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This Utah man got stranded in the Newark, NJ airport. He made a boo-boo and took possession of his luggage that contained a gun. The SCOTUS has declined to hear the appeal of his arrest.


Revell was flying from Salt Lake City to Allentown, Pa., on March 31, 2005, with connections in Minneapolis and Newark, N.J. He had checked his Utah-licensed gun and ammunition with his luggage in Salt Lake City and asked airport officials to deliver them both with his luggage in Allentown.

......................... Revell missed his connection to Allentown. 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.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110118/ap_on_re_us/us_supreme_court_gun_arrest
 

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I only fly a few times a year and this is unfortunately why I never bring my guns.
 

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It's disappointing that the SCOTUS won't hear the case....why do states get away with this? The guy did not have any criminal intent AND the charges were dropped....
 

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Because technically he broke the law, and the courts will not allow the defendant to sue if the Police acted in good faith and within the letter of the law. The police ultimatelty dropped the charges but they have the right to do that within the DA's discretion. It may be a sucky situation and not the defendants fault Per Se., but he was technically in violation of NJ state law and the Police in their discretion had the rights within the law to arrest him. Now I believe that the PA cops were not going to let a gun collar get past them as gun collars are big when it comes to officer jackets.
 

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According to the Appellate Court which affirmed his conviction, the issue was not NJ law but the fact that FOPA protection could not be used as an affirmative defense because he had "access" to the firearm while in the hotel. While he had no criminal intent, technically he was in violation of NJ law. I guess the court didn't want to open a can of worms by taking the case and possibly diluting existing law.

The way to avoid this is to leave your luggage at the airport if you get stuck in NJ. Then you don't have "access" which is the reason the appeals court affirmed the conviction. It sucks but that's NJ for you.
 

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According to the Appellate Court which affirmed his conviction, the issue was not NJ law but the fact that FOPA protection could not be used as an affirmative defense because he had "access" to the firearm while in the hotel. While he had no criminal intent, technically he was in violation of NJ law. I guess the court didn't want to open a can of worms by taking the case and possibly diluting existing law.

The way to avoid this is to leave your luggage at the airport if you get stuck in NJ. Then you don't have "access" which is the reason the appeals court affirmed the conviction. It sucks but that's NJ for you.
Although I agree with what you wrote as for an explanation, what the court did was deny basic justice. It is obvious this guy was caught up in a situation not of his making, did what almost anyone would do under the circumstances (except of course regular readers of DC), and is in more trouble than your typical street thug caught stealing or selling.

I won't get into the political aspect, except to point out that it would have taken only 4 justices to vote to hear the appeal, and there are at least that many justices who profess to be pro-gun owner; to be gun owners; blah blah etc.

Justice, in the sense of coming up with a punishment which fits the crime has not been served. Worse, they just opened the door to various states doing even more violence to the intention of the Federal travel law. Will LEOSA be next on the list of some states?

The Supremes may consist of a group of sportsmen and gun owners, but they are still insensitive to the needs of the concealed carry community.
 

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While totally disgusting that the SC declined to hear the case, in effect, that is a ruling from them as well. It was also the correct decision. Ref. McDonald & Heller.

This may not bode too well for us and gun rights. It appears that any Heller/McDonald court challenge will need to be very specific and provable. The SC is not going to be easily persuaded to modify their decisions on Heller & McDonald.

The reason I say this is both Roberts and Scalia are known incrementalists. They do not like sweeping changes and both McDonald and Heller are prime examples. The Thomas opinion in McDonald SHOULD have been the majority opinion. However both Roberts and Scalia would not have gone along with that. Therefore it was up to Alito, and his watered down opinion that saved the day. Alito gave us a 5-4 victory, such as it is, rather than a 6-3 defeat.

Chris
 

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Hopyard,

There is already some case law relative to state law vs LEOSA. In the South Dakota incident the DA tried to pursue certain charges and they were thrown out pursuant to LEOSA.
 

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Hopyard,

There is already some case law relative to state law vs LEOSA. In the South Dakota incident the DA tried to pursue certain charges and they were thrown out pursuant to LEOSA.
Well, they got thrown out because it was South Dakota. What if you had the same factual situation and it was IL or NJ? Would the case be thrown out? Doubt it. So if then the Supremes decide not to hear the eventual appeal, LEOSA too will go down.
(I'm not affected by LEOSA, but I think it is an extremely important law because its existence shows that the Federal Govt. can indeed legislate a kind of national reciprocity if it wishes to do so.)

I can "kinda sorta" see why the Supremes didn't intervene, but they sure denied the defendant a common sense fair shake.
 

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So... what would've been his options? Ask an airline clerk to store his luggage 'till the next day?
I think his best bet would be to know the law. Take your luggage,rent a car and drive out of that state. Keep your mouth shut and not say a word. You are not required to incriminate yourself.
 

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I think his best bet would be to know the law. Take your luggage,rent a car and drive out of that state. Keep your mouth shut and not say a word. You are not required to incriminate yourself.
I don't see any of that as options for the individual convicted. Newark is on the NY border; it is a long haul from there across all of NJ to drive to PA and the whole time he would have been in violation of the law. He was in trouble the instant he took possession of his luggage. That is the bottom line.
 

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I don't see any of that as options for the individual convicted. Newark is on the NY border; it is a long haul from there across all of NJ to drive to PA and the whole time he would have been in violation of the law. He was in trouble the instant he took possession of his luggage. That is the bottom line.
I agree, this was a bad situation for him, his best bet would have been to refuse to collect the luggage, contact TSA and the airline supervision at the airport, demand storage for his firearm due to state possession laws until he caught his next flight. I wonder what would have happened then.
 

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I think this was brought up a while ago, at least when it first occurred.

Lesson to everyone. When traveling with a firearm, not only know the laws of your destination, but if you get sidetracked in route like this poor soul, find out the laws were you got deposited ASAP and before you claim you luggage.

This guy should probably petition the Governor for a pardon and get his record wiped.
 
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