ROSELLE PARK, N.J. – Whenever excessive firearms regulations go into effect, it is rarely the criminal who is penalized, but the person who is trying to adhere to the law.
Case in point: A New Jersey gun owner is fighting charges for carrying a firearm for which he had a permit and ammunition state police have publicly said is legal.
Roselle Park Police arrested Roosevelt Twyne, a 25-year-old security guard, in February after a traffic stop stemming from tinted windows on his car. Evan Nappen, Twyne’s attorney, told the Washington Free Beacon that his client was then erroneously charged for illegally carrying a firearm and being in possession of so-called hollow point ammunition.
“He was arrested for the hollow point ammunition,” Nappen told the Free Beacon. “Then they claimed he was transporting his handgun illegally. He had a permit to carry a handgun. The law … makes it clear that it’s illegal to transport unless you are licensed pursuant to chapter 58. And that is precisely what a handgun carry permit is.”
Roselle Park Police Chief Daniel J. McCaffery did not return a request for comment. The Union County Prosecutor’s Office did not respond to questions about the charges against Twyne, reported Fox News.
Nevertheless, the prosecutor’s office said his case will be heard next month in New Jersey Superior Court.
Nappen said the ammunition that led to Twyne’s arrest was the same ammunition issued by his employer. He also pointed to a New Jersey State Police website that says the polymer-tipped Hornady “Critical Duty” ammunition in question is “not considered to be hollow point ammunition” and not illegal to possess in the state—the website goes so far as to specifically name “Critical Duty” as an example of legal ammunition.
“It’s lawful,” Nappen told the Free Beacon. “It’s publicly announced as lawful because it is. It’s not hollow. It’s filled.”
The charges against Twyne are representative of the difficulties of navigating New Jersey’s gun laws, which are among the strictest in the nation. They may also reveal issues in police officers understanding of the state’s voluminous, complex gun restrictions. The case also shows how disruptive gun-related charges can be, even when the accused has a clean record and is not alleged to have done anything violent.
Twyne said he has not been able to work in nearly a month and his life has been turned upside down.
“Honestly, it’s been traumatic and has impacted my life in a way that I’ve never experienced before,” he told the Free Beacon in a statement. “It’s hard because now even looking for a part time job or any job, it’s made it so much harder for me. Not only has it tainted my name and reputation, which I have worked hard to attain, not just growing up in Elizabeth, but as a black man trying to make a difference.”
Judge Robert Kirsch will hear Twyne’s case at 9 a.m. on April 2, according to the prosecutor’s office.