Court Rules Against Gun Owner, Has Entire Collection Including Family Heirlooms Taken Away
A New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division has upheld the decision of a lower court allowing the confiscation of an heirloom WW II era M-1 Carbine rifle pursuant to the state’s Domestic Violence Forfeiture law.
Despite the clear wording the of Second Amendment of the United States Constitution guaranteeing citizens the right to bear arms, the higher court agreed with the prosecution that the firearm is contraband.
Danny Burt, of Cumberland County New Jersey, inherited the collector’s item from his grandfather who served in World War II, told police he had not attempted to fire the weapon and was unsure if it even was still a functioning firearm.
The M1 is not only a piece of American history, but carried great sentimental value for Burt.
Nevertheless, police seized the rifle when a temporary restraining order was served on Burt in the spring of 2013.
New Jersey law requires officers to confiscate weapons during a response to a domestic violence call, as well as the firearm purchaser identification (FID) card of anyone believed to be involved in the incident.
Burt requested that the carbine be returned to him when the temporary restraining order expired and no charges were filed in the incident, but the court, while sympathetic, approved the seizure and forfeiture of the WW II era rifle, which is defined by the statute as an assault rifle.
Under New Jersey law, it is a second-degree felony to possess an assault rifle.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has moved to the right on gun issues since declaring his candidacy for the presidency, vetoing several measures that had bipartisan support, but signed into law a prohibition on gun ownership by anyone named on the federal terror watch list.
The M1-Carbine was the most-produced firearm of World War II when 6.5 million were produced between mid-1942 and 1945.
The M1 was issued to infantry, paratroopers and observers, as well as other frontline troops and non-commissioned officers. Although it was small and light, its size endeared it to many soldiers over long marches.