Episode 176-The Brothers Nappen Tell War Stories 

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Gun Lawyer Episode 176

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

new jersey, denied, doctor, state, law, firearms, carry, case, mental health, matter, firearm, gun owner, misdemeanor, gun, handgun, fees, gun laws, people, dwi, disorderly

SPEAKERS

Evan Nappen, Louis Nappen, Speaker 3

Evan Nappen 00:17

Hello, and welcome to Gun Lawyer. I’m Evan Nappen, and today we have a very special guest, someone I’ve known for his entire life. And that is my brother, Louis Nappen, who is also an attorney in my firm. Together, we both worked on a case in which we just won the appeal. It is an outstanding victory and stands for some great principles that you need to know when trying to deal with New Jersey’s absurd gun laws. Lou, welcome to the show.

Louis Nappen 00:59

Hello, and I guess you’re the Gun Lawyer, but I’m a gun lawyer, too.

Evan Nappen 01:03

We have two gun lawyers on Gun Lawyer. We can even call the show gun lawyers.

Louis Nappen 01:08

That’s right.

Evan Nappen 01:09

Because we have plural. We are plural today. Very plural. But, as long as we don’t have pleurisy, we’re good. So, Lou, this case is the Goworek case, G o w o r e k. Why don’t you give us a little overview of what happened to our client?

Louis Nappen 01:36

Okay, first off, I seem to get the cases with the ultimate longest titles ever. I don’t know anybody else who has case hired . . .

Evan Nappen 01:44

Absolutely, read the entire title of this appellate caption, just for the record, because it’s absolutely amazing. Please, read it.

Louis Nappen 01:49

Just like the M.U. case, we call it M.U. for a reason. This is from actually the same courthouse. Same judge. It’s “In the Matter of the Appeal of the Denial of Robert Goworek’s Application for a Firearms Page – 2 – of 16

Purchaser Identification Card and Three Handgun Purchase Permits & In the Matter of the Revocation of Robert Goworek’s Firearms Purchaser Identification Card and Compelling the Sale of His Firearms.” That is the title.

Evan Nappen 01:50

With that caption, you don’t even need an opinion. I think . . .

Louis Nappen 02:23

I think the caption itself. . . I don’t have to tell you the history, I don’t have to tell you what this case is about. Because there it is. Everything.

Evan Nappen 02:30

There it is. Everything you need to know. Now, our client was originally denied by his police chief. And why was he denied, Lou?

Louis Nappen 02:45

Yeah, let me get into this. Okay, so he applied for a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card and three Permits to Purchase a handgun. He was denied based on the fact that he had a 1994, so 30 years ago, he had a DWI out of New York. Otherwise, nothing else on his record. So, 30 years ago,

Louis Nappen 03:17

That’s right.

Evan Nappen 03:17

First of all, even putting that aside for a moment, a DWI in New Jersey is not even a criminal offence, folks.

Evan Nappen 03:17

It’s a motor vehicle violation. But New York grades it as a misdemeanor. Nonetheless, we’re talking about something 30 years ago, and his Chief of Police denied him for that one singular event back in New York decades ago.

Louis Nappen 03:48

That’s right. You know, half a life ago, a youthful indiscretion, whatever it was from 1994. That’s the basis for the denial. And so here we are. He’s a super great person, and this is all that he has. That’s it. And, of course, though, we’re talking about New Jersey. So, they’re looking for reasons to deny, not reasons to approve, and so they denied based on this one issue. In response, what happens in this particular county often, if you are denied a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card, an application for that, then what the State does is it, or a Permit to Purchase, escalates.

Evan Nappen 04:37

Yes, it escalates. Page – 3 – of 16

Louis Nappen 04:37

Yeah, it escalates. The State then motions to revoke your Firearms Purchaser Identification Card. So, in other words, especially if you have one and then you go for permits to purchase handguns because you need that permit for a new handgun. They motion to revoke your Firearms Purchaser Identification Card. Now, this also goes back to the days when we’ve discussed already the M.U. decision. Then they also move to compel moved, they’re not doing it anymore, pretty much.

Evan Nappen 04:39

That was our firm with you with M.U.

