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Gun Lawyer Episode 32 – Transcript
gun, firearm, inhabitants, declaration, officer, lawyer, courtroom, arms, bag, colonists, great britain, new hampshire, people, province, find, gun rights, permit, judge, case, pulled
Evan Nappen, Speaker 3
Evan Nappen 00:20
I’m Evan Nappen, and welcome to Gun Lawyer. Today I want to tell you about a case that actually got me what I call a Matlock moment. It is absolutely one of those unbelievable cases, but it really did happen. This case occurred in the state of New Hampshire, and it goes back to before New Hampshire passed what is called Constitutional Carry. No permit is required to carry in New Hampshire as in 20 other states. You can carry concealed or open handgun, or even other firearms, depending on which state you are in, without any license or permit. That is how it was meant to be.
Evan Nappen 01:17
Prior to that New Hampshire had a carry permit that you needed to get. It was required if you were going to carry a handgun, loaded and concealed on your person or loaded in a motor vehicle. So, I had a client who was actually being harassed by police for his political activism and other things. It seemed apparent that they were, “out to get him.” Regardless, the fights that he had were handled, and all went along fine. Then one day, he went to a dentist appointment, and he had some tooth pulled. His whole mouth was sore and swollen. His fiancé picked him up in their vehicle. He was in the passenger seat, and he was kind of achy and a mess from his dental work. She is driving, and one of the local police that have been on his case, pulled them over. The pretext for pulling them over was not even any traffic offence, but rather to “warn him to stay away from a particular area where he was going regarding his political activism.”
Evan Nappen 02:45
So, in pulling them over, they ended up pushing an issue into a search. And lo and behold, they find, behind the driver, who was his fiancée, a loaded handgun in her bag. Now she had a New Hampshire carry license. She bought this gun. It was her gun. It was in her zipped kind of computer bag behind her seat. That was her bag, and she was driving her car. Okay, so it seems pretty clear who this gun belonged to and who was carrying. Now my client was not a prohibited person, but he did not have a New Hampshire carry license because he did not believe in getting one. Eventually, I guess he was proved correct because we got Constitutional Carry. But he did not have one, and it wasn’t his gun. He was not thinking about that gun which was hers.
Evan Nappen 04:01
So, when they find the gun, they end up charging my client with possession of a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle. Now he is simply a passenger. He did not access this gun. He had nothing whatsoever to do with guns when they got pulled over. Yet the officer concocted this theory, if you will, that somehow, he was also a possessor when it was not in any way within his domain and control. It didn’t matter. We ended up going to trial on this in District Court. The Officer was hardly the sharpest tool in the shed. The charge was possession of a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle. It was really something because when they pull out the evidence of the gun, the evidence bag that contains the gun has the gun in battery. The slide is completely forward, and there is no safety device on it whatsoever. There was no wire tie through the barrel. There was nothing but a firearm rolling around in a plastic bag. The charge is that the gun was loaded, and this is now in an evidence bag in the courtroom.
Evan Nappen 05:57
Not wanting to get shot by the mishandling of a gun and realizing that this is absurd that the evidence has been improperly handled, I immediately object and say that this firearm needs to be rendered safe. It needs to be clearly safe and cleared for that matter and not rolling around in a plastic evidence bag with the action closed. No one knows what the status of this gun is other than a charge that it was loaded. The judge, who was a retired Marine and knew about guns, immediately said, “Counsel, we are going to clear the courtroom”. The judge cleared the courtroom, and he ordered the officer to clear the weapon, make sure that it was visibly safe, and properly in the evidence bag. And that is what happened. So, the officer cleared it, and made sure it was empty, the whole bit. Now it was wire tied so that everyone knows the firearm is not a loaded gun bouncing around in a plastic bag.
Evan Nappen 07:14
When we got back in the courtroom, the judge says, “We are back in session, and back to the prosecutor. Okay, now, I’ll hear you.” This prosecutor then says, “Well, now that we have satisfied Mr. Nappen”, like that, and I’m like, What? Oh, my God. The judge jumped on her like no one’s business and he said, “and the court. Firearm safety is an absolute priority of this court, madam prosecutor. And what Mr. Nappen did was absolutely correct. And that’s why I took the action that I did. And now we know that that firearm is unloaded.” Oh, he gave her quite the tongue lashing over that remark. And the fact is, it’s true. You do not want to have that. It would not be the first time there was some accident in a courtroom because someone did not know what they were dealing with. And so that was good.
