Privacy   |    Financial   |    Current Events   |    Self Defense   |    Miscellaneous   |    Letters To Editor   |    About Off The Grid News   |    Off The Grid Videos   |    Weekly Radio Show

10 Years In Prison For Owning This 250-Year-Old Flintlock Gun?

antique pistolA retired school teacher is facing as much as a 10-year prison sentence because he had an unloaded 250-year-old antique pistol in his car.

Four sheriff deputies took 72-year-old Gordon Van Gilder from his home in handcuffs because of the incident, even though Van Gilder voluntarily told the police he had the pistol.

“Beware of New Jersey, don’t come here, don’t live here,” Van Gilder told NRA News.

Van Gilder was arrested and charged with a felony because he was carrying a pistol without a permit. New Jersey’s gun control laws have no exemptions for antique weapons. Van Gilder bought the pistol to add to his collection of 18th century objects.

“I’m charged with a felony that could ruin my life,” Van Gilder said. “That could hurt my pension that I spent 34 years acquiring. I couldn’t vote now.”

His attorney was just as appalled.

“He’s facing up to 10 years in state prison with a minimum of mandatory three and a half to five years, no chance of parole, because New Jersey’s modern handgun law includes antique handguns,” Van Gilder’s attorney, Evan F. Nappen, told NRA News.

Nappen noted that antique firearms are exempt from federal gun control laws.

Arrested for Owning a Collector’s Item

“Apparently there must be a lot of drive-by flintlock shootings in North Jersey to account for the fear the state has of ancient collectible pistols,” Van Gilder said.

How To Hide Your Guns, And Other Off-Grid Caches…

Van Gilder’s nightmare began when a Cumberland County Sheriff’s Deputy pulled him over on a minor traffic infraction in November 2014. The deputy asked Van Gilder what he had in the car, and Van Gilder mentioned the gun. The deputy let Van Gilder go, but the next day sheriff deputies came to his house and arrested him.

The weapon Van Gilder was arrested for carrying is a flintlock, a single shot black-powder weapon that can take a full minute to load. To load the weapon you have to take off the barrel and then use a special rod to ram a ball and powder into it. The pistol is similar to the weapons used in the American Revolution. The flintlock is so hard to load that it is designed to use as a club, making it a lousy self-defense weapon.

Nappen said a prosecutor had told him the sheriff’s department is doing ballistics testing on the pistol in an effort to determine if it was used in any crimes. A firearms expert interviewed by the NRA’s Ginny Simone called the testing a waste of time. Ballistics tests do not work on flintlocks because they do not have a rifled barrel which leaves marks for testing.

Story continues below the video

Not the Only One

Simply carrying a pistol can be considered a felony in New Jersey. In 2013, single mother Shaneen Allen was held in jail for 40 days in Atlantic County, New Jersey, because she was carrying a pistol for which she had a Pennsylvania concealed weapons permit that was not valid in New Jersey, as Off The Grid News reported.

Carrying any pistol without a permit is a second degree felony in New Jersey. The law makes no exemptions for antiques or non-working weaponry.

Not surprisingly, Van Gilder wants to leave New Jersey. He is not alone; moving company United Van Lines reported that more people are leaving New Jersey than any other state.

The Van Gilder Legal Defense Fund has raised $3,315 for Van Gilder’s Defense at GoGetFunding.com. Visit his page here.

What is your reaction to this story? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Get $367.52 Worth Of Survival Blueprints … Absolutely Free!

© Copyright Off The Grid News

10 comments

  1. The cop probably figures the relic is worth some $ and wants to steal it.
    Isnt this the state with the neocon favorite fatso governor?
    And the home of Newark, one of the worse crime ridden s–t holes in the US?

  2. What a travesty.

  3. Really unconstitutional to take a mans weapons as long as he american and does not any prior feloneys he sould be protected by second

  4. Welcome to the Peoples Republic of New Jersey!!
    I really don’t pity this guy. He could of and should have moved out of Jersey when he retired.
    I know a lot of people live in Jersey because they make big $ there compared with surrounding states.
    They pay huge amounts of taxes and the highest auto insurance in the country. I have talked with people from there and they thought a republican gov was going to change some things. All they got was a lard ass, big mouth that went along with the big money invisible controllers.
    If you want to buy a gun there are so many loops and hoops you have to go through it is pathetic.
    They resurrected the biggest anti-gunner, Frank Lautenberg – they deserve what they have.
    The number of people I have met from Jersey that I can say I liked can be counted on one hand.

  5. So much for “The right of the People to keep and bear arms shall NOT be infringed.”

  6. WOW! HOW CAN ONE OWN A GUN IF ONE CAN’T EVEN TRANSPORT IT TO THE HOME IN TH FIRST PLACE. HOW COULD A STATE VIOLATE THE SECOND AMENDMENT, SECURITY OF A FREE STATE, THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS, SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. AS WELL, A VIOLATION OF THE FOURTH AMENDMENT FOR BEING ARRESTED AT HOME, SINCE THE POLICE RELEASED HIM THE DAY BEFORE. PEOPLE IN LARGE NORTHERN CITIES ARE IGNORANT WHEN IT COMES TO GUNS. MOST ARE AFRAID OF SOMETHING THEY HAVE NEVER OWNED OR USED. GUN CONTROL DOESN’T STOP THE CRIMINALS FROM GETTING THEM, IT ONLY RESTRICTS LAW ABIDING CITIZENS. WE CARRY GUNS ALMOST EVERYWHERE IN TEXAS, THEREFORE CRIMINALS HESITATE TO MUG YOU IN FEAR OF BEING KILLED IN THE PROCESS. GUN CONTROL WON’T STOP TRAGIC EVENTS EITHER, ARMED CITIZENS IN SOME CASES HAVE PREVENTED ADDITIONAL DEATHS. FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS, OR LOSE ALL OF THEM.

  7. 250 year old gun , Thats Ridiculous . Idiots! as tax payers we expect them to do there jobs .But use common sense. Its always the poor or middle class , never the rich .

  8. You get what you vote for. I hope they all freeze in the dark. Whatever you do PLEASE don’t move to TEXAS. We do NOT want your liberal a$$es here.

  9. Agree with you Mark, they vote for trash and get trash. Things are a bit different here in Arkisaw, but we do have a few problems. Maybe they can be fixed, but still a decent place to live.

  10. I feel very sorry for the poor man and would never set foot in New Jersey after reading this… But this story has terrible information about flintlocks. It is very easy to shoot four rounds a minuet if using paper cartridges, and you by no means have to “remove the barrel”. Whoever did the research in this needs to be reevaluated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*