Louis Nappen 05:00

They also move to compel the sale of firearms you already possess. Interestingly, now, in this case, a DWI in New York, the one we’re talking about here, wait, punish was

Evan Nappen 05:24

Wait, Lou, before you get there. The actual reason that they were denied was “not in the interest of public health, safety and welfare.” Right?

Louis Nappen 05:35

Yeah,

Evan Nappen 05:35

That was the reason and the

Louis Nappen 05:39

Well, it’s also the fact that

Evan Nappen 05:40

It was one of the reasons given when

Louis Nappen 05:42

That was one of the original reasons given as well, in addition, because that’s the big nebulous catch all.

Evan Nappen 05:49

That’s the all-inclusive weasel clause.

Louis Nappen 05:52

Right.

Evan Nappen 05:52

Any time they want to deny arbitrarily, oh, it’s public health, safety, welfare. Every time. Page – 4 – of 16

Louis Nappen 05:58

So, what happened here, in New York, this would have been punishable, in 1994, by over six months, but not more than a year. He was not punished with that at all. He served no jail time. But at the same time, it would have been, and they determine the level of an offense, and we all know about misdemeanors and felonies, by the amount of time that you potentially could serve in jail. This was not even over a year that was even potential for this particular level of DWI, that’s at issue here. So the

Evan Nappen 06:36

Well, let me just explain. So, the disqualifiers, such as prior convictions, are viewed by their maximum sentence, not by the

Louis Nappen 06:51

Not by the conviction

Evan Nappen 06:52

not by the time the person got or the conviction. But rather, what is the maximum jail that a person could face

Louis Nappen 06:58

right the sentence

Evan Nappen 06:59

on this conviction if the judge decided to give him the absolute maximum sentence. In New Jersey, the levels of offenses are divided between disorderly persons offenses and what New Jersey calls crimes. Now, that gets confusing to folks. But crimes you can essentially think of as felony level offenses, even though New Jersey doesn’t use the word felony

Evan Nappen 07:24

and you could think of disorderly persons offenses as misdemeanor level offenses. But they don’t call them misdemeanors or felonies because that would make it too easy for everybody to understand.

Louis Nappen 07:24

where you could go to state jail

Louis Nappen 07:36

That’s true.

Evan Nappen 07:37

So, what happens is, the maximum penalty in New Jersey for a disorderly person is six months. The offense that’s below disorderly persons, it’s still an offence in New Jersey, is called a petty disorderly persons. That carries a max of 30 days. If you’re convicted in Jersey have of what we call a DP or a PDP, disorderly person or petty disorderly person, then that itself is not a disqualifier, unless it is a domestic violence disorderly person, at which time it falls under the federal law, domestic violence, misdemeanor prohibition and New Jersey’s prohibition on domestic violence convictions. Now, above Page – 5 – of 16

DPs, above the so-called misdemeanor in Jersey, are the crimes. Like I said, crimes are our felony level, think of them as felonies. They run from First Degree to Fourth Degree. With Fourth Degree being the lowest where the maximum jail time is 18 months, or a year and a half, of course, for those of us who do math. It ends up being the minimum felony is that 18 months. Third Degree carries five years, and Second Degree carries 10 years. And first degree carries 20 years as the ordinary term.

Evan Nappen 09:02

So, there’s this gap in New Jersey from six months where it’s considered a misdemeanor, to a year and a half, where it’s considered a felony level offense. For a good long time, New Jersey took the position that if you had any misdemeanor conviction that carried over six months jail, no matter what jurisdiction it occurred in, then they would view that as felony level. Therefore, you’ve been convicted of “a crime” under New Jersey law, and because you’ve been convicted of a crime, you would be disqualified from having a gun license. Yet, Lou, tell us, something changed. What’s changed that made this a victory?

