Imagine you’re a citizen of the state of New Jersey, and you buy your 11-year-old son a .22 long rifle. He’s not going to hide it under his bed or in his closet; you’re going to keep it in your safe. He will only use it when you take him hunting or to the shooting range.
Imagine further that you are a National Rifle Association certified firearms instructor, certified range safety officer, and a New Jersey state certified hunter firearm safety instructor.
Imagine you post a picture of your son with the .22. Would you be surprised if the police showed up at your door in the middle of the night?
Welcome to Gun Control America, where even legally posting a picture of your son doing something legal can bring the government into your living room. Shawn Moore gave his son Josh a .22 long rifle. He then posted a photo of his son holding the rifle – finger off trigger, as he had been trained – on Facebook.
What happened next was astonishing. According to Moore’s lawyer, Evan Nappen, there was an anonymous phone call to family services. “They embarked on a nighttime attempted raid of his house and his gun safe,” Nappen told Breitbart News. “There are two family services people and a cadre of at least four police officers in this heavy-handed intimidation tactic to get him to give up his 4th Amendment rights. They demanded to see if his guns were registered – but in New Jersey, rifles and shotguns aren’t registered. They wanted him to open his safe – but if the guns were in a safe, they were no threat.”
Moore’s wife, said Nappen, “let them into the house to a certain degree, but not a full search. Once Shawn was there, he called me on the cellphone. I shut it down with the authorities. Get a warrant, or get out.”
Nappen said he asked one of the family services workers for her name. She refused to give it.
“This is such heavyhanded overreach of an agency,” Nappen fumed. “This has a chilling effect to the First Amendment. You’re supposed to be afraid that if you post a picture of your kid with a gun, you’re going to be subjected to a nighttime raid?”
Nappen said that he had heard that the police had declared the case closed. But for the Moore family, he said, “all options remain on the table.” Carneys Point police have announced that the police did not attempt to “unlawfully search” the residence or “violate the second or fourth amendment rights of Mr. Moore.” They did add that the visit was prompted by Sandy Hook: “In light of some of the recent school shooting across our nation, the Carneys Point Police Department takes these kind of calls seriously.”
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the book “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).