Facebook Photo Of Child Holding Rifle Leads To Alleged Late Night Raid On New Jersey Home

jerseygun2-225x300Shawn Moore is a certified firearms instructor for the National Rifle Association and a New Jersey hunter education instructor. He was proud of his son for recently passing his hunter’s permit course and posted this picture of his boy in camouflage holding his .22 rifle. A Facebook “friend” saw the picture and reported him to the New Jersey police and Dept. of Children and Families for child endangerment. Moore says that his home was raided, searched, and he was threatened with the loss of custody in response to the complaint.


While not commenting on the alleged raid, Department Spokesperson Kristen Brown said. “We are required to follow up on every single allegation that comes into the central registry.” That is a bit surprising if the allegation describes lawful conduct. Children are allowed to hunt in New Jersey. I had assumed that there was some screening that occurs. Moreover, I am not sure why there is no intermediate step short of the search of the home.

Moore says that he received an text message from his wife that the Carneys Point Police Dept. and the New Jersey Dept. of Children and Families were at the home demanding to see his guns and gun safe. The officers were told by his lawyer to leave the home absent a warrant. He says that that officers responded that the demand for them to get a warrant was “suspicious” behavior. If true, that would be highly abusive and unconstitutional. A citizen invoking their rights does not create reasonable suspicion, let alone probable cause. While the officers said that they would get a warrant, he says that they never returned.

It does strike me as odd that anyone can trigger such an action based on a photo that does not show any illegal action or conduct that is demonstrably dangerous in a state where children are allowed to hunt and shoot such weapons.

What do you think?

Source: Yahoo

171 thoughts on “Facebook Photo Of Child Holding Rifle Leads To Alleged Late Night Raid On New Jersey Home

  1. Gene: I do not think the engineering (or retrofitting) would be that difficult, and I doubt it would be an engineering nightmare at all.

    A very small pin of steel can block a trigger from pulling; that would be my target but from the bottom. Build the RF receiver into the grip, immediately behind the trigger guard; and have the new safety-pin run through a hole in the bottom of the trigger guard. Then when the ring (or bracelet or watch or whatever) is close enough, the electronics can pull the new pin out of the way so the trigger can be pulled. If you want, the electronics can be mostly high on the back of the grip; or even on the far side of the trigger guard. the actual sensors are paper-thin, you won’t notice the wires running to the grip.

    You should make the pin actively controlled, do not depend on gravity; the gun may need to be fired upside down or sideways. However, the coil needed to create the magnetic motive power for the pin can be inside the pin, a neodymium ‘doughnut’ magnet can encircle the pin, so reversing polarity makes it drop.

    I will also point out that “electronics” does not have to be a computer, per se, there are simple electronic systems that can engage in the recognition of such keys without any central processor involved. An FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) is a similar technology that allows purpose built circuitry for such tasks. Thus, no code, no hacking, no bugs.

    Finally, the power source should be devised to recharge by proximity (like some electric toothbrushes are, some phone rechargers work that way); so the gun can be left in a safe place near the recharging field. You don’t want to need your gun for the first time in six months and find out the battery is dead and it cannot be fired. I believe many existing guns could be retrofitted for that; but it would require a little metal work to properly drill the trigger guard (but that also is not involved in the operation of the gun).

  2. Gene,

    I heard about this on Tuesday NPR….. It has some validity…..the draw back I have is…. If you at a firing range…. It works well in theory….but in practicality….. Most people take jewelry off at night…. So unless you have your secret decoder ring right next to the gun… How is that beneficial….. I think a properly placed gun lock has the same issues… Hand guns need to be in he hands of people that know how to use them and when…. Unless you have both… You have problems all he way around…. I don’t think there’s any right or wrong answer….

  3. Junctionshamus asked me to comment here on the RFID safety issue on guns

    Personally, I would not use a firearm that had this and the reason is reliability.

    As previously stated, RFID can be jammed, spoofed, or fail due to several factors. Other issues have been proposed such as a mechanical key lock. But the more complexity introduced into a system, primarily by electronics or software, the more the probability of failure.

    I had an incident once at work where an armed robbery took place at a drive up espresso stand. The robber fled and ran toward a park, where a city officer just happened to be when the call was dispatched. The suspect partially drew the handgun out of his waistband when confronted but chose instead to continuie running. He was heading through a field in the direction of an apartment complex. I arrived just to the North and fearing he might run into the apartments and take a hostage and the environment I went to draw out the M-16 I had in a lock-clamp between the seats. Well, the electronic device to open the hasp that held the gun failed and I couldn’t get the rifle out. So now I had to go into this with just my handgun, which was disadvantageous.

    Just as he was entering the complex he came around a corner and I saw him, he was too far way for a pistol but had I needed to engage him I should have with the rifle. And, as I feared, he slipped through and broke into someone’s apartment. Luckily, he decided to run out the back door and he was arrested later without incident.

    Because of that every day I tested the long gun locks in my car just to be sure they were working, I wouldn’t want to take the chance this would happen again with my sidearm. Dead battery, dead cop.

