Gun Lawyer Episode 95
firearm, problem, serial number, law, delays, lawyer, gun laws, constitution, new jersey, application, strikeforce, gun, gun owners, guns, transporting, state, justices, handgun, jersey, judges
Evan Nappen, Speaker 3
Evan Nappen 00:20
I’m Evan Nappen, and welcome to Gun Lawyer. So, you know, folks, I have been representing law-abiding criminals now for basically 35 years, and I’ve seen themes repeat. The thing about themes that repeat is you need to learn from this stuff. And I gotta tell you, just recently, I had a case, a guy called up, and I’m saying to myself, oh, God, the fundamentals. I want to share with you the mistake, so you can learn from others mistakes. It’s critical.
Evan Nappen 01:08
So, what do we have? We have a guy who came from another state, visiting relatives here, and brings his guns that are legal for him in another state. Brings them to his parents’ house here in Jersey, where he’s not a resident. One of the guns is a modern Sporting Rifle, known as, in the world of the anti-gun propagandist, an assault firearm. He had some ammunition that was hollow nose ammunition and his handgun. His handgun had a problem Murphy mag in it, and even having the handgun, there is no exemption at your parents’ house when you came from out of state.
Evan Nappen 02:17
And what happens? Well, there’s a dispute between him and an ex-girlfriend that he knew, and there was no violence or anything, but it doesn’t matter. Call the police. And lo and behold, he was not at the house. He was not where this all took place. Remember, he lives in another state. So, the police make inquiries, even though it hadn’t even gone yet to a domestic violence restraining order or a domestic violence complaint. They were investigating, and the girl made allegations against him. But there was skepticism, I guess, on their part. Anyway, they wanted to hear both sides. So, lo and behold, he’s read his Miranda rights. Actually, read his Miranda before they question. And what does he do? He talks, and he tells them everything.
Evan Nappen 03:32
I asked him, you know, you told them that you had guns, where you came from, all this stuff. Nothing about the problem with the allegations she was making, because he’s innocent of all that. He didn’t have any problem. But he’s talking and talking, and I said, look, you were read your Miranda rights. I always have to ask this because it just drives me nuts. You were read Miranda where the police say, you have a right to remain silent. Anything you say, can and will be held against you. You have a right to an attorney, blah, blah, blah, right. You are read those rights, and I said you were read them? Yes, I Page – 2 – of 8
was. And you still decided to talk? Yes. Why? Why? Ready for the answer, folks? Because I’ve heard this many, many, many times. The answer he said was because I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t do anything wrong. Let me just tell you, I get why you might think you didn’t do anything wrong. And that’s because you’re basically a law-abiding person. You don’t ever intentionally do things wrong. You know that the BS that the other person was saying was just that – BS. And you believe, firmly, you didn’t do anything wrong.
Evan Nappen 05:08
The problem is, as far as New Jersey law is concerned, you not only did something arguably wrong, but committed, in New Jersey’s eyes, offenses that are insane in their seriousness, draconian beyond belief. We are talking about 10 years in State Prison, and a minimum mandatory three and a half years for possession of what Jersey calls an “assault firearm”. Three and a half years, no chance of parole is the minimum, best sentence you can receive. We are talking about a presumption against release so that you will be held the entire time pending your trial in jail with no release. We are talking about another charge on the handgun of up to 10 years in State Prison and three and a half years minimum mandatory, no chance to parole. We are talking about one and a half years for every hollow nose bullet you had, and one and a half years on the mag that held over 10. That’s what you’re facing because “you did nothing wrong.” And you thought it was a good idea to talk after being read Miranda.
