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When American Values Are Child Abuse: The Bureaucratic Harassment Of Shawn Moore And Son

March 21, 2013 by  

When American Values Are Child Abuse: The Bureaucratic Harassment Of Shawn Moore And Son

Even as 2nd Amendment advocates scored a small victory when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) struck Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) scary-gun ban bill from the legislative push for firearm control, knee-jerk absurdity continues throughout the Nation as a result of government demonization of gun owners.

But what happened to Shawn Moore and his family after he Facebook-posted a picture of his son, Josh, grinning from ear to ear as he proudly displayed the .22 caliber rifle he had just received for his birthday demonstrates a frightening new American reality: Bureaucrats now consider teaching your children firearm safety and respect a form of potential abuse.

Because the photo was of the 11-year-old New Jersey resident holding a .22 caliber replica of an AR-15, an allegedly concerned citizen notified the State’s Department of Youth and Family Services (DYFS). A representative (who refused to give Moore her name) from DYFS followed up on the call, accompanied by police officers in tactical gear. The DYFS representative and police officers demanded to be granted warrantless access to the Moore home and to be allowed to check serial numbers on all of the firearms in Moore’s gun safe “to ensure that they were properly registered.” (New Jersey does not require registration; it is voluntary.)


Moore contacted attorney Evan Nappen, an authority on New Jersey gun laws, and was advised to refuse any unConstitutional warrantless searches of his home. And after threats to take his children and get a warrant and other forms of intimidation, the cadre of agents of the State left empty-handed.

Moore first told his story on an open carry enthusiast forum before a media firestorm erupted:

The fight has officially been brought to my front door

Last night I was out with a buddy of mine. I got a text from my wife that the cops and dyfs are at the house and they wanna check out my guns and needed me to open my safe.
I’m instantly on my way. I get in contact with evan Nappen on the way. I explain the situation. I walk in my house and hand the phone to the first cop I see. Then direct all of em outside. Dyfs got a call because of a pic on my son holding a gun. They wanted to look around and check all my guns out, make sure they were all registered. Obviously that didn’t go well because I refused. I had Nappen on speaker phone the entire time so they had to deal with both of us. They kept trying to pressure me to open my safe. They had no warrant, no charges, nothing. I didn’t budge. I was told I was being “unreasonable” and that I was acting suspicious because I wouldn’t open my safe. Told me they were gonna get a search warrant. Told em go ahead. Nappen (my lawyer) asked me for the dyfs workers name. she wouldnt give it. i asked for credentials and she wouldnt show em. i tried to take a pic of her and she turned around real fast and walked away. After a while of them threatening to take my kids, get warrants and intimidation they left. Empty handed and seeing nothing.

People it can happen that fast. Most people wouldn’t have stood up to them like I did.

Remarkably, according to Moore’s attorney, the agencies involved in the nighttime raid could have done simple research of documents available in State databases and avoided harassing the family at all. Had the agents of the State done due diligence, they might have learned that Moore holds three significant firearms designations, including a National Rifle Association Certified Firearms Instructor, NRA Certified Range Safety Instructor and New Jersey State Certified Firearms Hunting Instructor. His young son is a licensed hunter in the State, a designation that requires firearm safety training.

Moore did what many Americans fail to do when harassed by overzealous police and social workers: He knew and exerted his rights and contacted an attorney at first chance.

Calls made to New Jersey DYFS were transferred to a voicemail account of an agency representative with a voice recording informing callers that she would be unreachable until April 4 because of legal obligations.

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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  • ? Chocopot

    The Left at work, protecting our Constitutional rights… LOL!

    • JeffH

      Simply said and concise! :)


      ~300 MILLION Americans DIDN’T SHOOT anyone AT ALL. Not even by accident.

      Join us in telling them to STOP PUNISHING THE INNOCENT

      STOP IT


      • Vicki

        Hey JeffH. Have you noticed the absence of the “usual suspects” in all the recent discussions involving guns? Wonder what they are afraid of. They used to hit these discussions hard.

