You might think that having a permit to carry a handgun would be enough to make police leave you alone if they find you with one. But if you’re in New Jersey, think again.
Roosevelt Twyne, 25, is an African-American security guard who works for an armored car company. He was arrested in February after Roselle Park police pulled him over. The reason? He has tinted windows on his car.
When officers searched his vehicle, they discovered a handgun and polymer-tipped Hornady “Critical Duty” ammunition. Twyne explained to the officers that he carries the gun for his job, and that he was on his way home from work.
Nevertheless, Twyne was charged for illegally possessing the ammunition. The police claimed that they were “hollow point” rounds. He was also charged for illegally transporting his gun, despite the fact that Twyne has a valid permit to carry.
The ammunition was, in fact, issued by Twyne’s employer. And indeed, the New Jersey State Police website itself says that Hornady “Critical Duty” rounds are not considered hollow point bullets, and explicitly states that they are legal.
The gun Twyne was carrying, a Smith & Wesson, is the same as the one named on his permit to carry. He also possesses a Security Officer Registration Act card for his job. None of this made any difference to the arresting officers.
The case seems to underscore the fact that even the New Jersey police don’t understand the state’s own gun laws. New Jersey’s gun legislation is among the most complex and stringent in the entire nation.
Twyne, who has a clean criminal record and was charged with no other wrongdoing, has nevertheless had his life disrupted, as he has been suspended from his job since the incident. Despite having done nothing wrong, he has had to suffer at the whims of the New Jersey police.
Twyne’s case is due to be heard next month in New Jersey’s Superior Court. His attorney has set up an online legal defense fund for him at GoGetFunding. It has already raised more than $60,000.