Wait a Minute… This is in New Jersey??

Picking my jaw up off the floor, I have just finished reading the New Jersey Superior Court’s hot-off-the-presses appeal to grant a firearms purchaser identification card to one Dennis Peterson. (How this case is legally identified I have no idea.) It’s a PDF image file, or I’d just cut-and-paste the entire thing.

It seems Mr. Peterson was a bit of a wild one as a kid, had a cheating wife, and some other legal problems several decades ago. Due to the divorce and some heated words, Mr. Peterson had a restraining order placed against him and ten of his firearms were seized. Since he didn’t have a FID, he didn’t get them back. This was four years before the state of New Jersey passed a law making such seizure and surrender grounds for vacating anyone’s ability to acquire an FID.

Mr. Peterson recently applied for a card. He answered the questions on the form as thoroughly as he could, and was rejected. He appealed. The judge of the Superior Court found in his favor.

Color me shocked. Stunned, even.


This is from the same state in which an appellate court declared a .22 rimfire Marlin Model 60 a “highly dangerous offensive weapon” because it held two rounds over the legal limit of 15? The Court that said “When dealing with guns, the citizen acts at his peril”???

I’m not going to copy the whole decision, but here’s the pertinent cite:

Egregious deprivation would surely be the result if this applicant were precluded from obtaining a firearms purchaser identification card by virtue of the fact that he consensually surrendered his weapons at a time when it was impossible for him to have known that such action would later subject him to lifelong deprivation of his second amendment right.

Additionally, it is clear that in consenting to the disposition of the weapons seized as a result of the temporary restraining order, the applicant did not intend to waive his right to bear arms as provided by the second amendment of the U.S. Constitution. He therefore could not have knowingly, intelligently, or voluntarily waived that right.

In New Jersey. And this was on February 27, before the D.C. Court of Appeals decision in Parker.

Somebody pinch me. I must be dreaming. (I bet there was an appeal filed by the State immediately thereafter.)

UPDATE: I should read more thorougly before I hit “publish.” His lawyer, Evan Nappen reports that an appeal has indeed been filed.

Who’s taking bets on this one?

UPDATE, February 2008: Yup. Reversed on appeal.

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