      • JeffH

        Vicki, yes I have. I guess they’re feeling like they aren’t winning the disussion…mainly because the 2nd Amendment and the right to defend self, property from the criminals(government?)with a gun is not only a natural right but it’s also a bi-partisan right…that and their only arguement is based on the falsity of the rhetorical spin on “assault weapon’s”. That or they’re licking their wounds over Feinstein’s gun ban failings…for now anyway. Reality can be hard on some of them.

        I’m also wondering if the resident pro-government anti-gun Coloradan has been put on permanent leave…sent packing for good?

  • Peter

    Smacks of ‘Sieg Heil’ to me. The gendarmes and so-called ‘officials’ have all the gonads in the world until they’re legitimately challenged. Pffft!

  • Fed up

    Damn the government – dissolve it!

  • dan

    no statute …no warrant….clearly a home invasion

  • Chris

    As much as I am against hunting, I understand his “freedom” to post that picture on facebook, and that people have been teaching their children to hunt with a gun for as long as guns have been around. However, because of so many school shootings in this country, I can also see why alarmists have reported this. He made a bad choice in posting that picture………it only brought him aggravation and wasted time in having to deal with this……….bottom line is: “WHY” would you want anyone in authority to KNOW what you have anyway? If it were ME, I’d want to keep that knowledge FROM them.

    • ? Chocopot

      I understand what you are saying, but there is still a Constitution in effect in this country and one is ‘innocent’ until proven ‘guilty.’ And frankly, I am at a loss to understand what it is that that photograph might imply that was against any law. More leftist nonsense.

      • 45caliber


        The one thing that interested me the most was that they wanted to get the numbers for all his guns to make sure they were all registered. Since it isn’t against the law to own an unregistered gun there, why were they doing that? And why did the CPS person refuse to be identified? What else do they have in mind for everyone if they believe they can come out and check your guns without a search warrant whenever they wish?

      • ? Chocopot


        They are behaving much like a secret police force would behave. They do not show ID, they do not feel the need for a warrant, they demand things they have no possible reason or justification to demand, and so on. It’s like we have a totalitarian dictatorship running things – which of course is what Obama really wants for us and is working toward creating.

      • spygirl2

        Given the mass murders (and resultant hysteria, perfectly understood) of late: The father should have used better judgement than to photograph his son in camo outfit and with an AK. When I was growing up, we were given BB rifles at age 11 or 12, to shoot cans with, even if our fathers were hunters. I don’t entirely agree that this father was being responsible given the present, excess violence by youth in today’s culture. He should have used more sense. Personally, one is “slaughtering” not hunting (sporting) when using the weapon the “child” has. I am as appalled by this photo as I am with the way the respective agencies acted in this regard.

      • right-leaner


        “Given the mass murders (and resultant hysteria, perfectly understood) of late: The father should have used better judgement than to photograph his son in camo outfit and with an AK.”

        Ummm, with all due respect, that gun is not an AK.

        It is a rifle designed to look like an AR-15 style rifle. It fires a .22LR cartridge, which is a weak round designed for small game and target shooting.

        ” Personally, one is “slaughtering” not hunting (sporting) when using the weapon the “child” has. ”

        Really? With a .22 rifle?

        Did you read the article? Because it says right here…

        “Because the photo was of the 11-year-old New Jersey resident holding a .22 caliber replica of an AR-15, “

  • Dan

    Get your lawyers lined up and on speed-dial now!

  • Dave

    When I was a kid many years ago, all the schools had shooting teams. I remember taking a .22 cal rifle to school on the NYC subway system. I also remember walking on country roads with my .22 plinking away at rocks, dead wood, tin cans, etc. It never entered my mind to shoot anyone. I also recall seeing a 60 Minutes program where it showed Leonid Brezhnev (the Russian General Secretary) casually reading a newspaper in a taxi while on his way to work at the Kremlin! No guards; no secret service, no big deal. In the same program, they showed then Pres. Reagan surrounded by secret service agents, armed guards, bulletproof vehicles and so on.

