Thursday, July 24, 2014





Family says NJ overreacted to boy’s gun photo on Facebook


March 19. 2013 10:34PM
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS



Story Tools
PrintPrint | E-MailEMail | SaveSave | Hear Generate QR Code QR
Send to Kindle


The ruddy-cheeked, camouflage-clad boy in the photo smiles out from behind a pair of glasses, proudly holding a gun his father gave him as a present for his upcoming 11th birthday.


The weapon in the photo, posted by his dad on Facebook, resembles a military-style assault rifle but, his father says, is actually just a .22-caliber copy. And that, the family believes, is why child welfare case workers and police officers visited the home in Carneys Point last Friday and asked to see his guns.


New Jersey’s Department of Children and Families declined to comment specifically on the case but says it often follows up on tips. The family and an attorney say father Shawn Moore’s Second Amendment rights to bear arms were threatened in a state that already has some of the nation’s strictest gun laws and is considering strengthening them after December’s schoolhouse massacre in Connecticut.


In this case, the family believes someone called New Jersey’s anonymous child abuse hot line.


Shawn Moore said he gave his son Josh the gun as a present to use on hunting trips. The elder Moore was at a friend’s house when his wife called, saying state child welfare investigators, along with four local police officers, were at the house, asking to inspect the family’s guns.


Moore said he called his lawyer Evan Nappen, who specializes in Second Amendment cases, and had him on speaker phone as he arrived at his house in Carneys Point, just across the Delaware River from Wilmington, Del.


“They said they wanted to see into my safe and see if my guns were registered,” Moore said. “I said no; in New Jersey, your guns don’t have to be registered with the state; it’s voluntary. I knew once I opened that safe, there was no going back.”


With the lawyer listening in on the phone, Moore said he asked the investigators and police officers whether they had a warrant to search his home. When they said no, he asked them to leave. One of the child welfare officials would not identify herself when Moore asked for her name, he said.


The agents and the police officers left, and nothing has happened since, he said.


“I don’t like what happened,” he said. “You’re not even safe in your own house. If they can just show up at any time and make you open safes and go through your house, that’s not freedom; it’s like tyranny.”


State child welfare spokeswoman Kristine Brown said that when it receives a report of suspected abuse of neglect, it assigns a caseworker to follow up. She said law enforcement officers are asked to accompany caseworkers only if the caseworkers feel their safety could be compromised.


“It’s the caseworker’s call,” she said. “It is important to note the way an investigation begins is through the child abuse hotline. Someone has to call to let us know there is a concern.”


Carneys Point Police Chief Robert DiGregorio did not answer a call late Tuesday to his office, which said only he would be able to comment.


___


AP writer Wayne Parry reported this story from Pleasantville, N.J. He can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.




Comments
comments powered by Disqus Commenting Guidelines
Poll
Mortgage Minute


Search for New & Used Cars

Make 
Model
 
Used New All
 

Search Times Leader Classifieds to find just the home you want!

Search Times Leader Classifieds to find just what you need!

Search Pet Classifieds
Dogs Cats Other Animals



Social Media/RSS
Times Leader on Twitter
Times Leader on Youtube
Times Leader on Google+
The Times Leader on Tumblr
The Times Leader on Pinterest
Times Leader RSS Feeds