Know the Law or Stay Home

Posted on: June 29th, 2015
Whether we like it or not, the law is not very forgiving when it comes to firearms. We aren’t given a warning and a slap on the wrist for doing something wrong, like with a traffic violation or some other minor infraction. Nope…you go straight to jail and don’t get to go past GO (using the Monopoly game analogy). If anything, this has become even more the case than it was say 100 years ago.

So the key is to make sure we really understand the law when it comes to firearms and obey it the way it was written. If we disagree with it, then we need to deal with our legislative bodies and try to get something changed. But understanding it is upon us and as they say, ignorance is no excuse when it comes to the law. The right we have to possess firearms simply means we have the responsibility to understand the law.

Case in point…Brian Fletcher. Brian was a good hearted American who lives in North Carolina. He decided he wanted to help out the citizens of Trenton, New Jersey. Noble effort…unfortunately with less than desirable consequences. You can read more about his story, “Man Who Rushed To Help New Jersey With Disaster Relief Now Faces Absurd Gun Charge.”

He and a group of his friends made plans to go to New Jersey to help out their citizens with some disaster relief efforts. So he and his friends packed up and headed up north. Being a law abiding gun owner (and citizen), he also packed his firearm. Everything was great until he was in New Jersey.

While he and his team were waiting in a parking lot for instructions about where they were to be deployed to help out, a police officer pulled up behind their truck and inquired as to what they were doing. He explained why they were there and being the law abiding citizen he was, he gave him his ID and also disclosed that he had a firearm in the truck. He was then arrested.

You see…New Jersey, unlike many other states, has specific laws against the right to carry a firearm with you or in your vehicle. Not knowing the law in New Jersey was different than North Carolina, he violated their local law and was not given a warning but was arrested. It is a class 2 felony in New Jersey. Fortunately, he is now home after posting a $25,000 bond. It isn’t over, he is just home.

Similar to the Shaneen Allen story with similar elements, the gun law isn’t very forgiving. You might remember that she was actually sentenced to prison and was only pardoned at the last minute by Governor Chris Christie. That is also about the only thing that will get Brian off as well.

While this is certainly an unfortunate story, it didn’t have to turn out this way. Had Brian fully understood the gun laws in New Jersey (and the other states he drove through) he would have realized they have very strict gun laws. This could have caused him to make a different decision and he wouldn’t be facing a life-changing event. Regardless of the state we live in, it is our responsibility to understand the laws of any state we are going to…before we get there. Ask your attorney to help…that is our job to understand the law. If your attorney doesn’t know, give me a call and I will be happy to either find out or connect you with an attorney in the other state who can help you. Just to be like Brian and “think” you know what you might not know. Today, with all our technology, there is not excuse not to be informed.
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