“Murphy Mags” And How To Avoid Arrest In New Jersey

As of Monday, December 10th, if you possess a standard capacity magazine that holds more than 10 rounds in the state of New Jersey, you could be found guilty of a Class 4 Felony, spend up to 18 months in prison, lose your voting rights, and be subject to a lifetime ban on firearm ownership. Your options were to destroy the magazines, turn them into police, or remove them out of state. There was no grandfathering under the law nor was there any compensation for what arguably is a taking.

Gun rights attorney Evan F. Nappen is the acknowledged authority on New Jersey gun law. He has just written a guide on what to expect from the police and prosecutors and how to protect yourself.

Here are the action steps he encourages all New Jersey gun owners to take:

Action Items:

  1. Make sure that your friends and family are aware of this potential threat.
  2. Make sure that your friends and family are aware of the implications of talking with the police and consenting to searches.
  3. Make sure that you do not have in your possession any Murphy Mags or other prohibited items.
  4. Make sure that you, your family and your friends have the mindset to stand on your rights!

 While he thinks police raids are not likely to occur and that police will use other means such as computerized databases, demand letters, and the like, there are scenarios and reasons, in his opinion, where a police raid, with or without a warrant, might take place.

  1. Some highly publicized mass shooting occurs, and the knee-jerk, politically expedient reaction is to go after Murphy Mag possessors.
  2. Murphy’s failure to aggressively enforce his ban, gives his political challengers the opportunity to call him out on it. There is already pressure on Murphy to explain how he intends to enforce the ban. Breitbart News also reached out to Murphy’s press secretary, Daniel Bryan, about enforcement of the ban. He confirmed that the Governor “…had not ruled out house-to-house enforcement of the ban either.”
  3. New Jersey has a computerized database of registered gun owners & their registered handguns which includes make and model. Many of these handguns came with Murphy Mags. For example, 15 round magazines came standard with the Glock Model 19, Beretta Model 92 and SIG Model P226, just to name three commonly possessed handguns.
  4. New Jersey has a long history of abusing gun owners, creating “gun law victims” (destroying people’s lives with arbitrary gun laws) and undermining Second Amendment rights.
  5. New Jersey has a liberal news media which actively acts as the propaganda arm for the anti-gun-rights movement.
  6. New Jersey law enforcement will obey orders and enforce the law, rather than lose their jobs & pensions.

I suggest reading Evan’s entire guide posted to his website. Moreover, if you live in New Jersey, I suggest studying it carefully, plan your response in advance, and make your family including kids aware of the family plan. As Michael Bane said on his podcast today, the law isn’t enforced until is. Don’t be that guy who Murphy uses as the example to cow the rest of New Jersey gun owners into compliance.

NJ Gun Attorney Evan Nappen On The Pardon Of Steffon Josey-Davis

New Jersey attorney Evan Nappen, the man who wrote the book on that state’s gun laws and who represented Steffon Josey-Davis, was on NRA News yesterday. He was interviewed by Cam Edwards regarding Gov. Chris Christie’s complete and full pardon of Steffon. Nappen said the next step would be to go to court and get an expungement of the conviction from Steffon’s record.

Nappen also discussed the recent murder of Carol Bowne who was still waiting for her gun permit to be approved when she was murdered by her ex-boyfriend.

Potential Good News In The Shaneen Allen Case

The NRA News is reporting on Facebook that Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain has requested a delay in Shaneen Allen’s case while he reviews the appropriate resolution of the case.

BREAKING NEWS: The prosecutor in the Shaneen Allen case has requested her upcoming trial be delayed while he reviews the appropriate resolution of her case. Shaneen is the Philadelphia mother of two who became an unwitting victim of New Jersey’s gun laws. Stay tuned for the exclusive interview with Ginny Simone and Shaneen’s attorney Evan Nappen coming soon.

The interview by Ginny Simone and Cam Edwards with Shaneen Allen and her attorney Evan Nappen is below.

Hopefully, this will turn out well for Ms. Allen. She deserves something good to happen after all that she has lost due to the prosecutor’s intransigence and New Jersey’s utterly ridiculous laws.

Even In New Jersey The Second Amendment Applies

On Friday, the Appellate Division of the Superior Court in New Jersey overturned the trial court in a case involving the denial of a firearms permit and ordered the return of Justin Blasko’s firearms absent any new disqualifying events. They made their decision on Second Amendment grounds.

Mr Blasko’s troubles started when his apartment’s building superintendent entered to fix his air conditioner and saw “assault weapons” along with other stuff including a four foot alligator. The super called police and they entered the apartment, seized his firearms, and issued him a summons for the alligator, a snake, and a leg-hold trap. They also filed a complaint that he had an illegal assault weapon.

