Thursday, February 19, 2015

Retiree faces 10 years in prison after 300 year old antique pistol is found in his car in New Jersey


Gordon Von Glider

A routine traffic stop could end up costing a retired 72-year-old New Jersey school teacher 10 years in prison and his pension.

Gordon Van Glider was pulled over for a traffic stop in November. When asked by an officer if he had anything in the car he should know about, Glider directed him to an unloaded 300-year-old antique flintlock pistol in the glove box.

The officer inspected the pistol and let Van Glider go.

Van Glider said the next day four officers came to his home and arrested him for possessing the firearm without having proper paperwork and improperly storing it in his car, all of which violate New Jersey laws.

Van Glider collects 18th-century memorabilia. Antique guns are not considered firearms under federal law. New Jersey law, on the other hand, treats them like any other gun.

The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence gave New Jersey an A- in its 2014 annual gun law state scorecard. Pennsylvania earned a C.

Related: Lancaster Responds to NRA suit

Attorney Evan Nappen, who specializes in gun law cases, said Van Glider is “facing the same draconian penalty if he had a .44 magnum loaded on his person.”

Andrew F. Branca, an attorney in Massachusetts, said even a plea deal that avoids jail time but convicts Van Glider of a felony would jeopardize the pension he spent 34 years earning.

“It’s the world turned upside-down,” Van Glider said.

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