    That says something about our contemporary society.

    The problem isn’t individual killers – it will never be possible to prevent isolated random murders. It’s the mainstream violence that needs to change. The U.S. is full of hatred and violence everywhere you look. Think of that nice friendly, folksy everyday Americana: Kill the umpire; Moider da bums; Kill the Yankees; Kill the dirty Muslims; Kill the dirty Russians; Kill the dirty Chinks; Go ahead punk, make my day; Rambo; The Godfather; Scarface; Bonnie and Clyde; Goodfellas; Stallone; Pacino; Eastwood; Schwarzenegger, John Wayne; the hog slop posing as music, and so on and on and on.

    Anyone with half a brain can see that violence control, not gun control, is the real issue that needs to be addressed. Guns are inanimate objects that by themselves don’t kill people. Hatred and violence actively promoted and encouraged 24/7 by Hollywood in movies, television, video games, music and sports kill people!

    In order to avoid confronting the real issues, the politicians safely point the finger at guns and ammunition, the NRA and the mentally ill. They’re also quick to include target shooters, hunters, kids and other good family people (who they want you to think that deep down are really only criminals waiting to snap.)


    Two blatant examples of this systemic violence are the movie titled “Bullet to the Head” now being shamelessly promoted by Hollywood only a few weeks after the massacre in Connecticut and the FULL DAY of RAMBO movies that were featured by AMC on New Year’s Day! Good PR Hollywood – such a nice show of respect for 20 dead kids.
    What the hell, on with the show! Business as usual!

    • 45caliber

      It is also a lot cheaper (for politicians) to insist they want to take all guns to solve crime problems than it is to hire the necessary police to arrest them. After all, the real expense of seizing guns comes from the gun owner who gets his expensive guns stolen. To a politician, spending (taxpayer) money on anything other than buying votes is BAD.

      But I’ll bet you something. When they do decide to seize the guns, the rich won’t have to worry about their own. It will be only the poor and middle class who will have to give them up.

  • DigitheadRex

    It is illegal for a government official to refuse to identify him/her self when supposedly acting in an official capacity.

    The young man is holding the rifle in a proper manner according to rules of gun safety, finger off trigger with the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Unlike Dianne Feinstein’s muzzle sweep of a crowd with an AK-47 with her finger on the trigger.

    Nice to her on Fox and Friends that no charges will be filed, since no crime, other than an anonymous false child abuse report, was committed. It is becoming more and more apparent that SWAT teams are being misused regularly. Perhaps it is the intentional overreaction in an effort to provoke a response they can use to turn another honest citizen into a criminal, or a corpse.

    • Firefly

      Someone has pointed out that the problem that there is no penalty for filing a false report. THAT IS A MAJOR DEFECT in the law. There should be at least a $500 fine and 30 days for doing so! A SWAT team of some sort descended on a home recently because an “anonymous” tip was that they were running a drug lab of some sort.The steam from the boiling was quite evident and the lady in charge invited the officers to sample her freshly made maple syrup. This wastes taxpayers money and agents time which could be better spent working on catching real criminals, some of whom, like the major banks, are “to big to prosecute”.

      • spygirl2

        Thanks to Obama and his Far Left comrades, we are a country more divided than ever before. This means paranoia is rife, with the consequence that everybody likes to be a snoop on their neighbors (especially if they have a beef with a neighbor). It’s a new kind of witch hunting, and this exactly what the people of other countries live with (particularly Russia, throughout its history). Also why we have ridiculous arrests of small children who bring Boy Scout camping utensils to school in backpacks (quite innocently), or a kindergartner expelled for bringing a 1-1/2″ toy soldier to school. We are a society of nut jobs who lack common sense – generally most prevalent in an increasingly Socialist country (or worse, totalitarian state). Am I worried, as a veteran (and descendant of many veterans), hell, yes! The America we knew is no longer recognizable to my father (he’s only 74 years old), that is indeed scary. I miss Reagan: he wasn’t perfect, but for a politician, he at least didn’t sell us out down the road to commie-land.

