Flintlock from 1700s could land elderly NJ man in prison
In a case that underscores the Garden State's strict gun laws, Gordon Van Gilder, a retired English teacher and collector of historical items, has been charged with criminal possession of a handgun and faces up to 10 years in prison. If the 72-year-old is convicted, the charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 3.5 years and the pension Van Gilder earned as an educator could be revoked, penalties attorney Evan Nappen called "outrageous."
“It’s crazy," Nappen told FoxNews.com. "The gun was unloaded and strictly possessed as a historical relic. We’re hoping the prosecutor will exercise discretion and dismiss his case.”
Van Gilder readily acknowledged the unloaded gun was in his glove compartment and wrapped in cloth when he was pulled over for a traffic violation in Cumberland County in November 2014, according to Nappen. He had recently bought the gun and was planning to add it to his collection of antiques, which includes other old firearms, the lawyer said.