Louis Nappen 09:57

Okay, so he was denied, and we did our part. There’s a whole bunch more to it. But what changed was, if you want to just get cut to the chase, what changed is, in 2022, the legislature changed it so that it has to be punishable by over one year for it to be a crime. What we would consider a crime or a felony, not the six months. So

Evan Nappen 10:26

If it’s an out-of-state conviction and it does not exceed one year, under N.J.S.A. 2C:44-4(c), it would now not be considered a crime. And that is major because so many people have issues in other states, including New York and Pennsylvania, where those states had the standard misdemeanor jail sentence of a max of a year. It’s actually more unusual to find the lower offenses carrying only six months. The normal, if you will, net nationwide for a misdemeanor would be a year. So, lots of folks who were perfectly fine under federal law and under the majority of states, by the way, to have a firearm license, New Jersey was denying. The reason this case is important is because not only does it put it out there finally in the ether, but we’re still getting denials by departments using the six-month standard. They still are not up to speed on this.

Louis Nappen 11:49

That’s absolutely true. They’re not. I’d like to point out that firearm permit applications in New Jersey do not even ask about motor vehicle offenses. They’re not even questions, not even a question on the form. Most people would not even think of that as something that would be needed to be mentioned on a form. It’s like a gotcha if you’ve got a DUI or DWI from out of state in that sense.

Evan Nappen 12:16

New Jersey’s form is full of gotchas, and this is a good example of one. We want our listeners, of course, to be aware of the change in the law. If you are wrongfully denied based on this, give us a call because this is just outrageous,

Louis Nappen 12:41

I would add not only if you’ve been, or if you are, but if you have been in the past. Page – 6 – of 16

Evan Nappen 12:48

excellent point

Louis Nappen 12:50

denied for having something over six months punishable conviction, but under one year. It’s time for you to reapply and get it because you’re not ineligible per se anymore.

Evan Nappen 13:06

Right. And a lot of folks don’t realize that. They think that they’re just screwed, which originally, they were, but they’re not. They can now get licensed in New Jersey. And that also includes non-resident carry licenses. So, even individuals that are out of state, because New Jersey’s shall issue carry license is available to anyone in the U.S. that wishes to get a carry license, you can apply and get it. The application is simply done online at the State Police website. Individuals from out of state will often have to have their records reviewed, and it’s done in this same manner. There are no different criteria applied to non-residents versus residents.

Louis Nappen 14:00

Yeah, I’d like to add now in this particular case, at the trial level, we showed that he has no alcohol or substance abuse issues. He has no public health, safety, or welfare concerns. He was open about what he is, in that sense, with this thing that’s out there. He had nothing but this DUI. Now, of course, we made arguments along with this, but you have to remember this takes time for the process to work through. But we made range. There’s a case out there in the Third Circuit that’s very recent, a Bruen-type argument, although this predates that, of if he does have this, he shouldn’t be denied because it’s what is our interest here. It’s to keep firearms out of a dangerous person’s hands, and he’s not a dangerous person. And we know that

Evan Nappen 14:49

A DWI from 30 years ago doesn’t make you violent. It doesn’t make you have criteria of being an alcoholic. You know there is another great disqualifier that judges like to throw out there. There was no other genuine concern in any way. As a matter of fact, there was no Public Health Safety welfare issue here. But that doesn’t stop them

Louis Nappen 15:11

No, and I’d like to point out this was a person who was acting proactively because he had changed addresses and wanted to make sure that he did the right thing by updating his card. While you’re doing that, you might as well ask for a few more purchase permits with the same criteria at that time. So, here’s somebody who’s doing the right thing, updating his card, and this is the response he gets.

Evan Nappen 15:37

That’s another area where individuals get set up, by the way. Remember, in New Jersey, if you have a change of address, you have to reapply under the law within 30 days to update your card. It is an obligation placed on the card holder to keep your card accurate, but not pistol purchase permits and not carry permits. They’re not address dependent. Page – 7 – of 16

Louis Nappen 16:02

No, they’re just used. Once you use your permit to purchase, it’s used. That’s that.

Evan Nappen 16:07

Correct. But Goworek’s case didn’t just end with that issue, because it was also another fascinating issue. Something we’ve been fighting for a while.

Louis Nappen 16:17

Yes, I’ve been fighting on a lot in this for a while. I

Evan Nappen 16:19

You have been actually.

