Episode 25- Five Gun Law Myths That Can Land You In Jail

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Gun Lawyer Episode 25 – Transcript

Gun Lawyer S1 Episode 25


myth, lawyer, rights, gun, license, police, blade length, gun laws, glove box, holster, ammunition, law, criminals, jurisdiction, firearm, palm, people, state, lie, new jersey


Evan Nappen

Evan Nappen 00:19

I’m Evan Nappen and welcome to Gun Lawyer. So today I was thinking about this, and I have got to make sure that my listeners are protected. Lately I’ve been seeing so many cases of law-abiding gun owners being turned into law-abiding criminals, and I’ve noticed that there’s a belief in a number of gun law myths. I want to talk to you today about the five top myths about guns and gun laws that you need to know. There’s so much absolute garbage out there, particularly on the internet. You can see all kinds of things, and it’s just not true. There are people that believe it, and end up getting themselves in trouble. When they are put in that situation of having to deal with a stop or with police, they became vulnerable when they thought they were doing the right thing. Those are the most frustrating things, not just for me to defend, but it’s just sad, because the folks that do this are kicking themselves in the butt for doing it. They are beating themselves up because they can’t believe what they thought was wrong and because they’ve been doing it the whole time.

Evan Nappen 01:56

Let me give you a good example of such a thing. You may have heard that when you transport a firearm, you put your firearm in the trunk and your ammunition in the glove box. They separate it. I had a case just this week, where that’s exactly what my client did. He was coming from a southern state, and he said that’s what his father always told him. Keep the ammunition separate. Well, here’s my advice. Don’t keep your ammunition in your glove box despite what you may have heard. If you keep it in the glove box, what happens? Well, you get pulled over for a minor traffic violation like what happened to my client. What’s the first thing that the police say? “Your license , registration, and insurance.” And what do you do? You open the glove box to get out your paperwork. As soon as you do that, the officer sees ammunition or a magazine. Or a magazine with ammunition. I’m talking about a gun magazine, not Life magazine. A gun mag, a firearm component, a holster. Anything like that in your glove box, they now are going to have arguably probable cause to search your vehicle for other weapons. This is common, particularly in New Jersey.

Evan Nappen 03:35

It now can escalate the whole thing, and before you know it, in New Jersey, you’ll be facing charges for your cased, unloaded handgun that you had in the trunk. You are looking at a Second Degree charge, up to 10 years and State Prison, a minimum mandatory three and a half years, no chance of parole, because you left your magazine or your ammunition or your holster in the glove box. Whereas, if you had simply kept the gun unloaded and not had the ammunition in the glove box, guess what? You most likely wouldn’t have any of this trouble. It’s something that simple. That simple yet it can ruin your life. It can throw you into the judicial system. Where, if it’s New Jersey, your entire life can be ruined. Your career, your family, your hopes and dreams, no joke ruined, imprisoned. Three and a half years, no chance of parole. The Judge has no discretion in Jersey on that. All that, you’re going to face and have to fight. Think of the anxiety, the stress, the cost, all because you put those things in the glove box. You thought it was the right thing to do because you followed the myth. Whereas, if you hadn’t done that, most likely you wouldn’t even have a problem. That’s how outrageous this is. It is a myth, and these myths hurt good people.

Evan Nappen 05:18

Now look, you might live in a jurisdiction where they have some law that says to put it in the glove box, but I’ve never heard of that. Federal law does not say that, even to transport under Title 18 926a. The ammunition should not be in the same lockbox as your gun. As long as it’s in a separate container and your gun is unloaded, you’re fine under Federal law. It does not ever say in the glove box. Now it’s true, if you had it in the glove box and it was locked, we would argue two separate containers but you don’t want to do that. Put it in its own little locking box and your gun in a locking case. Put it in the trunk or the back of your vehicle, cover it up, and make sure it’s locked. Now your gun is unloaded. The ammunition is separate. Part of being a gun owner today because of the enhanced scrutiny, media bias, narrative, agenda, hatred toward us, and fear mongering by the media, we have to be discreet with our guns. We have to be smart about our guns. You don’t want to become the next law-abiding criminal. So, myth number one is putting those things in the glove box.

Evan Nappen 06:39

I have heard a variation of this myth. I had a client who was driving around Jersey, and he had his Buck knife on top of the dash. Full size Buck knife. I asked him, why were you driving around with it up there? Well, he was told that as long as you have it in the open exposed on your car, you’re okay. And I’m like, that’s just an invite to be arrested. They look and see my big knife. Now, please arrest me. It’s a myth. Just the opposite. Granted, no one should be arrested for these things. They are victimless crimes, but it doesn’t matter. It’s not how it runs. It’s not how it operates. You’ll get dragged into the system on this. You do not want to have that happen.

