wow...this is absolute BS...

Discussion in 'Hunting & Fishing' started by Skillet, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. Skillet

    Skillet Skillet SILVER Star

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    New Jersey Gun Case Exposes 'Patchwork' of State Laws, Experts Say - FoxNews.com


    New Jersey Gun Case Exposes 'Patchwork' of State Laws, Experts Say

    By Joshua Rhett Miller
    Published December 02, 2010
    | FoxNews.com
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    Brian Aitken, 27, seen here in an undated photograph, was sentenced to seven years in prison for guns his attorney and father claim were owned legally. Some experts told FoxNews.com the entrepreneur was a victim of the country's "patchwork" of gun laws.

    The case of a New Jersey man who is serving seven years in prison for possessing two locked and unloaded handguns he purchased legally in Colorado is a perfect example of how a law-abiding citizen can unwittingly become a criminal due to vastly differing gun laws among the states, gun rights experts say.
    Brian Aitken, a 27-year-old entrepreneur and media consultant with no prior criminal record, now spends his days "bored and depressed" behind bars at New Jersey's Mid-State Correctional Facility, his father, Larry Aitken, of Mount Laurel, N.J., says.
    Brian was trying to get his life back on track two years ago when he moved back to New Jersey from Colorado to be closer to his young son and estranged wife. But on Jan. 2, 2009, his mood darkened when his planned visit with his son was canceled at the last minute. His mother, concerned for his safety, called the police, and when the police located him, they searched his car and found two locked and unloaded handguns in the trunk.
    Aitken had purchased the guns legally in Colorado, and he passed an FBI background check when he bought them, his father said. And he said Brian also contacted New Jersey State Police before moving back back home to discuss how to properly transport his weapons. But despite those good-faith efforts, he said, Brian was convicted on weapons charges and sent to prison in August.
    "I don't think there are words yet invented that could characterize the -- I guess anger would be one word, but it's a lot deeper than anger," Larry Aitken told FoxNews.com on Wednesday. "Whatever the word is that's a combination of anger, shock, disbelief, horror and a desire to expose all of this -- that's the word.



