The Troubling Case Of Roosevelt Twyne

Roosevelt Twyne is a legal gun owner in New Jersey. In fact, not only has he jumped through all of the hoops to become a legal gun owner, he actually managed to obtain a rare concealed carry license in the state, thanks in part to his job as armored car security guard.

None of that mattered when Twyne was stopped by police in Roselle Park, New Jersey back on February 8th just a block from his home, allegedly for having illegal window tint on his vehicle. When Twyne informed the officers that he was a concealed carry holder and did, in fact, have his firearm on him, police searched him and ultimately arrested him on two felony charges; possession of hollow-point ammunition and illegal transportation of a firearm.

The problem, according to Twyne’s attorney Evan Nappen, is that the ammunition in Twyne’s firearm is legal in New Jersey, as was his transportation of a firearm.

Twyne’s Permit to Carry a Handgun specifies the Smith & Wesson handgun that he was carrying at the time of the stop. Twyne also possesses a SORA (Security Officer Registration Act) Card, a New Jersey Firearms Purchaser Identification Card, and lawfully purchased/registered his handgun with a New Jersey permit to purchase.

The New Jersey State Police Firearms Information FAQ website specifically states:

“Ammunition lacking a hollow cavity at the tip, such as those with polymer filling, are not considered to be hollow point ammunition. An example of this can be seen with the Hornaday Critical Defense / Critical Duty, Car-Bon PowRball / Glaser Safety Slug and Nosler Inc. Defense ammunition.” (Emphasis added.)

Despite following all of New Jersey’s gun laws, Twyne’s now facing felony charges and has been suspended from his job, in addition to having his firearm seized and his gun licenses suspended.

Nappen is my guest on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, and I appreciate him taking the time to delve into the specifics of Twyne’s case and what happens next. Nappen is hopeful that prosecutors will drop Twyne’s charges, but to date they’ve exhibited no interest in doing so, and for now the case is proceeding, though Twyne has yet to make his first court appearance.

Nappen says under New Jersey law, Twyne would have to be indicted before he can make the argument that he wasn’t in violation of any of the state statutes involving firearms, and in the meantime he’s out of a job and looking at the possibility of becoming a felon, spending time in prison, losing his career, and his right to keep and bear arms. You can donate to Twyne’s legal defense fund here:

I’ve covered a number of cases in New Jersey over the years where legal gun owners have run afoul of the state’s gun laws and faced similar consequences, from Shaneen Allen to Steffon Josey, but what makes the case of Roosevelt Twyne even more egregious is the fact that he hadn’t even accidentally broken any of the state’s laws. According to Nappen, Twyne never should have faced arrest to begin with.

“Mr. Twyne is innocent of these charges as a matter of law, and never should have been arrested. The information regarding the legality of his ammunition is easily available to the public and law enforcement on the New Jersey State Police website. Three white officers stopping a black, law-abiding, licensed, armored car security guard coming home from work is extremely dubious. His subsequent arrest was unjustifiable.”

Roosevelt Twyne isn’t a criminal. He’s been vetted by the state of New Jersey and deemed worthy of receiving permission to exercise his right to keep and bear arms. He was carrying company-issued ammunition that is specifically mentioned on the New Jersey State Police website as an example of ammunition that is legal to possess in the state. He was transporting his firearm lawfully. Yet the police in Roselle Park, New Jersey apparently decided to make an example of Twyne, perhaps assuming that the world wouldn’t take notice. They were wrong.

As I told Evan, I’m ready to hold a #RallyForRoosevelt outside the courthouse if prosecutors actually proceed with this case, and I won’t let this drop. Roosevelt Twyne’s case is a prime example of how the state of New Jersey continues to ignore the plain meaning of the Second Amendment and it’s also a clear demonstration of how that hostility towards the exercise of our right to keep and bear arms makes it dangerous to even attempt to exercise that right under the state’s draconian gun laws.

Roosevelt Twyne needs to get back to work and get on with his life, but in order to do that prosecutors have to do the right thing and drop this case as soon as possible. That is the only way that justice can be served here, and I am hopeful, though hardly confident, that Mr. Twyne will not have to wait a moment longer than necessary to receive the justice that he is due.

We’ll continue to follow Roosevelt Twyne’s case and bring you any updates as they become available, and I appreciate Evan Nappen joining me today to help spread the word about his client and the injustice that’s been done.

Also on today’s program, we have the story of a Memphis man with multiple kidnapping charges in his past who stands accused of a double murder, a North Carolina man forced to defend himself after a stranger attacked him outside of his home, and a Wisconsin police officer who risked his life to rescue a disabled man trapped inside a burning apartment building.

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Jan 19, 2022 8:30 PM ET
Jan 19, 2022 12:30 PM ET