Evan Nappen 07:24

Speaking of knives, here’s another myth, and it is one of my favorite myths. How many of you heard someone ask, ” hey, what’s the blade limit size on a knife? What’s the blade limit size? And let me tell you right now, the blade limit size of a knife is not the width of a fat cops palm. Okay? Not the width. No. How many times have you seen them say, “Let me put it against my palm and see. There is no palm knife law. No such thing. It’s a myth. This palm stuff. How many times have you seen that? Oh, look, it’s bigger than my palm. Well, that’s nice. Either you’ve got a small palm, or I’ve got a big knife. It doesn’t mean crap under the law. Nothing. So, please, this myth of blade length is wrong. Some jurisdictions do have blade length laws. Some jurisdictions do. I get that. But if they do, it is a measurement in inches. A measurement in a specific quantity that we recognize and can establish. That’s the amazing part about it.

Evan Nappen 08:52

Maybe your jurisdiction has a three and a half-inch blade length. Maybe it does, and you need to know that if you are in that jurisdiction. But it is not this weird palm thing that you see or hear all the time. Not at all. Interestingly, in New Jersey, as bad as they are, they do not have a blade length limit. It’s not about blade length at all. Length doesn’t matter in Jersey. No, it doesn’t because it’s not about that with knives. Know the jurisdiction that you’re in and what matters. But know for a fact that these other stories and weird things like palming your blade and all these are just nonsense. No basis whatsoever for that. You want to know the facts because if you have the screwed up information, you can end up in trouble. Maybe your jurisdiction does have a blade length, and maybe your palm is bigger than the blade length list. If you are doing this palm thing, all you are doing cities is setting yourself up for a problem. So, don’t do that. Be smart, be smart.

Evan Nappen 10:08

Take another myth, and it’s a myth that I understand. It is common in a lot of people believe it, but it’s not true. I’m sure most of you probably recognize this, but you would be surprised how many people don’t. I get case after case of people who didn’t know this. There is no national reciprocity for a carry license. I think there should be. Of course, you know, driver’s licenses are recognized in every state. It is not an illogical step to think that my gun license is recognized in all the states. It is a state that made it legal for me. In fact, they have given me this license after they ran a criminal background check and done things that never happen to get a driver’s license. You were not given a criminal background check and fingerprinted to get your driver’s license. But you were for your carry license if you live in a jurisdiction that issues carry licenses. So, it’s not a far leap to think that well, why wouldn’t all the states recognize my carry license? But they don’t. They don’t.

Evan Nappen 11:17

For example, New Jersey recognizes no other state’s license whatsoever. If you come to Jersey and you are transporting your handgun, thinking that you’re covered by a carry license from another state, you are not. Many people have suffered terrible consequences because they believed in the myth of reciprocity. It does not exist. That was Shaneen Allen’s mistake. She didn’t understand why her Pennsylvania license was not recognized. I’ve had case after case where individuals who come from another jurisdiction, believe that Jersey would be fair and reasonable and would, of course, respect a license from another state. But they don’t, and the charges are incredibly serious. Again, Second Degree, up to 10 years in State Prison, minimum mandatory three and a half years, no chance of parole. If you get convicted of that handgun, even though you have a carry license from another state, the judge has no discretion. Period. You are getting three and a half years as a minimum in State Prison. Think about how draconian and insane New Jersey’s law is, and how many folks unwittingly fall for this trap. In New Jersey, it is really bad news. So, you do not want to fall for the myth of reciprocity.

Evan Nappen 12:52

I will tell you another myth. This is one that you’ll hear at times when you talk with folks about self-defense. Some guy will say, “Oh, well, if I shoot some guy outside my house, I’m dragging them back in.” Like what is he now a houseguest? Or, “if I shoot some guy, I’m gonna plant a kitchen knife in his hand or a weapon. I got a throw away, and I’m gonna put it right in his hand.” Listen, it is a myth. Never, never mess with the scene. Don’t do it. It’s that simple. Because it will get discovered. It will get figured out. They are going to see the drag. They are going to see the blood. They are going to find prints, and they are going to do DNA. I mean, come on. When they determine that you screwed around with that, you have lost all credibility. You have really screwed yourself. Never do that.

