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Interview: Attorney Evan Nappen Explains The Moore Ordeal And How To Protect Yourself From UnConstitutional Activity

March 21, 2013 by  

Interview: Attorney Evan Nappen Explains The Moore Ordeal And How To Protect Yourself From UnConstitutional Activity
Attorney Evan Nappen

In an exclusive interview with Personal Liberty Digest™, attorney Evan Nappen, the author of three books and a nationally recognized authority on firearm laws, discussed how New Jersey police and a social worker attempted to gain unConstitutional access to Shawn Moore’s home and ways that Americans can protect themselves in similar circumstances.

Personal Liberty: Do you think what happened to Mr. Moore and his family was the result of the ongoing national demonization of gun owners?

Nappen: Really, what is going on now is a culture clash. Not that many years ago, a young boy having a .22 rifle wouldn’t have been considered a big deal by anyone.

Could you give us an idea of what you advised Mr. Moore to do and what other Americans should do if they find themselves in a similar situation?

I told him, and what I would tell your readers, is that you have rights. On the back of my business cards I have an acronym that is a good one to remember any time you are confronted by the police: SAC. “S” stands for “silent”— you have 5th Amendment protections that mean you do not have to give any kind of statement to police. Next, “A” stands for “ask”: If the police are holding you in any way or demanding a statement, ask for an attorney immediately. The “C” stands for “consent”: Simply, do not consent to anything without the permission of your attorney.

In Moore’s situation, it was pretty simple: They [police and DYFS] had no warrant, so they had no right to enter the house. One of the most precious protections in the 4th Amendment is that of the home. Do not consent to letting police enter your home without a warrant.

There are some exceptions to this, like if police were involved in hot pursuit and a suspect entered a house. But that doesn’t apply here.

What might have happened if Mr. Moore had been less knowledgeable of his rights and had let the police in?

Well, once you let the camel’s nose in, who knows what they may try to contrive.

People often say, “Well, if you have nothing to hide.” But that’s just not how it works. We have due process in this country and it is not the obligation of the citizen to justify why the government doesn’t have the right to search his home. Rather, the government is charged with justifying why a search is necessary and obtaining the proper warrant.

One of the things they said they needed to do was to look at the guns in Moore’s safe and make sure they are properly registered; they told me this on the phone that night. Well, in New Jersey there is no gun registration requirement that would apply.

If he had let them do as they wished, it wouldn’t have surprised me for him to have had all of his guns confiscated for “safekeeping” — whatever that means — and we’d be fighting now to get them back.

Do you think the ordeal would’ve happened if the boy had been holding a gun that wasn’t of the “scary” black variety?

I can’t speculate as to whether this anonymous concerned citizen would have made the same call if the gun had a brown stock. But I do think we’ve gotten to a point where common sense is uncommon.

What is your opinion of the gun laws in New Jersey?

I think it is the most anti-gun State. If not the most, it ranks right alongside States like California that have extremely strict gun laws.

But there are no laws on the books barring people under the age of 18 from being involved in shooting sports under adult supervision?

Here’s the deal: As long as you’re under the supervision of a parent or guardian, you’re good to go shooting and hunting in New Jersey. So you’re right, there are no laws barring parents from teaching their children to be safe and responsible gun owners.

Practicing law for more than two decades, Nappen has dedicated his life to fighting for gun rights and honest sportsmen. He is the author of The New Jersey Gun Law Guide; Nappen II: New Jersey Gun, Knife, and Weapon Law; Nappen On New Jersey Gun Law; and The Declaration. He has as also penned numerous articles appearing in American Handgunner Magazine, Blue Book of Gun Values, NSSF Range Report, Tactical Gear Magazine, American Gunsmith Magazine, The New Gun Week, BLADE Magazine, Sporting Knives, Knives Annual, and Harper’s Magazine. Between writing books and magazine articles, the attorney wrote and produced the DVD “Gun Control – Out Of Control: How Gun Laws Make Honest Citizens Criminals.” Visit his website here.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • Ben Gardner

    Every so often, the ACLU comes in handy and will protect your rights, too. About ten years ago I got a publication from them that folds and fits nicely in a wallet. It’s only 6 pages (folded wallet size) in 6 pt type called “What to do if you’re stopped by Police, Immigration Agents or the FBI.” I recommend every patriot get a copy and keep it with them at all times. It’s still available at

    The subjects are: Your rights, Your responsibilities, If you’re stopped for questioning, If you’re stopped in your car, If you’re questioned about your immigration status (handy if live in Arizona near Maricopa County), If police or immigration agents come to your home, If you’re contacted by the FBI, If you’re arrested, If you’re taken into immigration custody, If you feel your rights have been violated.

    I’ve kept my copy in my wallet since it was first published and it’s come in handy on more than one occasion.

    The most important advice is “Keep your mouth shut”. Tell them that you plan to remain silent and you want your lawyer. By Federal Law, any questioning MUST stop at that point. Keep in mind that, if the police lie to you, that’s “investigation”. If you lie to the police, that’s “perjury.”

    • Peter Trast

      The bustcard you link to is incorrect in some places. A pat down is a search. I never consent to this, you cannot be patted down in most states just to assure the police about whether or not you have weapons unless a crime is being investigated and you are the suspect. I recommend that folks go elsewhere for advice than this ACLU link if you are NOT a suspect of a crime. The advice on that page only applies to SUSPECTS, not unlawfully detained citizens who are NOT suspects. There is a difference and you need to know it. The difference is discerned by asking the question, “What crime do you suspect I have committed, or am committing or are about to commit?” If the officer cannot articulate the crime you are suspected of committing, you are NOT being investigated, you are being harrassed and you can refuse to cooperate, to answer questions and strongly protest loudly against an illegal search, like a pat down.

      • Colleen Schaming


  • BrotherPatriot

    I like him. Evan’s a kool cat by my book.

    God Bless.

  • Carol J

    All children should be taught gun safety. They should shoot a rifle at least once to realize just how much damage it can do. I did it with my 2 older children, but not my younger son. If I had he would probably still be alive today. I did not and he was shot after he had loaded a rifle without telling anyone. His friend picked up the rifle to return it to his father’s room and not knowing it had been loaded had his finger on the trigger. That’s all it took. One boy dead and another’s whole life ruined because I didn’t do what I should have done

  • JimH

    We used to go hunting before age 18, without any grownups.
    Of course that was in the late 60′s and early 70′s.
    No thought twice about it.


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