Gun Lawyer Episode 73
firearms, new jersey, exemption, gun owners, gun, gun laws, law, gun rights, lawyer, folks, transport, evan, handgun, possession, criminals, graves, penalties, fight, bail reform, anti
Evan Nappen, Speaker 3
Evan Nappen 00:18
I’m Evan Nappen, and welcome to Gun Lawyer. We are facing a very, very serious issue in New Jersey, and it’s something that is going to spread, of course, to the rest of real America. Right now, it is essentially a Red Alert for New Jersey, and we have talked about this issue in the past. But now there is movement on it, and we have to take action. What I’m referring to is the proposed bill (A2426) that we call “Gulag for Gun Owners.” This bill treats honest gun owners the same as murderers when it comes to what is inadvertent technical law violations or claims of law violations when there are exemptions that folks fall under. But because of the structure of New Jersey gun law, you will be stuck in jail waiting for your trial date. It’s outrageous. It comes from this whole approach of so-called bail reform.
Evan Nappen 01:44
I want to say that our State Association, the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, put out an alert, and I was proud to help them with this. You may have received it if you are a member of the state association, which you should be a member. If you live in New Jersey, you need to belong to the ANJRPC. That’s the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs. They are the state affiliate of the NRA in New Jersey. But what’s more important is that they actually have a full time, paid lobbyist. They are the ones fighting in Trenton, specifically in Trenton, for our gun rights and on the cutting edge of these horrible anti-gun laws that keep getting proposed and pushed out of Trenton.
Evan Nappen 02:43
So, you really, if you don’t belong, people say to me, Evan, what can I do to help? And I’ll say, look, there’s no maximum, but I can tell you the minimum. The minimum is you need to belong to the NRA. Despite all the controversy, you got to belong to the NRA. And you got to belong to your state affiliate, which in this case is the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs. (www.anjrpc.org) Now beyond that, join every other group you are interested in. Be as active as you possibly can, and sky’s the limit. But that’s the minimum. You would be surprised how many gun owners don’t have the minimum and that’s a shame. Because when you belong to your state association, you’re going to get updates and alerts, hot from the group to alert you and to tell you what’s coming up.
Evan Nappen 03:33 Page – 2 – of 6
This is falling right into that category. Because this is extremely serious. It is another level of attack on gun owners, not just their gun rights, but on gun owners. Let me take the time here to explain to you how this works. The alert is good at warning about what can happen here. But I also want to get into a little more depth and explain to you the mechanics of how they’re doing it. Because the other side, are you ready for this, folks? The other side is lying. I know you’re shocked to hear that the other side is lying. The other side is claiming Oh, no, no, no, this only applies to criminals who use guns illegally. Yeah, you know what? Bullshit, frankly, folks, that’s what that is, and I know it. I have seen it, and I know what’s really going on in the system. That’s what is facing us. You need to understand that if this passes, then what happens is there is a presumption for you to be detained. The presumption means you will sit in jail and not be given a bail. Denied bail and given a pretrial detention. You will be there until your matter is adjudicated. Until arguably you have a trial, or your lawyer somehow wins on a pre-trial motion, or you cut a deal where you plead guilty to something and finally get out.
Evan Nappen 05:13
We are talking about this affecting folks that are just doing normal gun owner daily activities, such as stopping for food or fuel, or even going to the bathroom, or for medical treatment on the way to or from the target range. Because when you are transporting to or from the target range with your firearms, you have to be within exemptions. We are going to get into this in a little more detail. Those exemptions, folks, are a defense, a defense, and that means the burden of proof is switched in New Jersey to the gun owner who has to prove that they are within a defense. They switch the burden of proof on us in Jersey. Normally, you assume that, in the way America, all throughout the country, you are assumed that you’re innocent until proven guilty. But in New Jersey, gun owners are actually guilty until proven innocent. How can this be? Well, they do it by the structure of the gun laws.
Evan Nappen 06:35
Under the gun laws, everything is banned under N.J.S. 2C:39-5b. You see a ban on handguns under subsection c. You see rifles and shotguns banned under d. Other weapons under f., assault firearms, etc. These are where the bans are. Then the only way you are legal for your possession, particularly of a handgun, is either one of two ways. Either you have a Permit to Carry, which virtually no ordinary, law-abiding citizen has, or you are under the exemptions. Ahh, the exemptions of N.J.S. 2C:39-6. Those exemptions are the defense, a defense that you have to prove you are under. So, the probable cause for your arrest exists. Then you have to prove, arguably to a jury that you are within an exemption. If you are stopping for food or fuel or going to the bathroom or medical treatment or going to and from the target range or even stopped for a minor traffic matter and your gun is found, you can be arrested. Then you have to prove you are within an exemption for your possession to be lawful.
