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You can always trust the Keystone Kops of the Port Authority Police Department to keep New Jersey safe from legal gun owners. Utah resident Gregg Revell made the mistake of traveling through Newark Airport with a legally owned, unloaded firearm in his checked luggage. He was on his way to Allentown, Pennsylvania but missed his connecting flight when the plane from Salt Lake City arrived too late.
It didn't help that the airline had misdirected his luggage; the firearm which should have been checked through to Allentown was instead tagged for a final destination of Newark.
The next thing Gregg Revell knew, he was under arrest and in a heap of legal and bureaucratic trouble.
The airline wanted to bus its passengers to Allentown, but Revell realized that his luggage had not made it onto the bus and got off. After finding his luggage had been given a final destination of Newark by mistake, Revell missed the bus. He collected his luggage, including his gun and ammunition, and decided to wait in a nearby hotel with his stuff until the next flight in the morning.
When Revell tried to check in for the morning flight, he again informed the airline officials about his gun and ammunition to have them checked through to Allentown. He was reported to the TSA, and then arrested by Port Authority police for having a gun in New Jersey without a New Jersey license.
He spent 10 days in several different jails before posting bail. Police dropped the charges a few months later. But his gun and ammunition were not returned to him until 2008.
Can you say "over-reaction"? Like the Brian Aitken case, Mr. Revell was merely passing through New Jersey. He followed all the federal rules pertaining to the transportation of firearms. And he still spent 10 days in the slammer just for being the victim of an airline snafu.
Revell said he should not have been arrested because federal law allows licensed gun owners to take their weapons through any state as long as they are unloaded and not readily accessible to people. He said it was not his fault the airline stranded him in New Jersey by making him miss his flight and routing his luggage to the wrong destination.
Prosecutors said it doesn't matter whose fault it was: Revell was arrested in New Jersey with a readily accessible gun in his possession without a New Jersey license.
Gotta buck up those arrest statistics! A white guy with an "illegal" gun is prosecutorial gold. Fortunately a court threw out the charges but it still took the Port Authority PD three years to return Mr. Revell's gun to him. Three years of fighting an uphill battle against an entrenched bureaucracy!
Gregg Revell sued the Port Authority police for violating his Second Amendment rights. Even though various courts have sympathized with his plight they have refused to let his lawsuit against the police go forward.
For the average citizen, ignorance of the law is no excuse. For a Port Authority cop, ignorance of the law gets you a mulligan along with a wink and a nudge from your law enforcement buddies.
Today Gregg Revell's case went before the U.S. Supreme Court. And they denied him justice. In New Jersey your rights end whenever a cop says they end.
Yes folks, we live in a Police State. Gregg Revell is merely its latest victim. He surely won't be its last.
I want my freedom back.
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