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Woman Has Firearms Seized in New Jersey

I’ve seen this story about a woman having her guns seized by police popping up in a few places. New Jersey routinely abuses people’s right to keep and bear arms, and I’d be willing to give this woman the benefit of doubt. But I’d also suggest there could be more to the story than that. She’s claiming she never issued a threat, or even said the word gun at a meeting. The police say otherwise. Who’s telling the truth?

24 Responses to “Woman Has Firearms Seized in New Jersey”

  1. The Noob says:

    When you have a group of people that would consider the act of a child biting a pop tart into the shape of a gun as a threat to a school, then it’s safe to say that even the most mundane statement could be interpreted as a threat by them.

    “You can try to convince me that this is right but I’m sticking to my guns here.” = threat

    “well, shoot. I might as well go home.” = You said you are going to shoot us! How dare you threaten us like that!

    “I’m a tea party member” = This person is a terrorist and just threatened to blow up everything!!!!

  2. Andy B. says:

    My inclination is to say, support her to the extent that we don’t badmouth her or hurt her case, otherwise stand a little bit clear. I wish I could say otherwise, but my personal experience is that when there’s smoke, there’s often more than a little fire, and that fire can burn your ass badly if you’ve gone overboard denying that it was there.

    We had a somewhat high profile case here in PA some years back, that started with a SWAT team going to a gun owner’s house after his workmates reported him to be possibly homicidal and suicidal. The cops acted very inappropriately, and the gun owner won his subsequent lawsuit.

    I communicated with him at the time, and developed my own opinion that something was just not quite right. About a year ago I got to wondering whatever became of him, and learned that subsequently he had committed suicide. Fortunately for our rendering of the story, it was sufficiently long after his initial incident that no news connection was made.

  3. Publius says:

    This is why, in every encounter with government, you need to have a phone or camera with video capability.

    • Patrick H says:

      BINGO. I’m inclined to believe her if only because government agents routinely lie in situations like this. Here was a pleb getting uppity at giving the government more money. They can’t have their authority challenged like that.

      • HappyWarrior6 says:

        Heaven forbid someone read a copy of the Constitution in front of a government official.

        • I think it would be something to demand that once a month, Congress must take a mandatory Constitutional Quiz. If they score less than 80%, they are placed on Administrative Leave, sans pay, and must then re-test to come back into Congress. 2 failings, in a row, would result in your being fired.

          I know of 5th graders who have more Constitutional acumen than our elected officials. Shame, that.

    • Ian Argent says:

      https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.aclunj.policetape – tad the legal disclaimers, particularly if you are not in NJ.

  4. This is designed to set the precedent that gun owners are an ill-tempered and prone to violence lot.

    The latest talking point is to cast suspicion onto legal gun owners, especially those who vocally support The Second Amendment, and use that suspicion to somehow come up with a gun confiscation rule for the “good of the people”, and in the interest of “public safety”.

    Example:
    “Why are you taking my guns?”

    “Oh, um, because you have said you don’t like ObamaCare, which means you hate Obama, which means you’re a racist, and you probably are part of a militia. We must look out for the safety of the school children, yes? There’s no telling when you might go off and shoot up a movie theater or a public school. Or shoot up kids in Chicago who are standing outside their high schools. We must think of them, first.”

    Just watch, folks. It’s a comin’.

    • Stacy says:

      Last year I’d have called you a tinfoil hatter. Today you can’t discount that theory.

      • “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”
        ~ Abraham Lincoln

        “Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom.”
        ~ John F Kennedy

  5. ern says:

    I had the same cautious reaction to the story. It seems like an unusual number of people responding negatively to her, to the point where I have a difficult time thinking she didn’t get a bit more aggressive than she’s saying. But we can’t know without evidence. And the truth is, unless she made a credible threat (which I think is unlikely) being disruptive in a town meeting is not a legitimate reason to seize someone’s private property. I have a feeling, though, that it’s going to be clear that the town officials lied about the situation because she was making them uncomfortable. One thing for sure–I foresee lawsuits. It is America, after all.

  6. Asdf says:

    This is exactly why it’s so important to resist any attempt at registration. The police can’t confiscate something if they don’t know or can’t prove you are in possession of it. I think it’s perfectly appropriate for a person to be arrested if they make terroristic threats, and if convicted it makes sense that such a person might become a “prohibited person”, depending on the severity of the crime. And I dont think it’s a bad thing for police to search her home and take whatever guns they can find, once the decision has been made to make an arrest. If there is probable cause for arrest, there is also probable cause to search for guns befor letting that person out on bail. But none of this necessarily means that the .gov should be able to know exactly what you own and where you store them so they can confiscate them more easily and charge you with a crime for failing to hand them over. Especially when restraining orders and the like are issued with rubber stamps. Let them work for it.

    • Publius says:

      Or maybe you have a right to self-defense and, thus, a right to possess the tools to do so effectively regardless. If you aren’t in jail, in my opinion you have 2A rights. Most of the founders were felons…

  7. Andy B. says:

    First let me say I am only expressing an opinion here, and were I in some official position to act on her case, I would bend over backwards to be objective, and set my opinions aside, but:

    Poking around, I suspect from other internet tidbits, that she may have had a reputation that preceded her into that meeting. How that affected the way officials dealt with her, I don’t know. She herself raised a good question, how they knew she had guns, if she didn’t mention them herself.