Evan Nappen 07:53
Even with your gun being properly transported, cased and unloaded, right, no ammunition in it. Magazines are not loaded. Nothing in the cylinder. Nothing in the chamber. The gun is completely unloaded and in a separately locked case and even the ammunition is separate. Even with all that, it doesn’t matter. Because that’s just how you’re transporting it. But what matters is where, and you still have to be in that framework of exemption. The burden is on you to prove that you are. If you are not, you are in real trouble. Because you will end up with a conviction. If you are, well now New Jersey Page – 3 – of 6
wants to lock you up and hold you in jail until you finally prove that you are within that exemption. That’s the threat of this law.
Evan Nappen 08:47
It will affect our ability to transport firearms to and from one’s place of business, from the gun store, while hunting, while fishing, going to target shooting competitions, target ranges, or reenactments. If you are a reenactor, listen, antiques are covered the same as modern in New Jersey. No distinction. Even if you are going to a gun buyback event, they don’t have exemption, if you get stopped. Or going to your vacation home or other destinations. Any of this lawful, otherwise lawful, transport or even transport being done under the guise of some program created by the government without statutory basis like gun buybacks. Your transport at that time is subject to scrutiny, and you better be able to argue a defense of some exemption. In the meantime, the presumption is going to be against you, and you are put in the same category as someone charged with murder. I’m not making this up. Imagine that. Gun possession is put in the same category as a murderer. Same category under this bill.
Evan Nappen 10:27
If you are a widow or widower who is turning in firearms of their deceased spouses, all this is covered. We’ve seen these cases. I personally have dealt with these cases of individuals that have been charged with gun possession, even though they were lawfully transporting their firearms to these various places. We have had to defend them and fight. I am sure many of you know the record of cases that I’ve had. These folks that are honest, law-abiding folks that get entangled in Jersey’s gun laws. Well, now, every one of them will be treated the same as a murderer. They will be held without bail. Held with a presumption of the pretrial detention.
Evan Nappen 11:27
It is extremely, extremely important that you contact your legislators, not just the committee, because this is scheduled for Monday, March 14, at 1 pm. That is when the New Jersey Assembly – Law and Public Safety Committee is going to consider this. The name of the bill is A2426, A2426. Do not just reach out to those committee persons. You need to reach out to all of the legislators. You need to immediately email every assembly member and tell them to either fix or oppose A2426. Because this law needs to distinguish between mere possession of firearms by honest gun owners versus the misuse of firearms by violent gun criminals. These draconian penalties and this presumptive denial of bail should only apply to those violent criminals who misuse firearms. Not turn innocent mistakes of honest gun owners into incarcerated individuals in Jersey’s Gulag.
Evan Nappen 13:05
You can go to the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs’ website (www.anjrpc.org), and you can see their alert. You can go right to it, and you can click to get the links to send the emails. This is critical. It is going to affect so many folks. Right now, the other side is playing dumb. “Oh, what do you mean, it doesn’t affect them?” It absolutely does. This is how they have slowly burned our Second Amendment rights and turned law-abiding citizens into criminals in New Jersey by their lie after lie, and we see it. And for me to believe that they are that naive and that stupid, or is this intentional? After all these years, I lean toward intentional. I really do. But regardless, this has to go. This cannot stand. We cannot allow this to be so. Page – 4 – of 6
Evan Nappen 14:07
When you look at what the actual change in the law says, here is what it reads. It says in the statute regarding the bail reform, this is where they have added this section. It says (1) a person has committed murder. So, you would have this presumption against being released if someone has committed murder. That’s the current law. Understandable, or at least arguably, as to why a murderer maybe shouldn’t be released. (2) committed a crime where the defendant would be eligible for extended term of life imprisonment. Okay, so now you have a person who is facing life imprisonment. So, there is serious risk of flight and other things with somebody looking at that. Understood. But here’s the addition. Here’s the new part that screws the gun owner. (3) committed any crime for which the eligible defendant would be subject to a mandatory term of imprisonment pursuant to subsection c. of N.J.S. 2C:43-6 for a crime involving the use or possession of a firearm.
Evan Nappen 15:45
Now, let me explain what they are talking about. Subsection c. of N.J.S. 2C:43-6 is what we call the Graves Act. Senator Graves, way back in the 80s, proposed this, and he was quite the anti-gun zealot. It originally was mandatory, minimum penalties for individuals who used firearms wrongly, criminally. But it expanded over the years to include possessory offenses. I am going to explain the rest of this when we come back from the break. Because it’s important for you to understand this so that you will see their lies and understand why.
Speaker 3 16:39
For over 30 years, Attorney Evan Nappen has seen what rotten laws due 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, the 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.
Speaker 3 17:59
You’re listening to Gun Lawyer with Attorney Evan Nappen. Available wherever you get your favorite podcasts.
Evan Nappen 18:14
Okay, folks, we were in the process of understanding how this Graves Act works. The minimum mandatory penalties. This is what makes New Jersey the award-winning, worst state for gun laws in the country. Not just that we have horrible gun control laws and not just the narrative and the agenda that’s constantly pushed down the throats of law-abiding gun owners. But the actual effect of the laws and their draconian penalties is because of the Graves Act. Because of minimum mandatory penalties, the Page – 5 – of 6
judge has no discretion. If you are convicted of unlawful possession of a handgun because of a simple, honest mistake, where you were outside of the exemptions somehow, for example, you bought a new handgun and you went to your friend’s house to show it to him, and you got stopped. Well, guess what? There’s no exemption that says you can bring your handgun to your friend’s house to show it to him. You now have no defense that you can prove under the exemptions.