  • Rob

    I listened to the father during an interview this morning and he said that the DYFS official and cop were there for more than an hour arguing and making threats if he did not show them the contents of his gun safe and allow them to record the serial numbers. The whole time, he had his lawyer on the phone who was advising him to show them nothing and absolutely not let them into the house. Of course, this is one more attempt of forced registration and a blatant violation of this man’s 2nd and 4th Amendment rights although he was not violating any federal or state law. has anyone heard anything from Chris Christie regarding this “home invasion” attempt?

  • MoHa

    Most people don’t understand that there’s not one government agency (including the CIA, FBI, DHS, DYFS, and myriad of other government alphabet soup agencies) that has ANY jurisdiction on private property…except for the local sheriff WITH a warrant! Moore did exactly what every freedom loving American should do when confronted with over zealous beaurocrats, stand your ground and order them OFF your property. I would also advise them they are welcome to return with the sheriff & a legal warrant…until then “pound sand!”

    • spygirl2

      The myriad of government agencies may not have “jurisdiction over private property”, but that won’t keep them from trying (by threat of showing a gun) to get in. This is why there is an entire “bugging’ industry going on against private, suspect, citizens by those various agencies. In reality, most laws can be fudged due to “perceived” acts of terrorism, illegal activities and other threats to other citizens, and to our government(s). Most people can be bullied into acceptance, etc. if a government agency shows up (fear of injury, death or jail, cowers most people). No one is really as safe as our government and its laws seem to suggest (ditto European countries as well). A few years back, guys in grey suits were dumping a body in the Potomac while a family (undiscovered) had a picnic lunch on the lawn and had to continue feigning ignorance. Governments function as long as they can create/fabricate a perceived safety in law and prosperity/order for its people. Some governments are just better at this facade than others.

  • Texas Ride

    The criminals were the ones wearing the “tactical gear” and “badges!”

    I hope the father sues the heck out of New Jersey! Americans need to put a STOP to this kind of radical, tyrannical government abuse! Of course, these creeps would come at night thinking the father would have no recourse with attorney offices closed, judges unavailble to the public and friends asleep. The GOVERNMENT GESTAPO is alive and well! It is just the beginning.

    • Gordon in Texas

      It’s all about intimidation and power. My kids and their friends were constantly harassed by the local police. When they were stopped for a traffic check they would be asked if the officer could perform a search of the vehicle. Their instructions from me were to call me and refuse a search. Most young people are intimidated into allowing a search, which is against the law. It’s all about being educated in your rights and then standing up to these power-hungry tyrants who wish to take those rights away.

  • 45caliber

    One thing I learned from this … have your lawyer on the line at the time. They don’t like that since the lawyer knows the laws better than they do. Further, it is harder to intimidate the owner.

  • 45caliber

    Here in Texas, the CPS came out to one person’s house on the annonomus claim that the place was unsafe for children … nine months after it was placed. When the owner refused to let her in to inspect the place without a warrant, she informed him that she didn’t have time to get warrants. Then she called the police. When two showed up, she told them to seize the children because the house was unsafe. When the owner demanded to know how she knew that, she stated that since he wouldn’t let her in, it had to be unsafe. He finally allowed her in and the children were left. But it shows that the CPS doesn’t believe in following the law and that they don’t mind taking children if the owner doesn’t obey instantly.

    • Gordon in Texas

      CPS in Texas are a joke! When my son was staying with his mother there were times when he was in an unsafe environment: gun fired in the house while he was there, being picked up at school by a drug dealer, being struck by mother’s boyfriend, etc. I called CPS and they did nothing. Wouldn’t even go out to the house. And even if they do go to the house they usually call to let the owner of the house know they’re coming. Texas CPS is usless!

