300 Year Old Flintlock Could send 72 year old man to prison

Cumberland County, New Jersey:  Gordon Van Gilder,72, is a retired teacher who lives on a pension. He likes to collect 18th century memorabilia. But not only his pension is in jeopardy, his future is in doubt- all because of a flintlock that New Jersey police found in his glove box.


Mr. Van Gilder had the Queen Anne flintlock unloaded (they’re not easy to load in the first place) and wrapped in a cloth in his glove box. Police stopped him for a “minor traffic violation” and asked if they could search his car. He readily admitted it was in there. New Jersey’s laws do not exempt antique firearms…”Draconian” laws…  a reference that is an understatement for a gun that likely hasn’t been fired in 3 centuries.

And the violation for this ancient weapon? It’s a felony. At minimum the sentence is mandatory for 3.5 years to a maximum of 10.

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Surely they’ll use common sense and let him go

Well, they didn’t. Even with a mild disagreement between the Undersheriff and the Cumberland County Sheriff,  the Sheriff insisted that he be arrested. So the very next day after the traffic stop, several cop cars showed up at his home and whisked him off to jail.

“I was fingerprinted and I was chained by my legs to an ice cold bench. Apparently there must be a lot of drive-by flintlock shootings in North Jersey…I’m charged with a felony. That could ruin my life. That could hurt my pension that I spent 34 years acquiring. And I couldn’t vote. It’s not right, it’s not fair.” Gordon Van Gilder

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A designation of felony will jeopardize his pension, not to mention his future. Ten years on a man who is 72 years old may simply be a life sentence.

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Mr. Van Gilder does have an attorney- a relatively well known lawyer who specializes in gun laws – Evan Nappen. Even if Mr. Nappen is able to get a deal for the him,  the conviction of a felony will destroy the pension he worked so hard to get over a 34 year career.

“I called the prosecutor to see what we could do on this, and the prosecutor told me that they were waiting for ballistics. And I’m thinking, ‘What? Ballistics on a flintlock?” Evan Nappen

Right, Mr. Nappen, sounds like the only thing they are doing is destroying a man’s life- it has nothing whatever to do with enforcing the “law.”

Is this the purpose of gun laws? To throw a 72 year old antique collector in prison?

Proponents of gun control always say they want the criminals off the streets. But in recent years, they talk about gun owners as the criminals, not the gang-bangers, the terrorists, the people with evil intent.

Mr. Van Gilder’s case is EXACTLY why we must fight for our gun rights in America. It ‘s the very reason we cannot trust the government in any way shape or form to preserve our 2nd Amendment freedom.