A New Jersey man who previously was arrested for carrying a handgun for which he had a permit, along with legal ammunition, now says he is considering a lawsuit against the police and prosecutor’s office who targeted him.
Roosevelt Twyne was arrested last month after he was pulled over for his car’s window tinting. Twyne informed the police officer that he had a handgun with him, and was arrested even though he had a license for the handgun and the ammo he was carrying was specifically listed as legal on a New Jersey police website, The Daily Wire reported.
New Jersey authorities eventually dismissed the charges against Twyne, but The Washington Free Beacon’s Stephen Gutowski, who has covered this story since the beginning, has reported that Twyne is looking to file a civil suit over the ordeal.
Twyne’s attorney, Evan Nappen, told the Free Beacon that his client has been on unpaid suspension from his job as a security guard since his arrest. While Nappen said he was “extremely pleased” the charges were dropped, his client has still suffered damages due to the arrest.
“We still need to get his gun back,” Nappen told the outlet. “We’re working on that. Then, of course, you want to clear the record with expungement so he doesn’t have an arrest record. We’re looking at and weighing the options on further civil action.”
Nappen acknowledged that it would be difficult for Twyne to win his lawsuit, but insisted it was being done to help put a stop to New Jersey’s onerous gun laws that routinely result in the arrest of innocent gun owners. The most famous case is that of Shaneen Allen, a young mother of two who obtained a permit for a handgun after her home was burglarized in Pennsylvania. Allen was arrested in New Jersey after informing a police officer she had a gun during a routine traffic stop. She did not know that her permit didn’t carry over. Ignorance of the law is obviously no excuse, but Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain came under heavy criticism for his decision to throw the book at Allen. The young mother was denied the chance to participate in a first-time offender deferral program, meaning she faced up to three-and-a-half years in prison. That same prosecutor allowed ex-Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice into the deferral program despite video showing him beating his wife.
“New Jersey’s over-zealous gun laws have enabled scenarios where law-abiding citizens—in this case, a security guard nonetheless—are being prosecuted,” Assemblyman John DiMaio (R) said in a statement regarding Twyne’s arrest. “Unfortunately, those good intentions have bad consequences. We want to fix that.”
DiMaio was one of several Republican lawmakers in the Garden State to introduce a bill that “would clarify the state’s restrictions against hollow-point ammunition, which is commonly used for self-defense in the rest of the country,” Gutowski reported.
The prosecutor’s office that charged Twyne admitted it had charged the security guard in error over the ammunition in this car, but insisted his carry permit only allowed him to have his gun on his person while he was at work – and he had left his job 16 minutes before he was pulled over.
“Mr. Twyne, who is an employee of Brinks, produced a permit to carry the weapon, which was subject to certain conditions,” the Union County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement after the charges were dropped. “In particular, the permit was expressly limited to the time he was on-duty with Brinks. At the time of the stop, Mr. Twyne was not on duty with Brinks—and, accordingly, he was not legally permitted to carry a weapon at that time.”