule.