New Jersey now has a law on the books that allows the government to confiscate guns from anyone considered a threat without anything approaching due process. There’s a slightly more complicated process, but in its essence, that’s pretty much exactly what is at play. Guns can be confiscated, plain and simple.
It seems one man, a veteran, almost found his confiscated out of nowhere and he believes it was the result of the new law.
Disabled Iraq war veteran Leonard Cottrell Jr. alleges New Jersey State Police attempted to confiscate his firearms last month without a warrant. He stood his ground, held to his Second Amendment rights, and did not let police take them.
Now, Cottrell is blaming a recently implemented New Jersey law, which he says targets law abiding gun owners.
Cottrell, 40, said he was working at Wawa on June 14 when he got a call from his wife around 9:30 p.m. that two police officers from the New Jersey State Police’s Hamilton station were at the doorstep of his Millstone home.
The troopers, who patrol this sprawling Monmouth County township, were there, he said, because his 13-year-old son had made a comment at school about the Millstone Middle School’s security, and the officers wanted to confiscate Cottrell’s firearms as part of an investigation.
Cottrell said his wife allowed the officers to search their home, including his son’s room, but they did not locate any weapons. Still, Cottrell said police wanted to confiscate his firearms — a shotgun and pistol — despite not having a warrant to do so.
Cottrell argued that no one was taking any of his property without due process, something that was clearly nonexistent in this case. The police left without taking any property.
Law enforcement refused to say whether or not this had anything to do with the new law. Sgt. First Class Jeff Flynn of the New Jersey State Police simply said, “Troopers responded to Mr. Cottrell’s residence in reference to the report of a possible school threat. Based on their investigation, it was determined that Mr. Cottrell’s weapons did not need to be seized.”
However, there were other ramifications because of this. In particular, Cottrell’s son was unable to attend his graduation.
Regardless of where the NJSP got the authority for this kind of search, it’s a load of bovine excrement. The Fourth Amendment is clear; people cannot be deprived of liberty or property without due process, which is what took place in New Jersey, based on what we see here.
People are willing to ignore this because they don’t like guns, but how long until this standard applies toward other things? How long until this is used to justify a similar lack of due process for other crimes?
Honestly, if this doesn’t terrify you to some degree, then you deserve the tyrannical state that this could easily spawn.
The fact is that extreme risk protective orders that lack any due process element to speak of need to be challenged in court. Hard. This story is ample evidence to illustrate that.