Evan Nappen 06:49
Because if nothing was said, there would have been no basis for anything further, anything having to do with guns because you didn’t even live in New Jersey, and there was no search taking place. But once you admitted to this, now you gave the probable cause for the search. Now you’ve laid it out for these charges. Now you have totally effed yourself by talking because you didn’t do anything wrong. And that’s the problem. Look, I don’t blame him for believing or thinking this way. But the problem is, you can’t do that anymore, particularly now in America. Particularly in New Jersey. You don’t know all the laws, and you’re in a foreign jurisdiction. In the state you were from, you were 100% legal. None of that would have mattered. None of it was a problem. But in Jersey, they make it some of the highest level, felony level offenses, they can make it, with the most extreme draconian minimum mandatory. You didn’t know any of that. You didn’t know a thing about it. You had no clue, and that is why you don’t talk. Because you know what? I’m sure in your heart that you believe you didn’t do anything wrong. But do you know every law? I know I don’t know every law. Do you think you know every law? Do you think you know every law in a place where you do not even live, just visiting? Of course not.
Evan Nappen 08:38
It’s very sad to me to see this, very frustrating. Because law-abiding citizens, they don’t shut up. Bad guys know to shut up. Most of them, but not all the time. But unfortunately, law-abiding citizens think they can just talk, and it’ll be fine. Because they didn’t do anything wrong, you see. And it’s lousy when it happens. It’s evil, frankly. I think the way these laws are there and entrap otherwise 100% law-abiding citizens and face them with such insane penalties that will destroy their lives, their hopes, their dreams, their finances, their careers, their families. So what? Jersey doesn’t care. They get to say they put another person away for having an assault firearm. You know, one of those guns that have offending features on it, like a bayonet lug. Oh, you know how those drive by bayonetings and how bad bayonets Page – 3 – of 8
are, and there’s a lug for one of them. So, you know, this is the thing. It’s crazy. It doesn’t make any sense, but it doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter. It’s all politics. It’s all a narrative. It’s all a political agenda.
Evan Nappen 10:09
As truly bad people are not prosecuted, just let go, let out, back out on the street to repeat, gun owners become victims of gun laws. I see it over and over again. So, that’s why I don’t want to see any of you become a victim of gun laws. You have to believe in the whole Constitution, not just the Second Amendment that we all love. Part of that Constitution is your right to remain silent, your right to shut the EFF up. You have that right. Men and women died for that right. You stand on that right. Your right to have an attorney. So, ask for your attorney, because that’s going to put a shield between you and the Government. You don’t have to consent to searches. Don’t consent to anything. Let your lawyer advise you. With only a few narrow exceptions, such as on the road with a breathalyzer or that kind of thing. But with this situation that we’re talking about here and you’re read Miranda, at that point. If you are ever read Miranda, rockets should be launching, flag should be flying, horns should be blowing. Shut up! Say, I want my lawyer, period, end of story. I don’t care if the police want to give you the winning pick six numbers. You say, I’m not saying anything, I want my lawyer, talk to my lawyer. You have to stand on your rights. It’s critical for you to remain a law-abiding citizen and not a victim of these horrible, destructive gun laws, that New Jersey has no problem heaping upon us.
Evan Nappen 12:03
We’re going to talk about some more of these gun laws. I want to mention to you that we are into some positive news about us being able to finally get our carry permits because of “justifiable need” being eliminated, thanks to the Bruen case. But there’s still so many problems, you can’t become complacent. We still are just at the very beginning of having to take down these gun laws that are so destructive to law-abiding citizens. New Jersey still has its permit systems in place and not just for carry, but also your Permit to Purchase a Handgun or your Firearm Purchaser ID Card. You need those to get handguns or long arms, and all these things require licensing.
Evan Nappen 12:54
We’re seeing problems that have been plaguing us for a long time and now have gotten worse. The exorbitant delays, delays on processing your application. The law for handgun permit and Firearm ID Card is supposed to approve or deny, they being the law enforcement agency processing your permit applications, within 30 days. Problem is that law does not have that much teeth in it. And even though it should be followed, and there are other aspects to it, but look, this 30-day window, it ends up getting blown away by insane delays. I know that a lot of people suffer from having their license applications delayed. Remember, a right delayed is a right denied. You don’t want to be delayed. And the same even with carry permit applications.