Louis Nappen 16:22

I pride myself on preserving the record below, as they say, to make sure that I have good appealable issues. And I’m glad to say I was victorious on most of the appealable issues in this case. I raised a lot. I also raised that he’s deserving of a jury trial, but that didn’t fly. Nonetheless, you’re trying to take away, at the time they were taking trying to take away guns you’re already owned. It’s a forfeiture action, and he deserved a jury trial if that’s the case. But that’s neither here nor there. So, at this point, when it comes to this, some of the other issues, particularly I’ve been fighting, and I’m glad to see that with the new online system, it doesn’t seem to be asking for it. But for the longest time, and I’ve always raised the issue. The courts have been asking for a $50 filing fee just to file the appeal. They will not accept the appeal of a denial where you want to be heard before a judge without paying the $50 filing fee. The statute, however, says there shall be no filing fee or pleadings required for an appeal of a firearm permit. Yet, they’ve been doing that for at least the last 5-10 years, if not earlier, and it’s wrong. It was wrong. And that on appeal was also successful in that the court.

Louis Nappen 17:48

I haven’t said the end result here. They did end up remanding and vacating his order of denial, which was wonderful. So, all of that got vacated. He’s not saddled with having to compel sale or revocation or any of that. He ended up

Evan Nappen 18:04

or having a denial on his record

Louis Nappen 18:06

or having a denial on his record

Evan Nappen 18:07

does future applications he doesn’t have to answer that question

Louis Nappen 18:11

and the filing fee was refunded so that’s good. Now we have a guy Page – 8 – of 16

Evan Nappen 18:18

That’s the cherry on top. Fifty bucks back.

Louis Nappen 18:22

I know that sounds minor, but when you think of how many people apply and appeal, this is just a State money grab of money to exercise Second Amendment rights. I think you’re going to be talking a little bit about just the exact same thing a little later about how any time that they can grab

Evan Nappen 18:41

oh yeah. New Jersey doesn’t want to grab money, Lou, from gun owners

Louis Nappen 18:45

or people wishing to exercise their Second Amendment rights

Evan Nappen 18:47

Well, I’ll tell you what, you know. Something else I want to mention is that both Lou and I got our CCARE carry license qualifications done at WeShoot. Both of us did, and it was a great experience. WeShoot, of course, is a friend of the show, and I want to mention that they are an indoor gun range right in Lakewood, New Jersey. They are a great range and it’s a wonderful facility. They treat everybody just like family. I get so many great reports back from listeners that have taken my advice on going to WeShoot. They have great training and a great pro shop. They will get you set up, fitted, trained and ready to roll to get your carry. If you just want to enjoy a great day at the range, they run all kinds of cool events. WeShoot is in Lakewood, conveniently right off the Parkway. If you want to check out WeShoot, go to their website, which is weshootusa.com They have magnificent photography. They pride themselves on their photography, and you will enjoy just visiting their website. Make sure that you give your business to WeShoot. They are just a wonderful resource for the community, and we need our ranges. Ranges are the places where we shoot, and there are less and less of them. Without a place to shoot, it’s hard to train and be proficient with your guns. So, check out WeShootusa.com.

Evan Nappen 20:37

Now, of course, through our fight here on this case and other fights, the idea in Jersey is that they keep passing these anti-gun laws, and we have to keep fighting them. A number of times we’re fighting the battle for individual rights, one person at a time, like our client here, and we were happy to be successful. But there is also another wonderful organization and that’s the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs. They are bringing federal litigation, challenging the obnoxious New Jersey gun laws that have just tormented and created havoc amongst gun owners. These laws include the absurd, so-called assault firearm law, which is really a modern sporting rifle ban, with such draconian penalties. It carries, you know, 10 years in State Prison with a minimum mandatory three and a half years for firearms that were 100% legal. Even those that you acquired legally. It doesn’t matter. There was no grandfathering. They just want to stick it to us, put us in jail, disenfranchise us of our gun rights and make it so we can’t vote. It’s all because, frankly, they hate us. It shows in how they treat us and what they do. But the state Association is there defending against that and defending against the so-called Page – 9 – of 16

large capacity magazine ban, which is actually the standard capacity magazine ban, and fighting the Carry Killer bill.

