Until 1993 when apparently someone dropped a dime on him after New Jersey passed its draconian "assault weapons" ban that made a .22 rifle with a 17-round magazine capacity a prohibited weapon. Mr. Pelleteri, a firearms instructor, fought the case all the way to the New Jersey Superior Court which found against him, stating this chilling phrase:
When dealing with guns, the citizen acts at his peril.
The GeekWithA.45 calls New Jersey a "dark and fascist state," and I think with ample reason. (Begin Edit) But New Jersey apparently
Gun owner unarmed, unwelcome in MarylandRead the whole thing. Check your blood pressure afterwards. I think a little B-positive spurted from my eyes.
John Filippidis, silver-haired family man, business owner, employer and taxpayer, is also licensed to carry a concealed firearm.
He'd rather he didn’t feel the need, "but things aren't like they used to be. The break-ins, the burglaries, all the crime. And I carry cash a lot of the time. I'm constantly going to the bank.
"I wanted to be able to defend my family, my household and the ground I'm standing on. But I'm not looking for any trouble."
Filippidis keeps his gun — a palm-sized Kel-Tec .38 semiautomatic (layers of editorial fact-checkers - Ed.), barely larger than a smartphone in a protective case — in one of two places, always: in the right-hand pocket of his jeans, or in the safe at home.
"There are kids in the house," Filippidis says, "and I don't think they'd ever bother with it, but I don't want to take any chances."
He's not looking for any trouble, after all.
Trouble, in fact, was the last thing on his mind a few weeks back as the Filippidises packed for Christmas and a family wedding in Woodridge, N.J., so he left the pistol locked in the safe. The state of Florida might have codified his Second Amendment rights, but he knew he'd be passing through states where recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions affirming the rights of individuals to keep and bear arms have been met by hostile legislatures and local officials.
"I know the laws and I know the rules," Filippidis says. There are, after all, ways gun owners can travel legally with firearms through hostile states. "But I just think it's a better idea to leave it home."
So there the Filippidises were on New Year's Eve eve, southbound on Interstate 95 — John; wife Kally (his Gulf High sweetheart); the 17-year-old twins Nasia and Yianni; and 13-year-old Gina in their 2012 Ford Expedition — just barely out of the Fort McHenry Tunnel into Maryland, blissfully unarmed and minding their own business when they noticed they were being bird-dogged by an unmarked patrol car. It flanked them a while, then pulled ahead of them, then fell in behind them.
"Ten minutes he's behind us," John says. "We weren't speeding. In fact, lots of other cars were whizzing past."
"You know you have a police car behind you, you don't speed, right?" Kally adds.
Says John, "We keep wondering, is he going to do something?"
Finally the patrol car's emergency lights come on, and it's almost a relief. Whatever was going on, they'd be able to get it over with now. The officer — from the Transportation Authority Police, as it turns out, Maryland's version of the New York-New Jersey Port Authority — strolls up, does the license and registration bit, and returns to his car.
According to Kally and John (but not MTAP, which, pending investigation, could not comment), what happened next went like this:
Ten minutes later he's back, and he wants John out of the Expedition. Retreating to the space between the SUV and the unmarked car, the officer orders John to hook his thumbs behind his back and spread his feet. "You own a gun," the officer says. "Where is it?"
"At home in my safe," John answers.
"Don't move," says the officer.
"Dark and fascist" might be a little generous there, Geek, (but I bet you're glad you didn't relocate to Maryland).
(Screwed up the post - I plead fatigue. It's been a rough week.)