Evan Nappen 13:52

Instead, have good counsel. We will deal with what the truth is, how you defended yourself properly under the law, and why you were threatened with serious bodily injury or death. And were in fear of those things. Establishing it and defending on the truth. Not trying to change the scene. Because then you won’t be able to effectively defend yourself. You will be cut down at the knees when the prosecutor is nailing you on messing with the evidence and the scene in front of the jury. Not good. Plus, you could even be charged with doing such things. So, no, don’t do that. It doesn’t matter. If they fall outside, they fall outside the house. If they had a weapon or not but if you thought they did, we are going to make that clear. You do not plant one.

Evan Nappen 14:52

These kind of myths can cost you dearly. So, don’t believe any of that stuff you see and hear. Stick to what I’m telling you here. I don’t want you making these mistakes. When we come back, I’m going to tell you about what happens when you have that police encounter and one of the biggest myths about how to deal with that encounter, should you need to.

Evan Nappen 15:22

For over 30 years, Attorney Evan Nappen has seen what rotten laws do to good people. That’s why he’s dedicated his life to fighting for the rights of America’s gun owners. A fearsome courtroom litigator. Fighting for rights, justice, and freedom. An unrelenting gun rights spokesman, tearing away at anti-gun propaganda to expose the truth. Author of six best-selling books on gun rights, including Nappen on Gun Law, a bright orange gun law Bible that sits atop the desk of virtually every lawyer, police chief, firearms dealer, and savvy gun owner. That’s what made Evan Nappen America’s Gun Lawyer. Gun laws are designed to make you a criminal. Don’t become the innocent victim of a vicious anti-gun legal system. This is the guy you want on your side. Keep his name and number in your wallet and hope you never have to use it. But if you live, work, or travel with a firearm, that deck is already stacked against you. You can find him on the web at EvanNappen.com or follow the link on the Gun Lawyer resource page. Evan Nappen – America’s Gun Lawyer.

Evan Nappen 16:13

You’re listening to Gun Lawyer with Attorney Evan Nappen. Available wherever you get your favorite podcast.

Evan Nappen 16:43

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Evan Nappen 18:12

I want to tell you. These times are very challenging, and I’m sure you are seeing the issues that we have to face. A lot of things are going against us, and there is a lot of movement against our rights, a lot of action. I’ll even use the word “conspiracy”. I am not talking black helicopters. But plainly, the media is not our friend, and they are trying to suppress us. So look, help keep a fellow gunner from becoming a law-abiding criminal. Tell them to listen to Gun Lawyer, visit my website at Gun.Lawyer. We have .com but I’ve got lawyer and it’s Gun.Lawyer. What I would really love for you to do is take a look at our Inner Circle. It’s right on the website. Sign up for the Inner Circle. That is my way of communicating with you, and you are going to get the inside for me. I will give tips and tricks and insight and fun. Sign up. It’s free. That way I still have the ability to communicate with you as it gets tougher and tougher to do so.

Evan Nappen 19:15

This microphone and this podcast are important. It’s a way for us to communicate with one another to protect our Second Amendment rights and fellow gun owners. It helps me communicate with you to touch base so you know what’s going on. Big tech doesn’t care about our rights. They don’t like us and want to shut us down. The Inner Circle is how we can stay in contact despite their efforts. These big issues, executive orders and this clarion call to take away our rights are real. It’s just amazing how these mass shootings happen right now when there is a big push for gun laws. You know, it’s like you could set your watch by it. It is so predictable. But there it is. So, we really have to deal with this. Please subscribe to the podcast. Join my Inner Circle, and get the word out. I am depending on you.

Evan Nappen 20:21

Now, we are talking here about what kinds of things you need to know to protect yourself. As a criminal defense attorney for over 30 years, defending folks that I   lovingly call law-abiding criminals, because they are law-abiding citizens who have been turned into criminals by these ridiculous gun laws, I have seen our rights play out and the reality of these rights. So, what I’m going to tell you is a myth that I see frequently. I want to tell you what you need to know so you don’t ever have this problem.

Evan Nappen 21:01

Some folks actually believe that if you have a problem and the police want to talk to you about it, that you can lie your way out of the situation. Let me just say, that’s a heavy duty risk, and frankly, it’s a myth. Generally speaking, you’re not going to succeed. In fact, they would love for you to try because lying to the police is a crime. So, you cannot lie to the police. If you do, you can be prosecuted simply for lying to the police, even if the underlying reason they were investigating you proves to be nothing. Zero, doesn’t matter. Your lying to the police is now a separate criminal act. You cannot lie to the police, but, and this is not a myth, the police are allowed to lie to you. You may say, hey, that’s not fair. Well, doesn’t matter, fair or not. It is how it works. The police have a license to lie. They can lie about things in their investigation to try to glean information out of you. I have seen this happen, and the surest way to not have a problem is by not lying. Because you cannot lie to the police does not mean that there’s nothing you can do. Oh, there is something very, very important that you can do. What you can do is keep your mouth shut. That’s right. You have a Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and you have a right to counsel. So, you have a right to say nothing. So many people seem to have a hard time doing that. But that’s what you need to do.