Evan Nappen 08:18
But that was not the end of this case. Of course, it painted state’s expert in a wonderful light or the state’s witness here, not the expert. So, state’s witness, the Officer, gets on the stand. After being questioned about how this went down, I got to cross examine him. I asked him, “Where was the firearm?” “It was in the bag.” “Was the bag zipped?” “Oh, yeah, it was closed.” “And the bag was the driver’s?” “Yeah.” “And she has a license to carry?” “Yeah.” “And you ran the gun, and she purchased it herself? “Right. Yeah.” “So, it’s plainly her gun. Her license. It was her vehicle, right?” “Yeah.” So, you have all that back there, and he was in the passenger seat. Right. So, I said, “so in order for him to even access this gun, that is your theory of the case, right? That he is in possession of this as well because he can somehow access this gun in a motor vehicle. Right.
Evan Nappen 09:24
“Even though we have clearly established it was her gun, her permit, her car, all that and in her bag. Your theory is that he could somehow access the firearm and that is somehow a violation of New Hampshire’s law at that time.” And he goes, “yes.” So, in other words, I said “he would turn to the left, all the way to the left.” “Yeah, turn to the left.” “And he would have to look down there and find this bag underneath. Over the hump and back behind.” “Yeah.” “And then he would have to unzip, look in there and dig around and find this gun, somewhere in the bottom of that. And he would be looking in there and seeing that and that is how he would do it. Right. That’s how he would have to access it in that manner.” “Oh, yes, absolutely.” “That is your testimony, your theory, as to what he could do, right?” “Oh, yeah.” “But he did not do that. Did he?” “Oh, no, he never touched it.” “No.” “And you never saw him access it?” “No.” “But yet your theory is that this is somehow possible for him to do this. And he would be able to do this fast, right?” “Oh, yeah. He could quickly access it and do that. No problem.”
Evan Nappen 10:30
At which time, I asked him, “You identified the defendant here. Is that him sitting next to me?” “Yes.” I said, “You are sure that’s him?” “Oh, yes, absolutely.” I said, “Take a good look at him right now.” At which time I gave the signal to my client to pop out his left glass eye in court. I kid you not. And he sat there with a hollow eye socket, looking at the judge and looking at the officer with his good eye and his hole. And I said, “Officer, what do you notice about the defendant?” “Uh, he’s missing an eye.” “Right. He is missing his left eye, isn’t he?” “So, being completely blind on the left side, that probably would slow him down a little going through the steps that you just described. What do you think?” “Uh, yeah, I guess so. I guess it would. Right.”
Evan Nappen 11:40
So, the Matlock moment proved to be very true, and how ridiculous the Officer’s theory was in actions, and my client was found not guilty. But that is absolutely the true story of the day my client popped out his glass eye in court. It made quite an impression, I must say, because a number of months later, my son was in Boy Scouts, and they had one of those trips to the court that the scouts do, which is pretty cool. Before the judge even knew that my son was there, one of the kids said, “what was the most interesting case that you dealt with?” The judge says, “Well, let me tell you about the time a guy popped his eye out in my court.” So, it definitely lives on in District Court as one of those amazing moments. Luckily, that stupid law in New Hampshire is gone, and individuals have a Constitutional right to keep and bear arms and defend themselves accordingly.
Evan Nappen 13:03
Hey, listen, when we get back, I am going to tell you about something really fascinating that I did not even know myself. I am shocked that I did not know this considering how much I believe to be a student of history. I think you are going to find it fascinating as well. I am going to let you in on this, and man, they try to cover this up. Wait till you see.
Evan Nappen 13:25
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 has 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. Ever Nappen – America’s Gun Lawyer.
Speaker 3 14:40
You’re listening to Gun Lawyer with Attorney Evan Nappen. Available wherever you get your favorite podcast.
Evan Nappen 14:56
Hey, I want to tell you that I really, really appreciate your taking the time to listen to Gun Lawyer. I know that I can help all of us stay protected, and that is really my goal, to communicate with you. I would really appreciate your help to keep fellow gun owners from becoming a law-abiding criminal, which is what these gun laws do. Tell them to listen to Gun Lawyer radio and visit our website at Gun.Lawyer. It’s like .com but it is .lawyer. It is Gun.Lawyer – www.gun.lawyer.
Evan Nappen 15:30
What I would really love is for you take a look at our Inner Circle on our website, at gun.lawyer. Sign up for the Inner Circle. You are going to get the inside from me, Evan Nappen. I will be giving you tips, tricks, insights and fun. Sign up. It’s free. Go to gun.lawyer and join my Inner Circle. Remember, this helps me communicate with you, to touch base, and to let you know what’s going on. Big tech doesn’t care about our gun rights. They kind of don’t like us, and they’re trying to shut us down. The Inner Circle and this podcast are a way that we can stay in contact despite their efforts.
