The Laws Are A Problem When They Sweep Up The People Who Aren't A Danger To Society
A 72-year-old retired New Jersey schoolteacher, Gordon VanGilder, was arrested on felony charges for possessing a 225-year-old flintlock pistol.
He's now facing up 10 years in state prison with a minimum mandatory three-to-five and a half years, no chance of parole, as his lawyer said.
And these guns are considered antiques under Federal law, his lawyer said.
VanGilder said, "Maybe technically I did violate New Jersey law, but if that's the law, as a very wise man said once up on a time, 'the law is an ass.'"
"You have a slingshot in New Jersey, you face a felony charge," said his lawyer.
"Apparently, there must be a lot of drive-by shootings in North Jersey," to explain the state's nervousness about ancient flintlock pistols, VanGilder said.
See the New Jersey gun laws here. Here's an example of how crazy these laws are:
Carrying a firearm in a locked container in checked luggage in an airport terminal to declare it to the airline constitutes unlawful possession and is not protected under the law.
This decision was a direct result of a 2005 incident where Gregg C. Revell, a Utah Resident with a valid Utah Concealed Firearm Permit was traveling through Newark Airport en route to Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Because of a missed flight, he was given his luggage, which included a properly checked firearm, and was forced to spend the night in a hotel in New Jersey. When he returned to the airport the following day to check his handgun for the last portion of the trip, he was arrested for illegal possession of a firearm.
Revell lost his lawsuit after The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held in Gregg C. Revell v. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey,  held that "Section 926A does not apply to Revell because his firearm and ammunition were readily accessible to him during his stay in New Jersey."
This opinion will apply to NJ airports. If you miss a flight or for any other reason your flight is interrupted and the airline tries to return you luggage that includes a checked firearm, you cannot take possession of the firearm if you are taking a later flight.