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Family’s Home Raided over Facebook Photo of Child’s Rifle
March 20, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Here we go... 

By Todd Starnes

New Jersey police and Dept. of Children and Families officials raided the home of a firearms instructor and demanded to see his guns after he posted a Facebook photo of his 11-year-old son holding a rifle.

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“Someone called family services about the photo,” said Evan Nappen, an attorney representing Shawn Moore. “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.”

Moore was not arrested or charged.

This is the Facebook photo that led to the police raid.

This is the Facebook photo that led to the police raid.

A Dept. of Children and Families spokesperson told Fox News they could not confirm or deny an investigation or raid had taken place due to government regulations.

“The department has a child abuse hotline for the state of New Jersey and anybody can make a call to that hotline,” spokesperson Kristen Brown said. “We are required to follow up on every single allegation that comes into the central registry.”

Moore, of Carneys Point, is a certified firearms instructor for the National Rifle Association, an NRA range safety officer and a New Jersey hunter education instructor.

He recently posted a photograph of his son wearing camouflage and holding his new .22 rifle. The child has a New Jersey hunting license and recently passed the state’s hunter safety course.

“If you look at the picture, his finger isn’t even on the trigger – which is proper,” Nappen told Fox News. “If half of Hollywood could follow that rule we’d be thankful.”

Brown said their role is not to go out and search Facebook for photos of children holding weapons.

“In general our role is to investigate allegations of child abuse and neglect,” she said.

The family’s trouble started Saturday night when Moore received an urgent text message from his wife. The Carneys Point Police Dept. and the New Jersey Dept. of Children and Families had raided their home.

Moore immediately called Nappen and rushed home to find officers demanding to check his guns and his gun safe.

Instead, he handed the cell phone to one of the officers – so they could speak with Nappen.

“If you have a warrant, you’re coming in,” Nappen told the officers. “If you don’t, then you’re not. That’s what privacy is all about.”

With his attorney on speaker phone, Moore instructed the officers to leave his home.

“I was told I was being unreasonable and that I was acting suspicious because I wouldn’t open my safe,” Moore wrote on the Delaware Open Carry website. “They told me they were going to get a search warrant. I told them to go ahead.”

Moore took this photo of police outside his home.

Moore took this photo of police outside his home.

Nappen told Fox News the police wanted to inventory his firearms.

“”We said no way, it’s not happening,” he said. “This is a guy who is completely credentialed and his son is also credentialed.”

The attorney said police eventually left and never returned.

“He has a Fourth Amendment right and he’s not going to give up his Fourth Amendment right or his Second Amendment right,” he said. “They didn’t have a warrant – so see you later.”

Brown told Fox News that it’s “prudent and wise to protect children.”

“In many cases we may follow up on something and we don’t find any problems and the case is closed,” she said.

But the person who reported the false allegations of abuse cannot be held liable, she noted.

“You can’t be prosecuted for making an allegation of child abuse –even if it’s false,” she said.

Nappen said what happened to the Moore family should serve as a warning to gun owners across the nation.

“To make someone go through this because he posted a picture of his son with a .22 rifle on his Facebook page is pretty outrageous,” he said. “Does that mean that anyone who posts a picture like that has to consent to a home inspection and a gun inspection? I don’t think so.”

Nappen said they are considering taking legal action against the state for the late night raid.


Replies

  • Veni.Vidi.Vici.
    March 20, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    I get it, but I find it over the top at the same time. I guess I should tell my family member, who's a LEO, to take down the pictures of his 5 year old with the pink rifle she got for Christmas.

  • meriana
    by meriana
    March 20, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    While I can understand his taking a picture of his son with his new rifle, with all the stuff about guns these days, posting it on a site like facebook just wasn't the wisest choice. People really need to be careful about what they post on the internet.

  • Bigmetalchicken
    March 20, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    I think I would be letting my facebook friends know whoever was hateful enough to invite that kind of fear into my child's life, could go fuck themselves.

    What a nasty thing to do to someone.

  • Veni.Vidi.Vici.
    March 20, 2013 at 11:02 AM


    Quoting Bigmetalchicken:

    I think I would be letting my facebook friends know whoever was hateful enough to invite that kind of fear into my child's life, could go fuck themselves.

    What a nasty thing to do to someone.

    Sadly, with the new settings on FB it's very difficult to keep others from seeing what you post. By that I mean that friends of friends can see photos or status updates when a friend comments on 'your' status. So, if you were to comment on a photo I post, my friends (not necessarily your friends) would be able to see your comment and FB profile photo or the photo that was commented on.

  • pamelax3
    March 20, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    This is just plain stupid..What an awful thing to do to a family and child..

  • Veni.Vidi.Vici.
    March 20, 2013 at 11:10 AM


    Quoting pamelax3:

    This is just plain stupid..What an awful thing to do to a family and child..

    Had this ended differently I could agree. I think the message was loud and clear: Be responsible and you have nothing to worry about.

  • pamelax3
    March 20, 2013 at 11:14 AM

     


    Quoting Veni.Vidi.Vici.:


    Quoting pamelax3:

    This is just plain stupid..What an awful thing to do to a family and child..

    Had this ended differently I could agree. I think the message was loud and clear: Be responsible and you have nothing to worry about.

    What do you mean, ended differently? The man and the boy are being responsible with their gun and they still got crap from the police

     

  • Veni.Vidi.Vici.
    March 20, 2013 at 11:16 AM


    Quoting pamelax3:



    Quoting Veni.Vidi.Vici.:


    Quoting pamelax3:

    This is just plain stupid..What an awful thing to do to a family and child..

    Had this ended differently I could agree. I think the message was loud and clear: Be responsible and you have nothing to worry about.

    What do you mean, ended differently? The man and the boy are being responsible with their gun and they still got crap from the police


    Okay, so they were investigated. What harm came from it besides a bit of an inconvenience?


    Nappen told Fox News the police wanted to inventory his firearms.

    “”We said no way, it’s not happening,” he said. “This is a guy who is completely credentialed and his son is also credentialed.”

    The attorney said police eventually left and never returned.

    “He has a Fourth Amendment right and he’s not going to give up his Fourth Amendment right or his Second Amendment right,” he said. “They didn’t have a warrant – so see you later.”

    Brown told Fox News that it’s “prudent and wise to protect children.”

  • AdrianneHill
    March 20, 2013 at 11:16 AM
    If the department can't confirm or deny there was a search, how do we know the real reason behind the raid? I'm sure the cops or CPS mentioned the Facebook photo but they also might not have mentioned other things that had been heard. I found that out when I called cps to ask about calling on someone else. You don't get the right to face your accuser with these things as they will keep the accuser and the full accusation from the accused in the name of preventing retaliatory actions.
    I'm not on the side if the raid by any means. If a legal gun owner owned a legal gun, there was no cause in anything more than a phone call asking if the owner had a gun safe. I just think that there might be more to the story than the accused was told.
  • gammie
    by gammie
    March 20, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    This is how we become a police state, our neighbors are watching us, sad!

    Why don't we do something about child abouse and drugs binging sold on street corners? 

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