Evan Nappen 16:07
We have big issues here that we are dealing with – Executive Orders, the U.S. Supreme Court taking up the Second Amendment finally after that hiatus. Exciting stuff, but also a lot of nasty things that the other side is trying to do to us to jam our rights away. You are going to need to know what to do to protect yourself, what loopholes there might be, and I am going to fill you in on all that you are going to want to know. So, please subscribe to the podcast, join the Inner Circle, and help me get the word out. I’m depending on you.
Evan Nappen 16:39
One of the things that I am really looking forward to telling you about here is that you always learn something. There is always something to learn. Nobody knows everything. As much as you think you know stuff, suddenly you find that there’s something else you did not know. I have been a student of history my whole life, and I grew up with a love of history. I love our founding fathers, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. I have studied these documents and treasure these documents as I am sure you do as well. I have always appreciated what our founding fathers did, how much they believed in freedom, and the sacrifices they made.
Evan Nappen 17:22
Our rights are under attack now. You hear about people trying to belittle the Second Amendment or take it out of context and say that it does not mean that it is an individual right, even though we know it does. The Heller Supreme Court decision stands for that, and how they misinterpret how our founding fathers viewed it. We are constantly fighting this fight and making this argument.
Evan Nappen 17:51
But I have to tell you something. There is a document that I found, and it blew me away. It is a document that was a Declaration, like the Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson and John Dickerson. Did you know that they wrote a Declaration that was adopted by the Second Continental Congress (ready for this, folks?) on July 6, 1775, a year prior, give or take a few days, to our beloved Declaration of Independence? What was this declaration titled? Listen to this, folks, it was titled, “The Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms”. That’s right, folks. The necessity of taking up arms. A declaration adopted one year before the Declaration of Independence. Written by Thomas Jefferson, John Dickinson and adopted by the Second Continental Congress. Did you know this existed? I didn’t, to be honest with you. I should have known about it. I’m kind of aggravated with myself that I didn’t and if you did, well, that’s pretty amazing for you. I am going to read you portions of this first Declaration. A declaration we should cherish and celebrate.
Evan Nappen 19:54
Yet it is very hard to find a copy of it on the internet to read. But there it was, and I found it. I want to read you some important sections of it that you will find fascinating. Here’s how it begins.
Evan Nappen 20:09
“If it was possible for men, who exercise their reason to believe, that the divine Author of our existence intended a part of the human race to hold an absolute property in, and an unbounded power over others, marked out by his infinite goodness and wisdom, as the objects of a legal domination never rightfully resistible, however severe and oppressive, the inhabitants of these Colonies might at least require from the Parliament of Great Britain some evidence, that this dreadful authority over them, has been granted to that body.”
Evan Nappen 20:54
Think of the balls these guys had to even write that to the king, but it goes on and let me jump to some important key sections. We are going to get to the best part, and you are not going to believe it when I read it to you. So, listen to this section talking about Great Britain.
Evan Nappen 21:14
“They have undertaken to give and grant our money without our consent, though we have ever exercised an exclusive right to dispose of our own property; statutes have been passed for extending the jurisdiction of Courts of Admiralty and Vice-Admiralty beyond their ancient limits; (gee, courts extending their limits, hmm. Sorry, I added that) for depriving us of the accustomed and inestimable privilege of Trial by jury, in cases affecting both life and property; for suspending the Legislature of one of the Colonies; for interdicting all commerce to the capital of another; and for altering fundamentally the form of Government established by Charter, and secured by acts of its own Legislature, solemnly confirmed by the Crown; for exempting the ‘murderers’ of Colonists from legal trial, and, in effect, from punishment; for erecting in a neighbouring Province, acquired by the joint arms of Great Britain and America, a despotism dangerous to our very existence; and for quartering soldiers upon the Colonists in times of profound peace. It has also been resolved in Parliament, that Colonists charged with committing certain offences, shall be transported to England to be tried.”
Evan Nappen 22:48
So, they make a list here, folks, and there’s a number of things, of course, that the Colonists were upset about. I am not going to get into every one of those. But this is all going out to the King of Great Britain, and what do they say?
