“Beware of New Jersey. Don’t come here. Don’t live here. Here I am, a retired teacher coming out of this house in handcuffs for having a flintlock pistol, and now I’m charged with a felony. It’s unbelievable. It’s outrageous. It’s an insult to decent people,” Gordon van Gilder told NRA News.
The retired teacher, who collects 18th century history antiques, was found possessing a 300-year-old unloaded, flintlock pistol, which is not considered “firearms” under Federal law. But under New Jersey’s laws, it is counted as a felony.
The pistol was wrapped in white cloth when Gilder pointed it out to deputies who asked if the there is anything they should be aware of during the traffic stop.
The officer inspected the weapon and let him go, but the next day he was arrested when officers came to his home.
“Next morning, I’m sleeping and I hear big pounding on the door- four of them came and handcuffed me and took me away with three or four sheriff’s cars. I was fingerprinted and chained by my legs to an ice cold bench,” Gilder said.
According to his attorney, Evan Nappen, who specialized in gun law cases, the felony offense could jeopardize the teacher’s pension and right to vote and could also mean life behind bars.
Van Gilder refuses to take such risk, saying “It’s a world upside down, run by oppressors. I’m afraid to say, who get their agenda through.”
"I like to mind my own business and not bother anybody but I have no choice here. I've been thrown to the lions so I'm going to fight back," he said. "Maybe I did violate New Jersey law, but as a very wise man once said once upon a time, if that's the law, then the law's an ass."