Cumberland County Prosecutors Drop Criminal Weapons Charges Against Retired NJ Schoolteacher
Cumberland County prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae recently dropped felony gun charges pending against retired New Jersey schoolteacher Gordon Van Gilder, stemming from the discovery of an antique pistol found in the glove box of his vehicle. Last November, Van Gilder was stopped for a routine traffic violation. During the traffic stop, he consented to a search of his vehicle. Van Gilder advised the police of the presence of an unloaded antique flintlock pistol located in the glove box of his car. He alleges that he was returning home from the pawn shop where he had just purchased the antique collector’s item.
Although the vintage pistol would have been classified as a “collectible” under federal law, New Jersey state statues treat the weapon as an ordinary pistol. Under this definition, the presence of the pistol in the vehicle’s glove box arguably supports the charge of unlawful possession of a weapon. Van Gilder was initially charged with felony handgun possession despite the absence of any aggravating factors or prior criminal record. Using her prosecutorial discretion, Cumberland County prosecutor Webb-McRae dropped all pending charges.
Many opponents of New Jersey’s strict gun control laws are now urging legislators to review existing laws to prevent incidents like this in the future. If Van Gilder had been convicted of a criminal weapon offense in New Jersey, he may have faced significant mandatory jail time, monetary fines and forfeiture of his state pension.
Cherry Hill Criminal Lawyer, Jill R. Cohen, Defends Individuals Formally Charged with Weapons Offenses throughout New Jersey
Cherry Hill criminal lawyer, Jill R. Cohen, Esq., has been representing defendants formally charged with weapons offenses in New Jersey for over 30 years. Attorney Cohen provides aggressive criminal defense to individuals in all types of criminal law matters including gun and weapon offenses. If you or your loved one has been formally charged with a weapons offense in New Jersey, Jill R. Cohen can assist you in all of your legal needs.
The Law Offices of Jill R. Cohen are conveniently located in Westmont, New Jersey to serve clients throughout South Jersey including those in Camden City, Burlington County, Camden County, Atlantic County, Salem County, Cumberland County, Mercer County and Gloucester County. Call us today to schedule your free confidential consultation or submit an online inquiry form.