Evan Nappen 23:03
“Administration, sensible.” This is still in the document. “Administration, sensible that we should regard these oppressive measures as freemen ought to do, sent over fleets and armies to enforce them. The indignation of the Americans was roused, it is true; but it was the indignation of a virtuous, loyal, and affectionate people. A Congress of Delegates from the United Colonies was assembled at Philadelphia, on the fifth day of last September. We resolved again to offer an humble and dutiful petition to the King, and also addressed our fellow-subjects of Great Britain. We have pursued every temperate, every respectful measure; we have even proceeded to break off our commercial intercourse with our fellow-subjects, as the last peaceable admonition, that our attachment to no Nation upon earth should supplant our attachment to liberty. This, we flattered ourselves, was the ultimate step of the controversy; but subsequent events have shown how vain was this hope of finding moderation in our enemies.”
Evan Nappen 24:13
Now it is really building up, folks. “Fruitless were all the entreaties, arguments, and eloquence of an illustrious band of the most distinguished Peers, and Commoners, who nobly and strenuously asserted the justice of our cause, to stay, or even to mitigate the heedless fury with which these accumulated and unexampled outrages were hurried on.”
Evan Nappen 24:37
“Soon after intelligence of these proceedings arrived on this Continent, General Gage, who, in the course of the last year had taken possession of the Town of Boston, in the Province of Massachusetts-Bay, and still occupied it as a garrison, on the 19th of April (Ring a bell, folks?) sent out from that place a large detachment of his army, who made an unprovoked assault on the inhabitants of the said Province, at the town of Lexington, as appears by the affidavits of a great number of persons, some of whom were officers and soldiers of that detachment, murdered eight of the inhabitants, and wounded many others. From thence the troops proceeded in warlike array to the Town of Concord, where they set upon another party of the inhabitants in the same Province, killing several and wounding more, until compelled to retreat by the country people suddenly assembled to repel this cruel aggression. Hostilities, thus commenced by the British troops, have been since prosecuted by them without regard to faith or reputation. The inhabitants of Boston, being confined within that Town by the General, their Governour, and having, in order to procure their dismission, entered into a treaty with him, it was stipulated that the said inhabitants, having deposited their arms with their own Magistrates, should have liberty to depart, taking with them their other effects. They accordingly delivered up their arms; but in open violation of honour, in defiance of the obligation of treaties, which even savage nations esteemed sacred, the Governour ordered the arms deposited as aforesaid, that they might be preserved for their owners, to be seized by a body of soldiers; detained the greatest part of the inhabitants in the Town, and compelled the few who were permitted to retire, to leave their most valuable effects behind.”
Evan Nappen 25:01
“The General, further emulating his Ministerial masters, by a Proclamation, bearing date on the 12th day of June, after venting the grossest falsehoods and calumnies against the good people of these Colonies, proceeds to ‘declare them all, either by name or description, to be rebels and traitors; to supersede the course of the common law, and instead thereof to publish and order the use and exercise of the law martial.’ His troops have butchered our countrymen; have wantonly burnt Charlestown, besides a considerable number of houses in other places; . . .”
Evan Nappen 27:47
“We have received certain intelligence, that General Carleton, the Governour of Canada, is instigating the people of that Province, and the Indians, to fall upon us; . . .”
Evan Nappen 27:57
“. . . We have counted the cost of this contest, and find nothing so dreadful as voluntary slavery. Honour, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them, if we basely entail hereditary bondage upon them.”
Evan Nappen 28:39
Listen to this last part. Now, here we go. “Our cause is just. Our union is perfect. Our internal resources are great, and, if necessary, foreign assistance is undoubtedly attainable. We gratefully acknowledge, as signal instances of the Divine favour towards us, that his Providence would not permit us to be called into this severe controversy until we were grown up to our present strength, had been previously exercised in warlike operation, and possessed of the means of defending ourselves. With hearts forfeited with these animating reflections, we must solemnly, before God and the world, declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have been compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance, employ for the preservation of our liberties; being, with one mind, resolved to die freemen rather than live slaves.”
Evan Nappen 30:06
Can you believe that, folks? Isn’t that astounding? The necessity of taking up arms. The importance of our Second Amendment rights, and the root of where they come from is a Declaration to take up arms, and that we will do so against the greatest power on earth at the time, a year before the Declaration of independence from Great Britain. I bet you did not even know about that document. Now you know just how important our founding fathers viewed our possession of arms as a God given right and the necessity of protecting those rights.
Evan Nappen 30:59
This is Evan Nappen. Reminding you that gun laws do not protect honest citizens from criminals. They protect criminals from honest citizens.
Speaker 3 31:09
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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