Evan Nappen 22:16

Because even though we do finally, after all these years, I’m so happy to even say it, when I say we have a shall issue carry permit in New Jersey. What the other side has done, out of their kicking and screaming and hissy fit, is they passed a law to try to eviscerate the utilitarian value of our carry permit. By limiting the places to this absurd degree as to where you can actually carry. It’s called the 25 sensitive places and all these things. So, the Association is battling that out and having great success in knocking back the restrictions placed on us. So that we do not have to be victims, but rather defenders. The Association also has a full time paid lobbyist in Trenton. They have a great newsletter, and you get email alerts. Please make sure you belong to the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol clubs, which is anjrpc.org. ANJRPC.org. Join today and be part of the solution.

Evan Nappen 23:30

Of course, I cannot fail to shamelessly promote my book which is New Jersey Gun Law. It is the Bible of New Jersey gun law. It’s used by police and lawyers and judges. Hey, it’s used by the New Jersey Firearms Unit of the state police. I was just talking to them about it. And they were talking about their copy of it. And look, I wrote it for you for, the gun owner. It’s a labor of love. It’s over 500 pages with 120 topics all in a question and answer format, and it was made to be user friendly so you can navigate through New Jersey’s insanity that they call gun safety laws. Yeah, yeah, so much safety built right in. Good grief. It’s never about gun safety. It’s about taking our rights. They wouldn’t know what gun safety laws are if they fell on them, and many times they are falling on them. But the fact is get my book, New Jersey Gun Law and protect yourself. You don’t want to become a victim of New Jersey gun laws. When you get the book, I have this really cool feature on the new 25th Anniversary Edition, which is available at EvanNappen.com. See the big orange book there? On the front cover is a QR code. Just scan it and you are able to subscribe, for free, 100% free, to our Subscriber Portal. You will get email alerts from me usually within 24 hours of any law change. You can access the archives for any updates to the book. You stay current, the book stays current, and you stay protected. So, get your copy today at EvanNappen.com.

Evan Nappen 25:18

Speaking of all this licensing, New Jersey Governor Murphy just put forward a legislative budget. In his budget, he’s asking to, drumroll please, increase New Jersey’s permit fees, increase them to the degree, folks, that if you want to get another handgun, just in fees for you to get your other handgun, it’s going to cost you $95 extra on top of the price of the handgun. Let me tell you what the fee increases are and what Governor Murphy is proposing. He wants to raise the Firearm Purchaser Identification Card price to $100. The current fee is $50. It used to be $5. This is insane. It’s to discourage individuals from exercising their Second Amendment rights. It is inflation gone hyper by Murphy. He wants to raise the Permit to Purchase a Handgun fee to $50. It’s currently $25. It originally was $2. This will be the second time he’s raising permit fees from $5 up to $100 and $2 up to 50. Page – 10 – of 16

Evan Nappen 27:01

And I’ll tell you right now, the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs is in the courts, as we speak, challenging his first fee increase as being unreasonable. Now he’s pouring this on. If you want to apply for a duplicate Firearms ID Card, $50 please. If you want to get a Carry Permit, it’s currently $200, but it used to be $20, he wants to increase it to $400 for a two-year carry permit – $400! You know, we just had the 29th state, South Carolina, and right before South Carolina, the 28th state, Louisiana, got Constitutional Carry. No permit carry at all. You can actually be a real American in those states and carry with no permit. Twenty-nine states have it. New Jersey wants to charge $400 to just get the permit. This is unacceptable. New Jersey shouldn’t be raising fees. They should be passing Constitutional Carry. One day we’ll get it. You may think that’s a stretch, but it’s not a stretch. As more people carry and as the State gets accustomed to individuals being defenders instead of victims, we will one day have it. But for now, they want to put these licenses out of reach and make it so cost prohibitive as part of their anti-gun game.

Evan Nappen 28:50

Now on top of all these fees, they want to raise the NICS check. So, you have your handgun permit that you paid $50 to get it or your Firearms ID card that you paid $100 to get it. Now when you go to buy a gun, it’s another $45. That’s right. He wants to raise it from $15 to $45. That means just to buy a hunting shotgun as a new shotgun owner, it is going to cost you $145. Almost the price of a top rate shotgun just for the fees, and every new handgun will cost you $50 plus $45 making it $95 just to purchase a new handgun. We have to stop this. You need to contact your legislators. Through the Association, you will be getting email alerts and given very easy applications to be able to let the legislators know. This is part of the important job here. These three increases are out of control.

