Tags: Gun Control | Gun Rights | new jersey | antique | gun | police | prison

NJ Man Faces Prison Sentence Over Antique Pistol in Car

By    |   Wednesday, 18 Feb 2015 05:57 PM

A 72-year-old retired schoolteacher in Millville, New Jersey, is facing the possibility of spending 10 years in state prison for possessing a 250-year-old antique pistol.

Gordon Van Gilder's legal nightmare began when he was pulled over by a Cumberland County deputy sheriff last November and told the deputy there was a flintlock pistol in the glove compartment, National Review reports.

The deputy was told to let Van Gilder go and returned the pistol to him. However, the next day, deputies showed up at his home in three patrol cars and took him into custody.

"They led me away in handcuffs” and "chained me by my hands and feet to a cold stainless-steel bench," Van Gilder told National Review.

"I’ve never been handcuffed in my life, or arrested, even. I was embarrassed and ashamed.
The only prisoner there was myself, a 72-year-old English teacher. I was really ashamed."

That shame soon turned to anger. Van Gilder told the National Rifle Association (NRA), "I've been thrown to the lions so I'm going to fight back. I want these people to know that they're messing with the wrong guy, because I know my rights and they're not going to get away with it."

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His attorney, Evan Nappen, told National Review, "Classifying this pistol as a weapon is absolutely absurd. This is an original flintlock that predates the founding of the country, and was made before New Jersey’s laws were passed. But they’re treating it the same as if it were a .44 Magnum."

Van Gilder, a history buff and collector of 18th Century items, just had purchased the pistol for $800. It was made in 1765 in Belgium, likely sold in England, and is a boxlock pistol in the Queen Anne style that uses black powder and a round lead ball. It was unloaded.

Nappen noted that under the 1968 Gun Control Act, the pistol is not even considered to be a weapon. However, New Jersey authorities confiscated the pistol for "ballistics tests" which, because the pistol is a smooth-bore, unrifled firearm, would be pointless.

"Apparently there must be a lot of drive-by flintlock shootings in North Jersey," Nappen told Fox News.

Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation told Fox News, "This proves just how Draconian gun laws are in New Jersey. Laws that are used to prosecute gun owners like this one are why the gun rights movement cannot trust gun prohibition politicians."

Nappen also successfully defended Shaneen Allen, 27, a Philadelphia mother of two and holder of a Pennsylvania concealed carry permit, who was arrested in New Jersey in October and faced with three years in prison, because she wrongly believed her Pennsylvania permit was good in New Jersey, Fox News reported.

Nappen said he is hoping that New Jersey prosecutors will exercise discretion and drop the charges against Van Gilder.

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A 72-year-old retired schoolteacher in Millville, New Jersey, is facing the possibility of spending 10 years in state prison for possessing a 250-year-old antique pistol.
new jersey, antique, gun, police, prison, sentence, rights
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2015-57-18
Wednesday, 18 Feb 2015 05:57 PM
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