    "This can't happen. I won't let this happen to my son."
    Brian's relatives and his lawyer, Evan Nappen, believe he had a legal exemption to have the handguns in his car because they say he was in the process of moving from his parents' home in Mount Laurel to Hoboken when the guns were found. A formal appeal and clemency petition have been filed with the office of Gov. Chris Christie, and a "Free Brian Aitken" Facebook group has garnered roughly 7,000 supporters. A brief on his appeal is due on Dec. 30, officials told FoxNews.com.
    Nappen claims the moving exemption issue was raised both during the trial and in a pretrial motion to have the entire case dismissed, but he said the jury was never given the exemption statute because then-Superior Court Judge James Morley refused to provide it to them.
    Morley, for his part, told FoxNews.com on Wednesday that his recollection of the trial record did "not establish" that [Aitken] was in the process of moving. He declined further comment.
    In an email to FoxNews.com, Joel Bewley, a spokesman for the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office, said "no evidence" was presented during the trial to support Aitken's claim that he was moving at the time of his arrest. And despite an appearance on FoxNews.com's "Strategy Room" in August 2009 to discuss his case, Aitken did not testify at his trial.
    "However, his roommate testified that they had been sharing the Hoboken apartment since June 2008, and that he had seen the guns at the apartment in September 2008," Bewley wrote. "[Aitken's] mother testified that he had been living in Hoboken and working in New York City since June 2008. This incident occurred in January 2009."
    Regarding Aitken's interview on the case, Bewley wrote: "While we fully recognize the defendant has a right not to testify, it is difficult to understand why he would grant an interview on national television yet choose not to explain his actions to a jury when his liberty was at stake."
    Nappen, meanwhile, says Aitken's case "absolutely" shows how states' differing gun laws can put well-intentioned gun owners at risk.
    "There's a wide patchwork of gun laws between various jurisdictions, and in some states, it can differ from a local town that passes an ordinance to another town," said Nappen, who also cited New Jersey's mandatory minimum sentences for weapons charges. "That's why it's so Draconian in its application and how you end up with a Brian Aitken situation."
    According to a 2009 rating system by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, New Jersey is one of six states with the most restrictive gun laws in the U.S.. The others are California, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland and New York.
    Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Utah have the least restrictive gun laws, according to the rating system.
    In New Jersey, a person must have a purchaser's permit and a carry permit to have a handgun in his or her car, neither of which Aitken had at the time of his arrest. But in Colorado, where he purchased the handguns, all he needed was a permit to carry concealed weapons; neither a purchaser's permit nor a license was required. Other states, including Florida and Texas, do not require purchaser's permits but mandate that gun owners obtain licenses to carry handguns openly.
    According to the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action, out-of-state permits in New Jersey are technically available for non-residents, but they are rarely granted. A total of 15 states, including Arizona, Idaho and Kansas, recognize New Jersey permits, while New Jersey itself does not recognize licenses from other states.
    Aitken is not the most recent gun-carrier to learn the hard way that gun permits are typically not transferrable to other states.
    James High, 71, of Duluth, Ga., was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon on Oct. 29 when an officer found a gun on the front seat of his car in Madison, N.J., according to the Madison Eagle. High had been locked out of his car and sought assistance from a police officer, who found the handgun, which was properly licensed in Georgia. High was released after posting bail, pending a mandatory court appearance, the newspaper reported.
    And just last week in Boyton Beach, Fla., a 49-year-old man was charged with two counts of carrying a concealed firearm and three counts of carrying a prohibited weapon after he was spotted carrying a holstered .40-caliber Glock handgun with a 30-round magazine at a Walmart store. The gun's owner, Christopher Scott, said he had a valid permit in Arizona and thought it was reciprocal in Florida, the Palm Beach Post reported.
    Rachel Parsons, a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association, said those cases collectively highlight the need for gun owners to pay close attention to the varying laws across the country.
    "When you have a patchwork of gun laws within the country, and when you're crossing state lines, it gets very confusing and it makes it nearly impossible to comply," Parsons told FoxNews.com. "We do hear about these cases and that's why the NRA has a civil rights defense fund for people who are charged but are not criminals."
    "The burden of the law should be on true criminals," Parsons said, "and not on individuals who are trying to follow the law, especially in times when our justice system is overtaxed."
  2. Fly Rod

    Fly Rod

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    Locked, unloaded and in the trunk? How the hell did the police find them? Are we missing a piece of the puzzle?

    BTW, this is very #%&@^! up!:mad:
  3. As far as I'm concerned he's a political prisoner.
  4. Joe_E

    Joe_E

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    Welcome to New Jersey.
    You will not find pistols at every general store and flea market table like most of the rest of the country.
    I wouldn't suggest getting your life back together by taking pistols to see your ex-wife and kid either.
    I agree it's a horse**** charge to get 7 years though.

    Mid-State prison is the ex stockade on Ft. Dix. It's a few miles from me and in prime wood duck hunting country.:p
  5. Skillet

    Skillet Skillet SILVER Star

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    first this...


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    and now this...


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    NJ sucks donkey balls.
  6. Joe_E

    Joe_E

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    Hey, at least she's not strung out on meth like all the perfect states out there.....

    Do we know the backstory on this guy? Is he a nut? I don't know, do you know?
  7. Skillet

    Skillet Skillet SILVER Star

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    CA is FAR from a perfect state, we suck too, but I guarantee they would not have put that dude in jail for having guns locked in the trunk.

    as a matter of fact, they don't give a **** if you have a gun as long as it is seperated from the rounds, etc...

    the guy has no record of anything... squeaky clean.

    the only thing he did wrong was enter NJ with them in his trunk.

    straight up scat, I am telling you.
  8. Fly Rod

    Fly Rod

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    Agreed! I travel in CA with guns regularly. I have had cops watch me load them into the trunk. I am sure the only thing they were thinking was "I wonder what he is carrying." They never bother me.

    Fwiw, as far as I know it is not illegal to have guns in your car when you go see your kids. Hell, I drive in my car with kids and guns regularly. What will that get me in NJ? The electric chair?

    This is a complete abuse of the system by fear mongers.
  9. D'Animal

    D'Animal Rescuer of Beagle and Landcruisers Moderator

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    Her is being made an example of.