Evan Nappen 13:58
We’re hearing about agencies that won’t even accept them. Police departments saying that we’re not accepting any applications right now because we don’t even know what we have to do or how to do it or how to handle it or whatever their excuses. They are not allowed to say no. They can accept your application and deny you, and their denial can be wrong, and then you can challenge it. But they cannot say that you can’t even apply. These delays are outrageous. People call me and they say Evan, what Page – 4 – of 8
can I do? I have this department that is dragging their feet. It’s been three, four months, and I can’t get anywhere. What can we do? Can we force them? Or I have a department that won’t even accept my application? What can we do? Well, let me tell you something. My firm has focused for years and years on helping individuals get licensed. We’re happy to do it, and we fight licensing denials and appeals. We fight forfeitures, and we do all that. But when it comes to these delays, where it’s simply a matter of delay, even though you will, in all likelihood, get granted your license, if you’re not otherwise disqualified. You just need this delay addressed because they’re dragging their feet and nothing’s putting a fire under their ass to move on your license application. Something needs to be done here. They’re ignoring it or they’re letting it grow, or they’re so backed up.
Evan Nappen 13:59
When it comes to this, I have an important suggestion and advice for you. First of all, when you’ve requested your status, do it in writing. Send a letter, a nice letter, I submitted my application over 30 days ago, kindly advise as to the status. The reason I say a letter, not an email, and not a phone call, is a letter is a piece of paper. When that piece of paper comes in, it’s still a bureaucracy. Something has to get done with that paper. That paper will go in a file, probably in the file that has your application in it. Now it’s a memorial to the delay, and they see a paper. They will have to deal with it. It keeps confronting them. It gives you more of a chance of getting action than something that could easily have been ignored or forgotten, such as a phone call, or even an email. But the piece of paper has physical presence, and by you keeping a copy of it, you document your paper trail. So, after sending any number of these letters after waiting, reasonable periods of time in between, you now show how much you reached out and got nowhere should you have a problem and have to appeal it. You have a paper trail to show how negligent the department was in even processing your application.
Evan Nappen 17:15
But now you’ve come to a point where you need some help. Well, there’s an important thing you can do. And that is you can join the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs. (www.anjrpc.org) They are the NRA affiliate, and New Jersey’s Second Amendment powerhouse. In New Jersey, they are our gun rights group. They are an umbrella organization of all these gun clubs, and it is an excellent organization. As a minimum, every gun owner in New Jersey should belong to ANJRPC, the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs. If you’re not, you should be ashamed of yourself because they are the group fighting in Trenton. They’re the group that is in the trenches defending our rights. Even though a lot of these bad laws passed, they could have been so much worse. I mean crazy worse if the Association hadn’t been there to fight and to mitigate them. The group does incredible work. President Kathy Chatterton and its Executive Director Scott Bach are great people, and I’m honored to serve on the Board as well. I am an ANJRPC Board Member, and I assist anytime I can with legal issues for our state gun group. Happy to do it.
Evan Nappen 18:47
You need to belong but let me give you a selfish reason to belong. Other than protecting our rights and the greater cause that we all love and believe in, ANJRPC also runs something called the StrikeForce, the Permitting StrikeForce. I like to call it Operation StrikeForce. (https://www.anjrpc.org/page/A_Strikeforce) The Permitting StrikeForce is where, if your town is delaying your application, contact Operation StrikeForce. (Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave Page – 5 – of 8
a message at (973) 697-9270. Please include as much detail as possible.) You will be in touch with Dan Schmutter, who’s another attorney and colleague, a great guy and someone who I’m proud to be friends with. Dan heads this up, and through association will be able to help you in trying to address these towns that are abusing our rights and not processing in a timely manner. So, this is a good tip. If you have this problem, join the State Association and contact the Permitting StrikeForce. You can go right online to www.anjrpc.org for the ANJRPC website. If you plug in ANJRPC Permitting StrikeForce, Google that, you’ll come up with a link for that, too. It’s another way to get to it. Join our State group, and if you have these problems take advantage of the Permitting StrikeForce, which has been extremely effective in helping gun owners in New Jersey. When we come back, I have some great letters to talk about, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy hearing about them.
