NJ man may get life sentence for possessing antique gun

Flintlock Pistol Gun Declaration Of Independence
Flintlock Pistol Gun Declaration Of Independence

The 2nd Amendment is dead in New Jersey. When you can’t even have a 300 year old flintlock pistol in your possession, you know it’s dead. The antique gun hasn’t been fired since George Washington was alive. No one even knows if it works. It certainly didn’t have any usable ammo nearby. But it could still get this New Jersey man 10 years in prison (which for him is a life sentence given the fact that he’s 72!)

Gordon Van Gilder, who taught in the New Jersey school system for 34 years, is a collector of 18th century memorabilia.  He acquired a genuine antique flintlock pistol from that era, and had it unloaded and wrapped in a cloth in his glove compartment when he was pulled over for an alleged minor traffic violation.

Van Gilder consented to a requested search of his vehicle, and when asked by the officer if there was anything in the car the officer should be worried about, Van Gilder informed him about the flintlock in the glove box.  Although not arrested that day, the next morning several patrol cars woke him at his home and placed him under arrest.

New Jersey’s draconian gun laws explicitly include antique firearms such as this 300-year-old pistol.  Indeed, possession of a slingshot is a felony under New Jersey law.

No word as to how or where he acquired the pistol. But I guess when it comes down to the letter of the law, he broke it and there are consequences. And then… there’s the spirit of the law. Did this man’s case break the “spirit of the law”? You decide.

Let me know what you think. Here’s the full story.

Photo credit KAZ Vorpal

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