    • BillT

      No warrant can’t come in. Threaten to take my son, I would have a quick talk with my son about what was happening, then still tell them no. If they took my son, the next call would be to a lawyer. When explained, kids over 7 years old can understand.

  • Cap’n John

    Let’s see if the Governor really stands by and for the people and gets to the bottom of this. If he doesn’t he richly deserves the derision and scorn he received because of his fawning comments after Hurricane Sandy. Shame on any officer sworn to uphold the law and on DYFS (Doofus??), an agency created to protect, not terrorize children, who would be involved in a shameful display of governmental bullying like this.

  • STEVE E.

    These officers should be tried and convicted for treason. No doubt about that.

  • Charlie R

    What you see now is only the beginning. Politicians are and will control every aspect of your life; the police / homeland security are now the enforcers. Obamas AHCA is the tool the government will use to control everything form child care to how you will die. “Cradle to Grave” becomes reality under the Obama Administration. American Voters no not what they have done.

    Now, as if Obama is not bad enough, some of our politicians favor UN treaty legislation that carries all this to another level. ” Internet Taxation, Small Arms Control, Child Health Care, and Law of The Sea” are all proposed treaties and UN’s way of gaining world domination. Think this is NUTS! Then you are absolutely correct.

  • Evangleine Brabant

    I am a supporter of the 2nd Amendment, and of the fight to preserve our waining liberties nder the totalitrarian agenda of the current admninistration. They cannot take over the country, as planned, until they take our guns.

    I am proud of this man for his stand, and forcing the beaurocrats to back off. Shocking event.

    That said, I find it upsetting that an 11 year old is an accomplished hunter, happy to kill helpless animals.

    • BillT

      I take it then that you are 100% vegan???

    • Carol J, California

      My parents were both farm raised and proficient with guns. I received a Red Ryder BB rifle for Christmas when I was 3 1/2. My Dad then took me out away from town and taught me how to use it and stressed that I was never to point it at anyone. I am now 71 and have never pointed even a toy gun at anyone. When we played Cowboys and Indians we always pointed the guns in the air. I have also been trained by the Junior NRA and hold all the badges.

    • Josey Wales

      Quote: “That said, I find it upsetting that an 11 year old is an accomplished hunter, happy to kill helpless animals.”

      What I find upsetting, Evangleine, is your arrogance and ignorance.

      #1 Arrogance. This is due to the fact that since an 11 year old boy doesn’t feel the same way as you, and you obviously believe he should. (Otherwise why would you have posted what you did)
      #2 Ignorance. By this I mean nothing more than you simply don’t know.
      I realize that you, being much more enlightened than the rest of us, could not stoop so low as to find out what hunting (of any sort) is all about. But you really should. If you did, you would find out that animals are not helpless. They are quicker than humans, faster than humans, have better senses of hearing and smell than humans, and many of them are stronger than humans. Most also have no problem running (or flying) away if ANYTHING happens that startles them. Some also have far better vision than humans, but not all.
      Here is the other part of this, but I do not expect you to understand it. My days of hunting were several decades ago, but back then it was all about being in the woods with family and friends. It was about the comaraderie, and the beauty of nature. If you went deer hunting (for example) and brought home a buck, it was just frosting on the cake, because the main thing was that you were out in the woods all day.

      If you don’t like hunting, that is fine. But to me it is obvious that you have a disdain for those that do, and probably would like to see no more hunting. Why can’t you (and more importantly, others like you) just leave others that don’t believe as you do alone? Hunters are not making you hunt, why try to stop the hunters?

    • Stuart Shepherd

      Did you want him to shoot at ARMED animals? Would that somehow make it more palatable to you? Who cares what you think, anyway.

  • bxarmybrat

    I hope they sue this over-zealous police agency out of existence..what is happening to this country?

  • John Brown

    I solved the Curse of the Zeroes. My advice to the Moore family and all Christians that love Jesus and hate abortion, is that they should leave the Sodom states soon, those that legalised abortion. They are about to get destroyed. But, before they are wiped off the face of the earth, these stories will multiply, while the state increases it’s ungodly grip on their citizens, while they careen side to side like a drunk as God punishes them more and more and they refuse to acknowledge him.