Evan Nappen 19:17
Because of your conviction for unlawful possession of a handgun, you are guaranteed three and a half years minimum mandatory, no chance of parole, in state prison. There will be up to a max of 10 years for that. This is what they have done to us. Now they want to add insult to injury by saying anybody that has a possessory charge, remember you are not convicted yet, a possessory charge that has a Graves Act component, which means possession of handgun, possession of rifle or shotgun, all of the three normal guns, including any antique firearms, by the way, both antique and black powder, there’s no exemption. If you have any of those firearms and you’re put to your proofs on the exemption, you will be put in a category now, because you were criminally charged on this, you’re put in a category the same as a murderer under this law. You will be held without bail under the so-called bail reform.
Evan Nappen 20:31
You know, folks, I’ve had case after case of individuals that have gotten charged under the bail reform with New Jersey’s gun laws right now, and it’s always a fight. It’s always a knockdown, drag out fight, to save the client from being held as the laws stand now. Because of the anti-gun agenda and narrative and the association of anyone with a gun offense somehow being a danger. Well, if this law passes, it is going to make that a virtual impossibility to get anybody out. Because it’ll be this presumptive, that puts this person in the same category as a murderer. This is incredibly serious. It’s incredibly dangerous. This bail reform, as it’s spreading through the country, I’m sure we’ll see the anti-gun use of this to destroy gun owners, their families, their hopes, their dreams, their careers, their lives. So, what that you are incarcerated over an honest mistake. You are going to sit there, even when you’re innocent, and you are under exemptions, because of this presumption.
Evan Nappen 21:57
Please take action. Please check out the ANJRPC. Let these representatives know that we are not going to let this happen. You know, they have been sneaking things by for all this time. This isn’t going to happen on this one. We need your voice. We need you there. They need to hear from you. It’s one of those times. Because you may say to yourself, this will never happen to me. I can’t tell you how many of my clients say, “I can’t believe this is happening to me.” And that’s because they never thought it could. They say, Evan, I never thought I’d be calling you, but I am. This is what we are up against, folks. So, take action. It is very important.
Evan Nappen 22:47
Let me bring up a letter that was sent. I think it’s a good letter here, and it is a question. It says, Dear Evan, I’m writing to ask you, if you may know if obtaining an emotional support dog letter may affect my gun ownership in New Jersey, thanks in advance. Yeah, that’s an interesting question, isn’t it? If you go and get an emotional support dog, which we see a lot of these, can that affect your gun ownership in New Jersey? The answer is absolutely yes, it can. Because New Jersey in its firearm licensing scheme, Page – 6 – of 6
looks at individuals, whether they have ever been treated or observed for any mental or psychiatric condition. If you have gotten a letter for an emotional support dog, then arguably, there’s a mental or psychiatric condition that warrants your having a support dog, arguably. This is something that can then become a basis to deny your Second Amendment rights when you apply for a firearm license, such as a pistol purchase permit or a New Jersey Firearm Purchaser ID card because the questions are asked, and the mental questions in New Jersey are really incredibly extreme. They will look at all these issues, and then you’ll end up in a best-case scenario, having to get a secondary doctor’s report or letter saying that you are safe for firearms, maybe even from the same doctor, psychiatrist or therapist whoever authorized you to get an emotional support dog.
Evan Nappen 24:54
Let me tell you, a lot of medical professionals are chicken shits and are afraid to write such a letter. Even though they know you are safe, but they don’t want the liability. It is a tough, tough chore to find doctors that are willing to rely upon their own professional medical opinion and put in writing that somebody is good for guns and safe to have firearms. Yet, that is what New Jersey gun laws place upon gun owners who have psychological issues and treatment, etc. They put this burden on them to somehow get a doctor to put this in writing. Like I said, that’s not an easy thing to do. Plus, it costs money, too because doctors don’t work for free. So, if you want an emotional support dog, you better consider its impact on your gun rights as well and what may or may not be more important to you. One can very easily affect the other, and it is an excellent question. Something I’m sure folks don’t think about when they get an emotional support dog, but it’s out there, and it’s there getting ready to bite you in the ankle. That’s what it’s going to do – bite you in the ankle when you go to apply for your gun license. So, be careful.
Evan Nappen 26:36
Please take action as we discussed on this dreadful assault on gun owners, honest gun owners, not just our gun rights. Think carefully about your choices, particularly New Jersey, as they affect your Second Amendment rights and your ability to keep and bear arms. This is Evan Nappen reminding you that gun laws don’t protect honest citizens from criminals. They protect criminals from honest citizens.
Evan Nappen 27:12
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.