New Jersey police and Dept. of Children and Families officials raided the home of a firearms instructor and demanded to see his guns after he posted a Facebook photo of his 11-year-old son holding a rifle.
“Someone called family services about the photo,” said Evan Nappen, an attorney representing Shawn Moore. “It led to an incredible, heavy-handed raid on his house. They wanted to see his gun safe, his guns and search his house. They even threatened to take his kids.”
Moore was not arrested or charged.
A Dept. of Children and Families spokesperson told me they could not confirm or deny an investigation or raid had taken place due to government regulations.
“The department has a child abuse hotline for the state of New Jersey and anybody can make a call to that hotline,” spokesperson Kristen Brown said. “We are required to follow up on every single allegation that comes into the central registry.”
Moore, of Carneys Point, is a certified firearms instructor for the National Rifle Association, an NRA range safety officer and a New Jersey hunter education instructor.
He recently posted a photograph of his son wearing camouflage and holding his new .22 rifle. The child has a New Jersey hunting license and recently passed the state’s hunter safety course.
“If you look at the picture, his finger isn’t even on the trigger – which is proper,” Nappen told me. “If half of Hollywood could follow that rule we’d be thankful.”
Brown said their role is not to go out and search Facebook for photos of children holding weapons.
“In general our role is to investigate allegations of child abuse and neglect,” she said.
The family’s trouble started Saturday night when Moore received an urgent text message from his wife. The Carneys Point Police Dept. and the New Jersey Dept. of Children and Families had raided their home.
Moore immediately called Nappen and rushed home to find officers demanding to check his guns and his gun safe.
Instead, he handed his cell phone to one of the officers – so they could speak with Nappen.
“If you have a warrant, you’re coming in,” Nappen told the officers. “If you don’t, then you’re not. That’s what privacy is all about.”
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