New Jersey continues to be one of the worst states for gunowners.
The latest example involves an African-American security guard, Roosevelt Twyne, who had a handgun carry permit and legal ammunition yet still was arrested over the firearm. The Washington Free Beacon’s Stephen Gutowski reported that Twyne was arrested by Roselle Park Police last month after he was pulled over because his car windows were tinted too darkly. Police then found the handgun and ammunition and claimed he was illegally carrying a firearm and was in possession of “hollow point ammunition,” even though the ammo he had with him was not that.
“He was arrested for the hollow point ammunition,” Twyne’s attorney, Evan Nappen, told the Free Beacon. “Then they claimed he was transporting his handgun illegally. He had a permit to carry a handgun. The law … makes it clear that it’s illegal to transport unless you are licensed pursuant to chapter 58. And that is precisely what a handgun carry permit is.”
Nappen then told the Free Beacon that the ammunition Twyne was arrested for is the same as what his employer issues and is deemed legal by a New Jersey State Police website. That website says that the ammunition Twyne was carrying – polymer-tipped Hornady “Critical Duty” ammunition – is “not considered to be hollow point ammunition.” It is specifically listed as legal ammunition on the website.
“It’s lawful,” Nappen told the outlet. “It’s publicly announced as lawful because it is. It’s not hollow. It’s filled.”
More from Gutowski:
Roselle Park police chief Daniel J. McCaffery did not return a request for comment. The Union County Prosecutor’s Office did not respond to questions about the charges against Twyne but did say his case will be heard next month in New Jersey Superior Court.
The charges against Twyne are representative of the difficulties of navigating New Jersey’s gun laws, which are among the strictest in the nation. They may also reveal issues in the police’s understanding of the state’s voluminous, complex gun restrictions. The case also shows how disruptive gun-related charges can be, even when the accused has a clean record and is not alleged to have done anything violent.
Twyne told the Free Beacon what the arrest has done to his personal life.
“Honestly, it’s been traumatic and has impacted my life in a way that I’ve never experienced before,” he told the outlet in a statement. “It’s hard because now even looking for a part time job or any job, it’s made it so much harder for me. Not only has it tainted my name and reputation, which I have worked hard to attain, not just growing up in Elizabeth, but as a black man trying to make a difference.”
His attorney said three white police officers arrested Twyne, and though they did not make racist comments, the issue of race was the “elephant in the room.”
“They didn’t make racist comments,” Nappen said. “They didn’t say anything racist but, on its face, it’s dubious. Let’s just say it’s dubious.”