    That is my choice though. If someone wants to have such handgun locks that is their perogative. Not for me though, But there is something to be said about having a gun that only you can fire. The statistics I heard from the FBI was that 90% of the time when an officer is disarmed by the suspect, the officer is killed. So it’s a roll of the dice with what you choose. A middle ground might be an extra mechanical safety that only the officer might know how to use, but it is only worthwhile if it can be used by the officer rapidly and seamlessly.

  4. Oh, one more thing.

    The pistol I carried at work has a design feature that if the magazine is released it will not fire. It was one of the reasons I chose this pistol. So if I got into a wrestling match with someone trying to get the gun out of my hands and if I was losing the battle, I could just press the magazine release button and it would not fire. Then disengange from him and use a backup weapon.

  5. Arthur: What is true of “all witnesses?”

    What I am talking about is PATENTLY untrue of all witnesses, if nothing ever goes to court, they are not required to reveal their name to anybody. The only time you have to reveal your name is if you choose to testify and the D.A. chooses to take the matter to court.

    If I am walking by a house, and see somebody getting beaten, I can call 911 and I do not have to tell the assailant my name, address, or anything else. If it goes to court I might, but he has no right of discovery or any right to my personal information until he has been charged with a crime.

  6. One Nation Under The Gun: Thousands Of Gun Deaths Since Newtown
    By Jason Cherkis
    3/22/13
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/22/gun-deaths-us-newtown_n_2935686.html

    Excerpt:
    In the first week after the Newtown, Conn., massacre on Dec. 14, more than 100 people in the U.S. were killed by guns. In the first seven weeks, that number had risen to at least 1,285 gunshot killings and accidental deaths. A little more than three months after Newtown, there have been 2,243. The Huffington Post has recorded every gun-involved murder and accidental shooting death reported in U.S. news media since Newtown, revealing an epidemic that shows no signs of abating. The horrors cannot be contained behind yellow police tape or find resolution in a courtroom. For the victim’s families, the grief deforms all it touches. There’s the fear that the radio will play her favorite ballad. An airplane overhead, like the kind he flew, will strike panic. Home is not safe. One month, two months, two years, nine years since those fatal shots — the grief never leaves.

  7. NRA Robocalls In Newtown Spark Outrage From Local Gun Control Group
    By Christina Wilkie
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/22/nra-robocalls-newtown-_n_2934948.html
    Posted: 03/22/2013

    Excerpt:
    WASHINGTON — The National Rifle Association came under fire late Thursday from members of a gun-control advocacy group in Newtown, Conn., after reports surfaced of Newtown residents receiving robocalls and pro-gun postcards from the NRA.

    The advocacy group, the Newtown Action Alliance, posted a Facebook message Thursday about the calls, prompting responses from people who said they’d received communications from the NRA and were upset by them.

    “I received one of these,” Newtown resident Christopher Wenis wrote on Facebook Thursday afternoon. “I was insulted and offended.” Wenis told The Huffington Post in an interview Friday night that in the 36 hours since he first posted his response, he received two more robocalls from the NRA, one later on Thursday night and one Friday evening.

    “I’ve got a 5-year-old son who went to preschool on the Sandy Hook Elementary School campus,” Wenis explained. “And this was a really hard week for me on a lot of levels. These calls were the very last thing I needed.”

    Wenis said that he called the NRA twice to request that his name be placed on a “Do Not Call List” — first on Tuesday and again Thursday. He said an NRA phone operator assured him he would be removed from NRA call lists. But the calls kept coming. By Friday night, Wenis said, he was desperate to be left in peace.

    Another woman, Lisa Abrams, wrote on Facebook that she had “received a call and a postcard asking me to call my congressmen and tell them ‘NO ASSUALT WEAPONS BAN’ [sic] … I was not happy and needless to say did just the opposite!”

  8. Was the biggest problem here that the police didn’t obtain a judicial warrant first? To the best of my knowledge New Jersey has a ban on assault rifles so the photo appeared to be a child holding an illegal weapon (which would be a crime in New Jersey). If the police had presented the FB photo to a magistrate it would likely have been sufficient to obtain a judicial warrant. If the child had been holding a “unaltered” hunting rifle would the response have been the same?

  9. To Tony C.
    Just for accuracy’s sake, the list of assault rifles chambered in 22 caliber is extensive. You stand corrected.

  10. milord: Just for accuracy’s sake, I said “A 22 rifle is NOT an assault weapon.”

    If you had read my post in context you would see I was responding to Vendetta, who unconditionally called the rifle an “assault weapon,” when it was described in the article as a “22 rifle.” My post was to say the two things are not SYNONYMOUS, and looks alone do not make an assault weapon, so Vendetta’s comment was an unfair escalation of the issue, there is no way to tell if the child is holding an assault weapon.

    I never said there are no 22 caliber assault weapons, in the context of my post I was saying that just looking like an assault weapon does not make it one. Since I am right, I stand by my original post.

  11. The same thing happend to me this morning at 3:00 am in bakersfield CA. I HAD A PIC OF MY CHILD HOLDING MY AK 47 FROM 3 YEARS AGO. THEY SAID tHEY HAFT TO investigate the report they came in my house and shined there flashlights on my kids then left im very upset about this and fill my civil rights were violated

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