Blasko entered a Pre-Trial Intervention program and the charges were eventually all dismissed. Moreover, the state later acknowledged that the alleged “assault weapons” were not in fact assault weapons as covered by NJ law. Following the dismissal of the charges, Blasko requested his firearms back.

The Superior Court in Passaic County denied Blasko’s request and ordered him to surrender his Firearms Purchaser Identification Card. They also permitted the State of New Jersey to sell his seized firearms and ammunition. The trial judge said that because Blasko’s firearms were “in plain view, accessible to a third party” his conduct was contrary to the public health, safety, and welfare which is a disqualifying factor for gun ownership in NJ. It should be noted that Mr. Blasko’s apartment was in a building that had locked access and that only the super had a key with which to enter his apartment (with prior notice and permission).

[T]he police report shows that Blasko kept his firearms in an extremely negligent and unsafe manner because he kept dozens of unsecured firearms and abundant ammunition in plain view in his apartment. . . . [He] chose to store these items in this manner knowing that his apartment was never truly “locked” since the building superintendent had a master key that he was permitted to use (or give to a maintenance worker to use) at any time even if [he] was not home. [He] in fact signed an agreement which permitted such access.

The Appellate Division examined all the instances that allowed for the forfeiture of firearms in NJ based upon negligent conduct. They found that Mr. Blasko’s past behavior and conduct did not rise to the level of negligence as needed by the law to seize his firearms.

The facts at hand present none of the circumstances found in the prior authorities to result in disqualification under N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3c(5). No weapon was discharged as found in Cunningham; no possession of narcotics occurred as cited in Sbitani; no domestic violence, drunkenness, or criminal conduct while intoxicated (assault, hit and run, and DWI) existed as relied upon in Freysinger, or a disregard of the gun laws as found in Osworth. Here, after eliminating the erroneous finding that Blasko possessed an assault rifle, the remaining facts 13 A-3848-10T2 underpinning the trial judge’s conclusion Blasko was disqualified under N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3c(5) were that he owned a significant arsenal of weapons, which were strewn haphazardly in his small studio apartment.

The court then examined whether New Jersey law required Mr. Blasko to keep his firearms locked up in a safe or with other devices such as a trigger lock. More importantly, they examined this in the context of the US Supreme Court’s rulings in Heller and McDonald. They concluded safe storage laws did not apply to Mr. Blasko as he was neither a commercial enterprise nor did he have minor children. They also concluded that based upon the Heller decision he was allowed to have his firearms accessible.

Despite a preference for the safe storage of weapons with safety locks, we conclude a law abiding adult, living alone without children, who openly leaves weapons in a locked apartment, insufficiently supports a finding of conduct contrary to the interest of the public health, safety or welfare pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3c(5). See Heller, supra, 554 U.S. at 635, 128 S. Ct. at 2822, 171 L. Ed. 2d at 683 (holding “the District’s ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment.

Mr. Blasko’s attorney was well-known gun law attorney Evan Nappen. More on the case can be found here. Nappen notes that this is the first time a higher court in New Jersey expressely applied the Second Amendment to a gun seizure case. This is definitely a win for gun rights in New Jersey and it was made possible by the careful building of Second Amendment case law by Alan Gura and others.

Only In New Jersey

I don’t mean to beat up on New Jersey. Really I don’t but this is just another case of New Jersey gun laws being a trap for the unwary.

Well-known gun rights attorney Evan Nappen has a post on his website entitled, “Why is the NJ State Police Allowing Prohibited Persons to Get Guns?” The post deals with a quirk in New Jersey law which states that if you didn’t receive your firearms back after a domestic violence allegation – that is an allegation and not a conviction – you have forfeited your gun rights forever in the state of New Jersey. According to Evan, the law has been on the books since 2004 but the New Jersey State Police still haven’t updated their forms for gun purchase permits. Moreover, the penalty for purchasing or possessing a firearm in such cases is five years in prison.

Have the NJ State Police failed to fix the forms to keep folks in the dark so that they don’t fight to get their guns returned? If people knew about this law many would NOT simply agree to have their seized guns sold to a dealer, transferred to a third party, or forfeited to the State. The prosecutors and the courts would have to do lot more hearings for gun returns. (Note: prosecutors and the judges are under no legal obligation tell the unsuspecting former gun owners that their gun rights will be lost by making such a deal with the State.)

No other state has such a law. However, it is the law in NJ. I do not support this law and I believe it should be repealed. Until it is repealed, many gun owners are failing to insist upon the return of their seized guns and prohibited persons are unknowingly acquiring guns. Maybe that is the plan all along.

The very thought of losing an enumerated right over an allegation is repugnant to me. I’m in the middle of a novel based in the USSR at the time of Stalin and this reeks of that era where a mere allegation was enough to send one to the gulag.