Louis Nappen 30:09

Well, I know. I just want to say

Evan Nappen 30:12

You spent a lot of time about carry. Go right ahead.

Louis Nappen 30:16

Two things there I’ll say is. One, I think Murphy’s Law, any anti-gun law that can happen, will happen.

Evan Nappen 30:24

He never did meet an anti-gun law he didn’t like.

Louis Nappen 30:26

Well, that’s Murphy’s Law.

Evan Nappen 30:29

Right, right, Murphy’s law. Page – 11 – of 16

Louis Nappen 30:30

Any antigun or anti-freedom, Second Amendment that can happen, will happen. I think it’s interesting, by raising these fees, I think you have to look at it in terms of because only, and of course, I’m being sarcastic here, only the rich really need to protect themselves, not the poor people living in bad neighborhoods. They don’t need it. They really can’t afford it. They barely could afford the firearm to protect themselves. They’re going to be priced out. So, it’s clear that he doesn’t care about the people living in bad neighborhoods, who really need the right, perhaps arguably more, you know, I don’t want to say more, but as much as anybody else.

Evan Nappen 31:10

There is a disproportionate number of minorities who are in the lower economic classes. So, this is yet another

Louis Nappen 31:21

in fact, yes

Evan Nappen 31:22

institutionalized racism by the so-called party that’s supposed to be standing up for the principle that they’re constantly violating, in their zest to give the screw to the gun owner.

Louis Nappen 31:41

Yeah, take taking away the right for them to protect themselves when they live in these in these areas. It’s insane.

Evan Nappen 31:49

The people who need it most. Law-abiding, honest, hardworking people, that, you know, when seconds count, the police are minutes away, maybe even hours away. They need the ability to defend themselves, and they want to make it harder and

Louis Nappen 32:05

price them out. They are going to price them out.

Evan Nappen 32:08

This is the equivalent of a poll tax for voting. The same idea discouraged, after the Civil War, the newly freed blacks from being able to vote and establishing a poll tax, making a cost to vote. Well, look, voting is a Constitutional right. Having a firearm is a Constitutional right. There should be no fees whatsoever to exercise a Constitutional right.

Louis Nappen 32:42

There should be no applications to begin with to exercise a Constitutional right. I’ll put that out there. That’s what this whole decision that I’ve just been talking about. Why it should be Constitutional, and if you’ve passed your NICS check regarding it. If all these other states, at least the 29 can do it that way, there’s no reason why New Jersey can’t. And that would save a lot of money because we wouldn’t need the huge bureaucracy to back it up. Page – 12 – of 16

Evan Nappen 33:05

You’re damn right. Now, one of the favorite segments of Gun Lawyer is the GOFU, the Gun Owner Fuck Up. Our GOFU this week is anyone who gets psychiatric or mental health help is jeopardizing their gun rights in New Jersey. That’s right. New Jersey actually has structured the firearm application to discourage individuals from seeking mental health help. Because well, Lou, why don’t you explain how this works?

Louis Nappen 33:48

Sure.

Evan Nappen 33:49

Not just getting committed, but even seeing a doctor.

Louis Nappen 33:53

Yeah, I’ll just say. Every week I see at least one of these. That’s how common this is. How unrare it is because it’s people. As we talk about law-abiding gun owners and law-abiding criminals in that sense, but these aren’t even criminals. These are people who, and I see a lot of it with military, they come back and they suffer from post-traumatic, a little bit of this, or they’ve recently had or just anybody who has a death of a dog or death of a loved one, and they want to get a little grief counseling. Or we had a guy who years ago he went just because he wanted to throw a baseball better. We have a case along those lines. Whatever it is.

Evan Nappen 34:35

That’s right. He was in college, and he was having what are called the yips. He went to talk to a counselor for the yips.

