New Jersey law enforcement officials in February arrested and prosecuted a security guard for illegal firearm transportation and possession of hollow-point ammunition even though the guard holds a concealed carry permit and had loaded his firearm with legal ammunition.
Roosevelt Twyne, 25, was arrested one block away from his house by Roselle Park Police after being pulled over for tinted windows. As he explained to Fox & Friends, he informed the officer that he was carrying a firearm and provided all the necessary documentation, including his concealed carry permit, SORA (Security Officer Registration Act) Card, and New Jersey Firearms Purchaser Identification Card. The firearm in his possession was also lawfully purchased and registered in New Jersey.
His firearm was loaded with Hornady Critical Defense ammunition, which is mentioned by name on the New Jersey State Police department’s website as being exempt from the ban on hollow-point ammunition.
None of that was enough to satisfy the arresting officers or the Union County Prosecutor’s office, which charged Twyne with unlawful possession of hollow-point ammunition under NJS 2C:39-3F(1) and unlawful transportation of a weapon under NJS 2C:39-9D.
“What’s happening here is the befuddlement of New Jersey gun laws,” Twyne’s attorney, Evan F. Nappen told Fox News. “The problem is, you hear a lot about victims of gun violence. We don’t hear about… victims of gun laws. The laws being so convoluted and so messed up in terms of trying to do the right thing.”
Nappen noted that Twyne had jumped “through every hoop to make sure he was fully vetted” in obtaining one of only 800 concealed carry permits issued by the State of New Jersey.
“Once they got all of his licenses, he’s a block away from home and everything is clear now,” Nappen told the Washington Free Beacon. “You arrest him and put these charges on him? I mean, who is this person we’re dealing with now? This isn’t some gang banger that they’ve been trying to get forever and they finally can put something on him because he’s such a danger to the public. This is a good guy. Licensed. He just showed you everything. He’s not a danger to anybody. He’s a good guy on our side. On the side of law and order. Why is he then subjected to the next phase with both the charges that are baseless?”
The Roselle Park Police Department issued a statement to Fox News responding to the arrest, saying, “Mr. Twyne was charged after it was determined that he was not in compliance with the specifications of the law pertaining to the lawful transportation of his firearm. These charges were approved by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office.”
Twyne told Fox News that he’s had some trouble making ends meet after being suspended from his work as a security guard for an armored vehicle company.
“It’s made it hard for me to work. I’m currently suspended due to the pending charges. It’s a little hard right now trying to find something to keep me on my feet,” he said
Nappen started a crowdfunding campaign to help Twyne pay for legal fees, which has so far raised over $50,000 from over 2,100 people.
This isn’t the first time New Jersey officials have come under fire for aggressively prosecuting legal gun owners. In 2013 a Pennsylvania woman named Shaneen Allen was arrested in New Jersey for unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of hollow-point ammunition. Allen, who was also represented by Nappen, was eventually pardoned by then-Governor Chris Christie because it was clear to all involved that she made an honest mistake. But the incident received national attention and demonstrated the increasingly confusing array of New Jersey gun laws.
Twyne’s charges are 4th degree felony-level crimes with potential 18 months imprisonment for each.