For once, someone made the right call. Just last week, we brought you the story of 72-year-old Gordon Van Gilder of NY who was arrested for possessing a nearly 300-year-old pistol he was transporting in a vehicle. Now for the update: the Prosecutor has made the call to drop the charges.
“My client and myself are extremely happy,” said [Evan] Nappen Wednesday evening of news that the charges against Van Gilder would not be pursued further.
“I would like to commend Prosecutor Webb-McCrae for dismissing this,” although more work needs to be done in Trenton to address the issue, he suggested
Debate over Van Gilder’s arrest has led several state lawmakers to look at changes to New Jersey’s laws regarding antique firearms.
Assmemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (R-Monmouth) has said that she plans to introduce a bill that would align the state’s law with a federal statute that exempts firearms manufactured before 1898.
If charges moved forward, Mr. Van Gilder would have faced the consequences which accompany a felony conviction, including possible loss of his pension. Luckily for this otherwise law-abiding citizen, he doesn’t need to worry about being labeled a felon for life, simply for buying a 300-year-old flintlock pistol.
There is no word yet as to whether he has received his pistol back or not.
We’d like to think that the massive social media campaign in support of Van Gilder helped the Prosecutor make this decision.
Now, change some laws so they make sense, NJ.