    Also, as I read things, her guns weren’t confiscated. She was given the option of turning them in, or of having a higher bail set. If there were grounds for confiscating them, they could/would have done that, and set a high bail. She was given a choice — a coerced choice, to be sure — but a choice nonetheless.

    And how high was the suggested bail, that her family couldn’t meet it? In most cases I’ve been aware of, homeowners, which she and her husband are, need only to put their real estate up as security against bail. If they have lived there as long as she states, their equity in their home should be considerable. So, until that is clarified for me, that is a piece of her story that doesn’t quite come together for me.

    I think this is a case where, whatever she in fact did, officials assessed her to be a nut, and in the current environment, people are not very inclined to mess around with nuts who own guns. That may turn out to be very unfair, but I suspect it is the story behind the story.

  8. Woody says:

    I don’t know anything about this case but in my experience cops tend to lie more then they tell the truth, after all it’s just a civilian.

  9. Publius says:

    In the absence of evidence to the contrary, I assume the police are lying through their teeth. If they don’t like this, they (and more importantly the persecuting attourneys) can hold themselves and their brethren accountable, i.e. deal with it.

    • Publius says:

      (In short, if you ever find yourself in trouble with the law, you want me to pull jury duty. Which means I’ll never be selected, but that is an entirely different discussion.)

  10. Bram says:

    Damn New Jersey – not only do our gun laws suck, but they are too incompetent to name their towns. There are at least 3 Franklin Townships in NJ. One is up in rural Warren County near me, where people are much less likely to panic at the word “gun”.

    This lady is in Gloucester County which is a suburb of Philadelphia.

    And I’m not surprised she’s pissed – property values have taken a huge drop over the past 5 years but the towns and counties are trying desperately to keep the taxes rolling in.

    • Will says:

      Bram,
      I recall a newspaper report in ’05 that reported that a lot of the towns in NJ were going broke due to the lack of tickets normally issued by the State Police. (That was due to them essentially parking their units in the trees and refusing to write speeding tickets after being accused of racial profiling, at the end of ’04.) They were astounded to discover that something like 80% of the typical towns revenue was their share of the local tickets from the SP.

      They were also puzzled by the .gov statistics that the accident/fatality rates had dropped at the same time (this “Blue Work Stoppage” ran for maybe 6 months, IIRC). BTW, this should have been the real story for them to pursue, but that would have been counter to the agenda of the state and the MSM (but I repeat myself).
      I was there for the whole time (family reasons), and it was nice not to have to worry about tickets much while buzzing around So Jersey.

      BTW, I figured out the mechanism of the safety improvement, but most people can’t wrap their minds around it, having been indoctrinated by the powers-that-be all their life.

      This improvement was not a one shot deal, it shows up every time the same situation occurs, and is documented by .gov numbers. I first heard about it back in the early 70’s.

      And, as is normal, the rates jump right back up to normal when the cops return to using their ticket books.

      Traffic cops are nothing but revenue agents. Radar guns are referred to as “revenue enhancement” by the PTB.

  11. Andy B. says:

    Regarding police lying — damn straight. If I thought awhile I could probably come up with at least a dozen Old Stories from my personal experience to illustrate that.

    But here’s a news flash — so do the people they’re dealing with. There have been several times when I’ve sought help or advice for someone, in a legal defendant’s situation, from a friend who is an attorney, and the first thing my attorney friend would say to me is, “You realize your hero is lying to you, don’t you?” For a long time I would get pissed off at the cynicism of my attorney friend, until I had to admit that most of the time he was right. My victims were nowhere near the victims they portrayed themselves as being.

    Everyone lies. Being a gun owner does not automatically make one a teller of only Great Truths. An that, pragmatically, is why you have to be a little circumspect about putting yourself out there upon hearing the best and most favorable telling of a story.

  12. mrpetep says:

    Apparently it was an Appraisal Systems employee who called the police and made the accusation.

    “Gloucester County Office of Assessment, along with Appraisal Systems, Inc. were holding a meeting for Franklin Township residents to discuss the countywide property revaluation program that ASI was hired to perform in order to bring all home values up to the current market value. ”

    Most people are going to be paying higher taxes.

    I wasn’t there but it appears to me that “Gloucester County Office of Assessment, along with Appraisal Systems, Inc.” were not very good at holding a public meeting and didn’t know how to deal with the public.

    From what I read, she called the employee a “little pencil pusher”… was she swatted because of that?

    Because she is Jewish? Because she read from the Constitution?

    I guess the police keep track of who has firearms…

  13. Maybe there’s something legitimate here.

    Then again I’d be skeptical if I read a report from the 1960s that said, “Uppity negro arrested in Selma for making threatening statements.”

    New Jersey has abused the rule of law in this area to the point where even legitimate arrests of actual threats must be carefully scrutinized.

  14. Ian Argent says:

    I’m going to say, no matter the circs, asking her to surrender her firearms in exchange for a lower bail is troubling. Bail is not a punishment (US Constitutional theory), and if she had been charged with a serious crime, that would have sufficed to make her a prohibited person while the crime was being adjudicated. If it wasn’t a serious crime then there’s no justification to seize her firearms.
    The offer of lower bail/demand of higher bail contingent on surrendering firearms is using the powers of the state to coerce the alienation of a fundamental right…

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