New Jersey native Danny Burt inherited his grandfather’s M1 carbine in 2006. Burt’s grandfathered served in WWII, so the iconic rifle meant a lot to the Cumberland County resident.
In April 2013, Burt’s entire gun collection — including the M1 carbine and 20 other firearms — was confiscated by the New Jersey State Police after a temporary restraining order was filed against him.
A month later, the restraining order was dropped. When Burt, who had no criminal history, attempted to reclaim his firearms, the court ruled that “the M-1 carbine is an illegal weapon and is therefore improper to possess.”
“Burt claimed the rifle had considerable sentimental value to him, and that he had no knowledge as to whether the gun was operable,” the decision states.
While the court offered its sympathy, it iterated that not only was the weapon “contraband” but since it’s a second-degree felony to possess the rifle in the first place, the court granted the prosecutor’s request to force Burt to forfeit his entire gun collection as well as his firearms purchaser’s identification card.
From the court documents:
Here, of course, plaintiff had not one but two hearings in which he stipulated to a statutory basis for forfeiture, namely his possession of an illegal assault firearm, the M1 carbine, resulting in a judicial finding disqualifying him from gun ownership in New Jersey and revoking his firearms purchaser identification card. Possession of an assault firearm is a second-degree crime under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5f.
As the prosecutor correctly asserts, “the weapon is contraband [which] can never be returned to [Burt].” Accordingly, because Burt has had a weapon seized as a result of a domestic violence complaint that has not and can never be lawfully returned to him, he is subject to the specific disability under the Gun Control Law contained in N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3c(8).