Speaker 3 20:42
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.
Speaker 3 21:56
You’re listening to Gun Lawyer with Attorney Evan Nappen. Available wherever you get your favorite podcasts.
Evan Nappen 22:11
Hey, welcome back to Gun Lawyer. I love reading letters, and I have a letter here that raises an important issue. I want you to know how this is running in Jersey and what the story is because it is an incredible problem that has been created by Murphy. Let me read you the letter. It’s from Bobby. It says, Regarding Unserialized Shotgun. I now possess a Sears & Roebuck 12-gauge pump action shotgun that my father purchased in 1956 when he was 18 years old. It does not have a serial number on it. Can I legally possess this? If not, what do I do with it? The problem is that what Murphy did in his bill, both packages, was he passed part of it amongst many things that we’ve talked about, is the banning and prohibition regarding and how it operates. I’m going to explain to you – unserialized firearms. Just recently he upped the penalty for possession. Well, let me back up from that, upped the penalty to Second Degree on unserialized firearms, but the law is written in a very odd way. I want you to actually hear the statute, and I’m going to explain it to you. Because this has been critical as it comes up because there are literally millions of unserialized firearms out there that are 100% legal. We’ve mentioned this before, but I really want to hammer it home here so you can understand what is going on. Page – 6 – of 8
Evan Nappen 24:07
They are called NSN, no serial number, guns. Prior to 1968 it was perfectly legal because serial numbers were not federally required. So, many of these guns like Bobby’s 1956, pump shotgun, that’s a family heirloom there. Many people are in this boat, and Jersey did not exempt them. Here’s exactly what’s prohibited. Under New Jersey statute, that’s under N.J.S. 2C:39-9. if anyone is interested in actually looking at it. Go to subsection n. and here’s what it says. Transporting a firearm manufactured. Sorry, let me start again. Transporting a manufactured firearm without a serial number. That’s the title of it. In addition to any other criminal penalties provided under law, a person who transports, ships, sells, or disposes of a firearm manufactured or otherwise assembled using a firearm frame or firearm receiver, as defined in subsection k., we’re going to talk about that in a minute, of this section which is not imprinted with a serial number registered with a federally licensed manufacturer, including but not limited to a firearm manufactured or otherwise assembled from parts purchased or otherwise obtained in violation of subsection k. of this section, is guilty of a crime of the Third Degree.
Evan Nappen 25:47
Now, folks, this felony level offense is very serious, but what is prohibited is transporting, shipping, selling, disposing of the firearm. Oddly, and interestingly, not possessing it. So, if you happen to have one of these pre ’68 guns that never had a serial number to begin with, then you can keep it, possess it, in your home, but don’t transport it. Because if you’re caught transporting it, you have a problem. Now, what is subsection k.? How is this firearm receiver or frame defined and what it says is, As used in this subsection, “firearm frame or firearm receiver” means the part of a firearm that provides housing for the firearms internal components, such as the hammer, bolt or breechblock, action, and firing mechanism, and includes without limitation any object or part which is not a firearm frame or receiver in finished form but is designed or intended to be used for that purpose and which may be readily made into a firearm frame or receiver through milling or other means.
Evan Nappen 27:05
So, if you have an unserialized 80% piece of metal that qualifies under this, but also if you happen to have an unserialized firearm that you lawfully acquired that was legal, with no problem, even under federal law, and still is. Well, that’s now a problem in Jersey and the prohibition is on transport, shipping, selling, and disposal of it. So, in order to answer Bobby’s question, the answer is keep it, but do not transport, ship, sell, or dispose of it until we can knock this whole law out as unconstitutional, which I’m sure there will be challenges to it. Under the Bruen case, knowing text history and tradition, I don’t know how this can stand when having firearms without serial numbers is something that has existed for most of the existence of firearms. Okay? Plenty without serial numbers ever since. It’s only a modern thing to serialize firearms no less have any laws preventing owning a firearm without a serial number or transporting a firearm without a serial number. So, hang on to it. But for now, don’t do any of those other actions with it. Hopefully we’ll get it cleaned up. But that’s the factual understanding of what this no serial number firearm business is all about.
