A New Jersey family is considering taking legal action after their home was raided by police and state bureaucrats responding to a Facebook photo of their son posing with a legally owned firearm.
Four local police officers and two officials from the New Jersey Dept. of Children and Families the home of Shawn Moore in the Salem County township of Carneys Point. The officials demanded to see the home owners’ guns.
Moore, a firearms instructor, posted a photo of his 11-year-old son holding a rifle on Facebook Tuesday. Shortly thereafter, an anoymous call was placed to the family services agency, Moore’s attorney, Evan Nappen, told Fox News.
“It led to an incredible, heavy-handed raid on his house. They wanted to see his gun safe, his guns and search his house. They even threatened to take his kids,” Nappen said.
The Dept. of Children and Families has a child abuse hotline that anyone can make a call to. The organization is required to follow up on “every single allegation that comes into the central registry,” the department’s spokesperson, Kristen Brown, told Fox News.
The department would not confirm or deny the raid or investigation.
Moore is a certified firearms instructor and range safety officer for the National Rifle Association, as well as a hunter education instructor for the state of New Jersey. His son, who posed for the photograph wearing camouflage and holding his new .22 rifle, has a hunting license and has passed the New Jersey hunter safety course.
“If you look at the picture, his finger isn’t even on the trigger—which is proper,” Nappen told Fox News.
New Jersey Police and Dept. of Children and Families raided the family home when Moore was away from the house. When his wife notified him of the issue, Moore came home and called his attorney.
Upon arrival, officers asked Moore to show them his gun safe and his guns. Moore gave the officers his phone with his attorney on the line.
Nappen demanded a warrant, and when the officers didn’t have one, he asked the officers to leave Moore’s home.
Moore was told that he was being “unreasonable” and “suspicious” because he wouldn’t present his guns, according to his post on the Delaware Open Carry website.
“They told me they were going to get a search warrant. I told them to go ahead,” he said.
Nappen said the police eventually left and have not returned.
According to Brown, the Dept. of Children and Families was following common procedural practices.
“In many cases we may follow up on something and we don’t find any problems and the case is closed,” she said.
An online poll at the Newark Star Ledger indicates 80 percent of the paper’s readers believe the police visit was “a clear violation of both the 1st and 2nd Ammendments.”