    I wonder if his ex wifes father is the judge.
  10. Joe_E

    Joe_E

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    "In New Jersey, a person must have a purchaser's permit and a carry permit to have a handgun in his or her car, neither of which Aitken had at the time of his arrest. But in Colorado, where he purchased the handguns, all he needed was a permit to carry concealed weapons; neither a purchaser's permit nor a license was required."

    Still not saying I agree with the sentence, but he should of used a little more discretion.
    He should of went and unloaded them at his dad's or whatever before driving to his ex-wive's place. Maybe she called the cops.

    It's the way it is out here. You can't ride around with pistols without a permit to carry. Now that of course depends on the cop if in fact they do catch you with them in the trunk like say you were heading to a range or some ****.
    I know if we were to take a pistol up to the in laws in NH and get pulled over in NY and they find it and you have no permit to carry , you are immediately heading to the klink.
  11. Cattledog

    Cattledog

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    I agree with Joe_e the laws in NJ are clear, but wow those are some really screwed up laws... The sentance sucks.

    I hope the NRA is working to repeal these laws in NJ. This is one of the main reasons I am an NRA member.

  12. MaddBaggins

    MaddBaggins Remember the KnightRider!

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    Living in AZ, I find most of the rest of the country to be rather communist when it comes to gun laws.

    I can stick a loaded gun in my pocket and cruise around pretty much anywhere without license, permit or registration. As of this year, CCW permits are no longer required.
  13. Skillet

    Skillet Skillet SILVER Star

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    that is awesome.


    my buddy just got a CC permit here in Cali...

    they have loosened those laws in many counties here.
  14. Skillet

    Skillet Skillet SILVER Star

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    btw, I understand...laws are laws.

    but 7 years in prison for a young professional with no criminal record?

    f*cking ridiculous.

    ever heard of spirit vs. letter?
  15. MaddBaggins

    MaddBaggins Remember the KnightRider!

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    Agreed. Pretty lame IMO.
  16. Fly Rod

    Fly Rod

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    I was shocked when a friend told me he got a CC permit in CA. He is an OR resident. It turns out he knew the right guy in the right place. It shed a little light on my negative CA cloud. Maybe there is hope!

    I am trying to figure out how NJ can get away with this when we have the 2nd Amendment. It would appear to me that the state has taken control of his rights. They are now dictating if, when and how his rights apply. So in effect the 2nd Amendment is not in affect in NJ? I don't get it!
  17. Joe_E

    Joe_E

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    I agree my friend, i agree.

    The whole thing is just strange and sounds fishy.
    Again, were threats made of some sort? Substance abuse? You know, things that send up warning flags.
  18. phrogg4evr

    phrogg4evr Vote for Pedro SILVER Star

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    I don't know about NJ, but NY gub laws are pretty similar and pretty clear. You have to have a permit to merely possess a handgun in NY. You must surrender your handguns to the po-po until your permit-to-own clears.

    When I moved from Ca to NY in 1996, I researched the gub laws and took the appropriate steps that kept me from jail or getting my junk confiscated.

    I don't agree that a 7-year jail sentence is appropriate for this dood, but damn, Google search is your friend:meh:
  19. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    it looks like there is plenty of blame to go around.
    Restrictive laws in NJ and inconsistency between states.
    Let's be objective, lack of common sense on the part of the guy.
    Indications of possible psychological issues for either/both the guy and his mother?


    it's not clear to me whether his offense was to have the unpermitted firearms in his car in NJ as a CO resident travelling in NJ or that he was a NJ resident who possessed unpermitted firearms in NJ. Sounds like a complicated story.


    Anyway, this is a painful reminder that one should be very very careful when travelling with firearms across state lines.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2010
  20. Consistent gun laws between states is a two-edged sword. I'd rather the laws were not uniform, because those of us in the "free states" would wind up with onerous restrictions we don't want.

    The New Jersey gun laws are an anti-gunner's dream come true. They want to be able to criminalize law-abiding citizens, and many of their proposed and passed laws do just this.

    The sad fact is criminals are under no legal obligation to register their firearms. According to the US Supreme Court, that would violate their Fifth Amendment right of no self-incrimination. So why should law-abiding citizens be forced to do something criminals don't have to?

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