Louis Nappen 34:44

For performance anxiety or whatever it was. To try and see if he could get over that. Just for whatever it is. So, people who are proactive because they see the beginning signs of a little OCD, a little grief, a little depression, a little post traumatic, whatever it is, and they want to go nip that in the bud. They do what you think would be the right thing, and they go to a doctor to get some help. Right now, I’m thinking of a person, specifically military, who served, and he saw 40 of his comrades wounded in serious battle. It haunts him here and there, but he’s not a danger. And he went for help. The application, as opposed to most across the United States where they just worry about commitments, where you’ve actually been committed for mental health, they ask, have you ever been, and I’m paraphrasing, treated, observed by any mental health doctor or sorry, by any doctor or psychiatrist or any hospital for mental health reasons? And so that broad question is on the application form. If you have done one of these, if you’ve gone for grief counseling, if you’ve gone for marriage counseling, and not just okay, if it’s not just to a and I recommend

Evan Nappen 36:04

Let’s just draw the line. Where does it become a firearm issue? And where doesn’t it? So, what doctors count and are there any doctors that don’t when it comes to firearms? Page – 13 – of 16

Louis Nappen 36:17

You have to be careful with doctors, period. Doctor. If it’s a psychologist, arguably, it still counts. Definitely if it’s an MD. It’s a doctor. He has a doctorate. However, I advise if you’re going to go, because I’m not saying you shouldn’t get some help if you’re facing

Evan Nappen 36:38

Of course, we want you to get help. But New Jersey creates this thing that now you jeopardize your Second Amendment rights when you do it. So, when you want to try to overcome it, you need to get a report from a doctor, which is going to cost you a lot of money to say that you’re safe for guns. And even though you are, good luck finding a doctor who is willing to say somebody is safe for guns. Even if they know they are, because they’re so afraid of the liability.

Louis Nappen 37:06

Oh, and I’ll add that in the statute itself, they want it to be somebody who’s licensed in New Jersey. So, good luck finding a New Jersey doctor who is pro-gun or at least will give you a fair shot. Yeah, this isn’t, you know, that’s what they’re anticipating in that sense. So, if you were to, and I’m not saying you shouldn’t get help, I want to make that clear. If you need it, go and get it. But, you know, that comes ahead of your

Evan Nappen 37:30

Make sure you realize that you’re going to have to deal with this, and let’s talk about how you deal with it. Because there’s two levels when it comes to the mental health issues where there are GOFUs that can occur. Firstly, if you have a commitment, either voluntary or involuntary, it doesn’t matter. The only way you can restore your rights is with a mental health expungement, period, end of story. A mental health expungement. You have to get a mental health expungement. It’s the only way to restore your rights for a voluntary or involuntary commitment. Now our firm does mental health expungements. We do a lot of them. But it is costly, and it takes time. And it is a full impediment, even though you just voluntarily went to seek help. Then there’s the have you ever been treated by any doctor?

Louis Nappen 38:26

Right. That’s a question on the form. But it’s not a per se disqualifier. But as soon as that is answered in the positive,

Evan Nappen 38:35

What do you mean per se? Tell us what that means.

Louis Nappen 38:37

It’s not an absolute disqualifier just because you have gone to see a psychiatrist. It doesn’t mean you’re barred just because you’ve done that. But they raise 58:3(c) saying you have a defect or disease, and we know about it. Therefore, now you must answer because then the burden is shifted to you to provide a doctor evaluation stating that you’re safe for the handling of firearms and not a danger which the judge may or may not find that you know. Page – 14 – of 16

Evan Nappen 39:09

Right. So, now you have to pay a doctor for that. and they are going to claim as well that you’re a danger to public health, safety, and welfare. Of course, they throw that in. Now you’re going to have to battle it and bring a legal action when you get denied for it to prove to the judge these very things simply because you went to a doctor.

Louis Nappen 39:32

But if you don’t mention it and you did have

Evan Nappen 39:35

Oh, what happens now?

Louis Nappen 39:36

Now you’re facing and they find out. Especially I see this during divorces. Wives know that you love your second amendment, and they reveal it. If somebody knows and it comes out somehow, maybe the doctor you’re currently seeing mentions it in some way. I don’t know. It comes out in a lot of weird ways. But they find out.

Evan Nappen 39:57

Let me tell you one way it came out. There’s a case we had where an individual actually paid the doctor cash because they were concerned about this. Unfortunately, they went and got prescriptions for Zoloft or whatever it was, nothing major, but enough, you know, a serotonin drug, but they used a prescription plan to buy the drugs. And that’s how it came out. And what happens is,

Louis Nappen 40:27

I’ve seen it come out and

Evan Nappen 40:28

You have to tell the truth all the time.

