Andover man’s fight for carry permit due to death threats denied
We’re back to the issue of “justifiable need” when applying for a permit to carry a pistol.
You may remember the case of John Drake of Fredon, Sussex County, who applied for permit to carry a concealed weapon due to the nature of his business.
He’s the owner of a business which operates ATMs in various bodegas around New Jersey – some of them in high crime areas. And because he carries lots of cash with him, his attempt to apply for a carry permit on the grounds of “justifiable need” had gone all the way to the Supreme Court – which refused to hear the case.
So now we have another case of “justifiable need” – but in this one, the applicant has been actually threatened with death.
Israel Almeida of Andover is a building manager who collects rents in Newark for about 100 properties, and recently has had to deal with one tenant who he’d eventually evicted – threatening to ‘pop a cap’ in his head if Almeida tried to collect the overdue rent.
Upon being threatened, Almeida filed a police report, but no arrest was made.
The next day, Almeida applied to his local police department to carry his Springfield .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol.
But, just as in the Drake case, the application was rejected by the Andover Township police 4 months later.
Almeida appealed the decision to the Superior Court in Sussex County – only for that decision to go against him.
Enter gun rights attorney Evan Nappen – who you may remember from the Shaneen Allen case.
He’s looking to overturn the “justifiable need” clause in the law as being too narrow for it to be considered constitutional.
"We're dealing with an actual situation that my client continues to face. All this time, he's in danger." "The basis for justifiable need is too narrow to be considered constitutional."
Nappen is also arguing that the court consider non-lethal self-defense, which includes just possessing the gun, or just pointing it.
For whatever reason, that doesn’t seem to be going over well with the court – which ruled that Almeida could either find another way to collect the rents -- or hire a personal security detail - with guns of course.
The judge also felt that Almeida’s having a gun would increase the potential for violence. Like the security detail’s guns wouldn’t pose a threat of violence?
"If anything, the presence of a handgun can in certain sense cause the -- an increase in terms of -- of bodily harm. If individuals became aware ... that he's carrying a handgun there is the potential for an increase in violence in that context."
Here’s the kicker – the tenant who threatened Almeida moved down the block from his original apartment and sees Almeida often.
As long as Almeida sees the man – the threat still stands – and he is terrified.
If it weren't so inane on the part of the judge, it's actually too funny to be believed.
Ok, so let me get this straight: the threat of violence is lessened if the former tenant has a gun (possibly illegal) - but Almeida, in trying to defend himself, has no right because of the "threat of violence."
And then people wonder why we call them "clowns dressed in black robes."