  • spygirl2

    to Right-Leaner:
    Sorry, typo (I was in a hurry); it should read “AR”, not AK. Also, it is the way the child looks with this outfit and gun, again, not what the rest of us used when children – the image frightens the average person out there with wondering why the kid is deliberately seeking attention dressed in camo posing with this gun. I grew up shooting a variety of firearms; I still do in my line of work. However, I never would stupidly pose on Facebook in any camo outfit with an AR-style weapon, period, or in any manner that would be showing off a weapon (used for target practice and, obviously, to kill) to the public, or even to my friends and relations. This is just stupid “redneck” stuff; and it is not really defensible, in my opinion.
    I am not against taking the weapon from this elementary school-aged kid, but it is irresponsible of the parent, especially this day and age, to show this kid as he is posed and with any gun on a public source page. Eleven year olds shouldn’t be the “poster kids” for the NRA. Again, I am not against NRA (I am a member), but parents today are just plain stupid (“ditto”, said my hunting cousins in Montana!).

    • Josey Wales

      However, I never would stupidly pose on Facebook in any camo outfit with an AR-style weapon, period, or in any manner that would be showing off a weapon (used for target practice and, obviously, to kill) to the public, or even to my friends and relations.

      (I agree, except for the “obviously to kill” portion. Noone needs to know what guns (if any) that I may or may not own, and I certainly wouldn’t put it on line. However, the Smith&Wesson M&P15-22 is just another .22lr rifle, and is most likely to be used as a target rifle. )

      This is just stupid “redneck” stuff; and it is not really defensible, in my opinion.

      You may not like it, but it is still legal. You just need to let them be.

      Quote: Eleven year olds shouldn’t be the “poster kids” for the NRA.

      I completely disagree. They should be “poster kids” for the NRA, especially if they follow basic safety rules. If they don’t follow the rules, they need to be corrected. Regardless of how the NRA is portayed by the repeaters from the lame-stream media, the NRA is how firearm ownership should be. Safe, responsible, legal and proficient.
      Since you are an NRA member, I need not explain the history of the NRA to you, but I will remind you of the need to correct others when they get it wrong. If we do that, the word will spread about the truth, and it will be impossible to demonize the NRA. The NRA is not some faceless evil conglomerate, it is an association of law-abiding citizens exercizing one of their Constitutional rights, and the members are your neighbors.

    • The GLB

      To spygirl2:
      It is important to get young children involved in the proper use of firearms. If people are not introduced to guns at a young age, then they are going to be more prone to want to take away mine when they are old enough to vote.

      A friend of mine, who is an NRA firearms instructor, gave his 5 year old daughter the exact same rifle when she was 5 years old. That young lady, now 11 years old (and no, she never harmed herself, or anyone else, with the gun, because she was properly trained), knows more about responsible firearms usage then most adults.

      I am sure this young man does as well, especially considering all of his father’s credentials.

      • Dave

        I hate to keep harping on the hypocritical political gun control games going on in Washington, but I just remembered Hollywood’s new movie release ”Bullet to the Head” really isn’t showing disrespect for the 20 dead kids in Connecticut; It’s merely Hollywood’s warped way of showing their respect for the Congresswoman from Arizona who took a REAL, non-Hollywood, bullet to her head. And here I was under the naive misconception that Hollywood’s only out to make money! What a great PR idea: Naming a movie after Gabby Giffords: “Bullet to the Head!” Meanwhile, her husband Mark Kelly appears not to be upset at all with Hollywood dedicating a movie to his wife. He wants to control guns, instead! It sounds a little like he’s getting ready to run for President! Hollywood is the problem, not guns– of any kind! As Essex County (New York) Sheriff Richard Cutting recently remarked: “Guns have two enemies: rust and politicians! The makers of this law really don’t understand weapons and did not look for people who did.” Check out:


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