Evan Nappen 28:58
I received another letter from Anthony. This is Anthony saying, hi, Evan, hope you’re doing well. My question stems from the recent Roe v. Wade decision that was put forth by the Supreme Court. Down the line, with a different collection of Judges sitting on the bench is it a possibility that they could alter Page – 7 – of 8
the Bruen decision causing reversal of the new carry criteria? If that’s the case, it would seem even more imperative to make sure that you get to the ballot box come election time. It’s one of those too good to be true type of decisions. So, there is always a fear that it could be taken away from you. Any thoughts?
Evan Nappen 29:37
Well, in theory, that is absolutely possible, but it’s very difficult, rare for the Supreme Court to reverse precedent. It did happen in Roe v. Wade. That is true. But it took an enormous build up and incredible, not just political change, but changes in understanding about the Constitution and its interpretation by judges. Such as the groundwork being laid by, Scalia, Justice Scalia, and as a constitutionalist, reading the Constitution and saying, Okay, where’s that right that they’re referring to? Hey, I don’t see it here. So, there’s a reason, and that’s because it ain’t there. And if it’s not there, how do we have it? It ends up becoming something that, retrospectively, the Court reversed, and the Court has reversed itself, in other cases. Separate but equal was reversed in time, but it’s not common. Now, that does not mean that this cannot happen here. But I think it’s unlikely to happen.
Evan Nappen 31:01
We still have to be eternally vigilant. We have to hit that ballot box. We got to make sure that the Court stays the Court that it is. Nine justices that interpret the Constitution. Not the activist judges that legislate from the bench. That they’re not nominated and put on that Court. Because things can change, it’s possible. And many other things that can affect our life can hang in the balance by these judges. These folks in black robes. So, it’s critical that good judges be there that know, believe and support the Constitution. I mean, think about it, folks, on the Heller decision, which found the individual right to keep and bear arms and the Second Amendment that we all know in our hearts means it’s an individual right. It’s so obvious it’s an individual right. Yet, there were four learned justices that said, no. Four of them. Five said yes. Four said no, that the Second Amendment is not an individual right. Let that sink in about the Court on Heller.
Evan Nappen 32:26
With the Bruen case, the recent one, it was six to three. There are still three judges that say the Second Amendment doesn’t apply to your ability to defend yourself outside the home. Think of that. These are justices on our highest Court that don’t get it. That is how precarious it is. We have got to make sure that justices have that fundamental, great understanding, of what our Constitution means. So yeah, hitting that ballot box is vital. Make sure you vote for freedom, for liberty, for constitutional rights, for less government, and more protection of the individual. That’s what it’s about. We have a society that, look, you know, I want to see minimum government, but not the elimination of government. We have to have some government, some. It’s a minimum government. If you want minimum government, then you’re a minarchist, not an anarchist, a minarchist. You want a minimal government. If you want that minimum government to be based on the Constitution, you can be a constitutional minarchist, meaning a strong government, but one that is completely within the boundaries of the genius of our Founding Fathers. With those constitutional rights respected, and with the Constitution itself, followed, and interpreted by what it actually says. What it actually says. That is what we need to maintain freedom in a republic and still have a civilized society, and that was the genius of our Founding Fathers. I want to see that genius continue for generations upon generations, and I’m sure you do as well. This is Evan Page – 8 – of 8
Nappen, reminding you that gun laws don’t protect honest citizens from criminals. They protect criminals from honest citizens.
Speaker 3 34:47
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.