Evan Nappen 23:13

You need to say, “I’ve nothing to say and I want to talk to my lawyer first.” Always invoke that you want to talk to your lawyer. By asking to speak with your lawyer and not saying anything. Guess what? You are not going to fall for the myth of lying to the police. You are not going to incriminate yourself over some offense that you don’t even know you’re incriminating yourself over because you didn’t even know it was an offense. I get those cases, too. I cannot tell you how many times people say, “I didn’t know that was illegal. I thought I was grandfathered. I thought it was okay. I thought I was doing the right thing.” I understand all those things. I do. I get it. But talking is what becomes the biggest problem in your case. Police have a right to lie to you, but you do not have a right to lie to them.

Evan Nappen 24:13

You need to keep your mouth shut and not inadvertently say anything that can be twisted against you. Because you are innocent, and I have seen that it’s the innocent person, which makes it incredibly tragic, because they said things that are now being used against them, even though it really wasn’t them. I have had those cases. If they just kept their mouth shut. So many times through so many cases that I’ve had over 30 years of criminal defense. I look back, and I say where was the person’s mistake? They couldn’t shut their mouth and just ask for their attorney.

Evan Nappen 25:00

Many times in these criminal cases, your future hinges on one choice. Whether you’re choosing to put that ammunition in your glove box. Whether you have chosen to speak to the police. Whether you have chosen to think that a knife shorter than your palm is okay, and you’ve never even looked at the actual laws in your jurisdiction. When you choose to bring your gun and carry it into New Jersey, assuming that your license is going to be respected and honored. Those choices and that myth believed, if you will, ends up making people miserable, and put into a world of problems that they never thought they would end up in.

Evan Nappen 26:00

Remember, you cannot and should never lie to the police. You should not talk to the police either. Because you always have that right to say, hey, I want to talk to my lawyer first. That’s what smart people do. Because by talking to your lawyer, your lawyer cannot incriminate you. Your lawyer can speak for you and find out what’s going on. What you say to your lawyer is confidential, attorney-client protected speech between you and your attorney. This is the smart thing that folks do. You need to be smart and not fall into these traps.

Evan Nappen 26:40

The belief about law enforcement’s job and what their responsibility is, is distorted by way of television. So many times I’m watching a TV show, you know that my family was watching, and they’re investigating this suspect. He is there talking across the metal table, yackety Yak, and I am like shut up. Get a lawyer. Shut up. Oh, my God. It’s frustrating because if you’re ever read your rights, that’s not a myth. If you are read your rights, fireworks should be going off and the flag should be flying. The alarm bells should be ringing. If you are ever read your rights, and that you have the right to remain silent. Remain freakin silent. Okay, you just got hit with a train by these rights in your face, and you’re like, Hey, can I buy a ticket on that train? No. No, you were read your rights. That’s it.

Evan Nappen 27:56

If you are ever read your rights, there’s no more excuse. It just boggles me. The police read you your rights, and then the person says, “Oh, fine. Now I’ll talk to you, and I don’t need a lawyer.” Why do you think they read you your rights? Because you do need a lawyer, and you do need to shut up. It could not be more blatant. But you know what? Television conditions you. “Oh, you don’t have to worry about those little rights things. Everybody just talks. If you don’t talk, you must have something to hide. You must. No, that is not how it works. Not how it works at all. Not at all. If you are ever read your rights, that is absolutely the last stop sign before the cliff. Okay, that’s it. If you go through that stop sign, you are going down, down, down into that gully, and you are going to crash and burn. That is your final warning right there. The guardrail at the end of the road, and you just went right through it. No problem. Oh, la dee, da dee da. No. I cannot emphasize it enough. The bottom line myth is that you can ignore when your rights are read to you. Do that and you will pay the price. Absolutely.

Evan Nappen 29:32

Never waive your rights. Demand your attorney. Then and only then, if your attorney advises you after thorough consideration and that defense counsel that knows criminal law and your situation tells you that you can waive your rights and do this or that, fine. But short of that. No way. You have nothing to say, and I want my lawyer.

Evan Nappen 29:59

This is Evan Nappen reminding you that gun laws do not protect honest citizens from criminals. They protect criminals from honest citizens.

Speaker 3 30:08

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 Nappan, 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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