Louis Nappen 40:30

Of course.

Evan Nappen 40:31

Even if you inadvertently write no, you’re going to get denied for falsification, and then you can get prosecuted for falsification, which carries up to five years in State Prison. In certain jurisdictions if you put the wrong answer, they don’t even bother denying you, they just criminally charge you with the felony level, Third Degree crime, where you’re looking at five years in States Prison because you put the wrong answer.

Louis Nappen 40:56

And this is because you didn’t think maybe that this was something that needed to be mentioned or whatnot. So, I did want to mention, because we didn’t, going back. If you do have that kind of a Page – 15 – of 16

scenario where you want to get help, consider first going to a licensed counselor, that’s someone who is licensed, or maybe a religious figure that you trust in some form, or a friend or family.

Evan Nappen 41:22

As long as they’re not a doctor, too?

Louis Nappen 41:23

Yeah, that’s a good point. Right.

Evan Nappen 41:25

You don’t want any of these to be doctors. But if you go into that other realm, now you put yourself in a whole other category. You need to be aware of it at least. If you’re going to do it, you need to know what you’re getting into, and there are many that don’t. Then later, they’re saying no on the form. If I had known, you know. How many times have I heard that? If I had known so,

Louis Nappen 41:50

They either face falsification or they have to challenge it. They have to provide proof that they’re not a danger by another doctor saying so.

Evan Nappen 41:56

Exactly. And I’ll tell what else. You can also screw your kids. Many times, we get individuals who as juveniles, they had no control over it.

Louis Nappen 42:09

That doesn’t matter whether

Evan Nappen 42:10

If you are put into a mental health facility, that’s considered involuntary commitment. And they now have to get a mental health expungement. Look, you’re disqualified per se. It’s the same as if you’re a convicted felon. All because when you were eight years old, your parents thought you needed mental health, when in fact, they’re just bad parents. But it doesn’t matter.

Louis Nappen 42:34

Yeah, I’ve seen it. I’ve seen at least a dozen situations where they didn’t think that they had to mention juvenile mental health help. They figured that as a juvenile it doesn’t matter. But the application doesn’t say that, and they get screwed because they didn’t mention it. Like you just said, when you were 11 and there was family turmoil, you went to a family therapy session with a psychiatrist to try and work it out. You were there with your mother and your dad, and you were part of that. Some people go because they want to work out a marriage or this or that, but they weren’t the ones who had the problem. It was the spouse. Yet, they are there being treated.

Evan Nappen 43:15

They were sucked right into it and now have to deal with it. So, beware. Lou, I want to thank you for joining the show and helping our listeners to protect themselves and not be GOFUs. This is Evan Page – 16 – of 16

Nappen reminding you that gun laws don’t protect honest citizens from criminals. They protect criminals from honest citizens.

Speaker 3 43:40

Gun Lawyer is a CounterThink Media production. The music used in this broadcast was managed by Cosmo Music, New York, New York. Reach us by emailing Evan@gun.lawyer. The information and opinions in this broadcast do not constitute legal advice. Consult a licensed attorney in your state.

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About The Host

Evan Nappen, Esq.

Known as “America’s Gun Lawyer,” Evan Nappen is above all a tireless defender of justice. Author of eight bestselling books and countless articles on firearms, knives, and weapons history and the law, a certified Firearms Instructor, and avid weapons collector and historian with a vast collection that spans almost five decades — it’s no wonder he’s become the trusted, go-to expert for local, industry and national media outlets.

Regularly called on by radio, television and online news media for his commentary and expertise on breaking news Evan has appeared countless shows including Fox News – Judge Jeanine, CNN – Lou Dobbs, Court TV, Real Talk on WOR, It’s Your Call with Lyn Doyle, Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk, and Cam & Company/NRA News.

As a creative arts consultant, he also lends his weapons law and historical expertise to an elite, discerning cadre of movie and television producers and directors, and novelists.

He also provides expert testimony and consultations for defense attorneys across America.

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