April 1, 2015

In the News::

New Jersey gun laws punish TX man for legally owned guns

Dustin Reinenger

Dustin Reininger is a U.S. veteran and former police officer serving 3-5 years in a New Jersey prison for possession of firearms that he legally owned. As a result of the extreme and unjust New Jersey gun laws, Reininger was convicted of illegal possession of firearms as he was passing through the state.

Dustin Reininger is not from New Jersey. He was actually moving from Maine to Texas and was driving through New Jersey when he parked his car in a parking lot to rest for the night. Reininger was awakened in the night by police officers who searched his vehicle without a warrant. This unwarranted search was deemed justified because the officer saw two gun cases in the back of the vehicle. Reininger was transporting his entire gun collection that day and was arrested immediately.

Under the Firearm Owners Protection Act, citizens are actually allowed to transport firearms from state to state regardless of the legality of the guns between departure point and destination. For full protection under this act, however, citizens must keep their firearms locked in either the trunk or a case. Reininger’s only error was keeping his firearms in an unlocked case.

Reininger’s careless oversight resulted in the 3-5 year prison sentence he is currently serving. This was not a criminal act. This is a mistake you or I could make. Reininger is guilty of a technical violation. The purpose of America’s prisons is not to hold honest citizens guilty of accidental infractions, but to punish those criminals who have intentionally broken the law for personal gain.

The terrible irony is that if Reininger had been living in New Jersey, he would have qualified for a state firearm ID card. “If he’d had one, he wouldn’t have been guilty of this offense,” said Evan Nappen, Reininger’s attorney on the case. “He didn’t have one because he didn’t live here. He was in transit and all the guns were lawfully his. So you have a situation where he is, in effect, turned into a criminal by New Jersey’s gun laws.”

Dustin Reininger is eligible for parole in the coming year. His prison sentence could be over soon, but his criminal record will remain. Not only has he lost years of his life, but as a felon, he may also lose the right to vote or own a firearm in the future. While Reininger will never get the time back that he has spent in prison, he can have a future. What Dustin Reininger deserves now and the least that New Jersey can offer him now is a pardon from the governor.

The pardon process exists for situations like this. Dustin Reininger has more than paid his debt to society and the time is long overdue to excuse him and let him return to his normal life. This is an error in the legal system that needs to be corrected. The state of New Jersey needs to make amends. Please contact Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, to inform him of your concern about this case and to ask him to pardon Dustin Reininger.

Governor Christie can be contacted through the following channels:




Office of the Governor
PO Box 001
Trenton, NJ 08625



28 Responses to “New Jersey gun laws punish TX man for legally owned guns”
  1. Bob Z says:

    NJ gun laws are why I moved to Tennessee!

  2. G Jones says:

    This bozo is in prison now because he jumped a million dollar bail in New Jersey, went to Texas, stole his kid who he didn’t have custody and then tried to sail his sailboat to who knows where.

  3. kephers says:

    This is a travesty. Sounds like something out of a third world country!!!!

    • Grey says:

      Jersey IS a third world country, I live thirty minutes away and in 52 years i have never had a reason to go there.

  4. Jerald says:

    He goes to jail and eric holder is still in office. The criminals are running the country.We must bring back sanity and honesty to the government. Kalek shade obama must be impeached.

  5. Harold C says:

    It is EXTREMELY hard for me to believe ANY place in the U.S. would pull such a stunt as to put ANYONE much less a veteran or former law enforcement officer in jail for ‘legally’ transporting firearms. It makes me appreciate my home state of TN even more.

    • Tionico says:

      New Jersay seem to delight in regularly arresting people for such “violatioins”.They ignore the FOPA, will NOT issue their Mother May I card to non-residents, and charge folks for not having it. Most times a “plea bargain” and a “fine” (tax, extortion, whatever) of a thousand or three will get the former gun owner back on his way without a detour to the Greybar Hotel. I wil NOT set foot in that state again. I’ve read horror stories of innocent fokls, detroued into New Jersay by bad weather when flying and forced to stay overnight (anbd claim their checked baggage because of TSA “Safety” regs) arrested on unlawful possession charges. New York do the same thing.

  6. jdn says:

    Do not look for any help from Christie , all he needs is a horn to be the perfect rhino .

  7. Ken Dobbins says:

    I have already emailed the governor of NJ about this as it is a gross miscarriage of justice. Gov. Christy has national political aspirations so even email from out-of-staters might help this man get a full pardon. Email the governor today as this man needs our support!

  8. Doug says:

    I’ve contacted Gov. Christie too. I hope he’s a man of principle and not just another politician. He was willing to buck his own party in thanking the President for his assistance following Hurricane Sandy. In this case, I told him, the letter of the NJ law might have been followed but justice was not.

  9. cal says:

    Well once again injustice has been done to an American…..He should have been at the most escorted to the state line and released with all his weapons…. The man was a former Police officer and those A******* DIDN’T EVEN SHOW HIM THAT COURTESY…. What the hell is happening to this Great Country….Too much power in the wrong places!!!!! Governor Christie drop these charges and release the man…..

  10. LeChat says:

    There is no hope for gun owners in the northeast. The best thing to do is leave for a free state as soon as you can.

  11. Joe Neat says:

    Having been in Law Enforcement for 22 years I blame the Officers that made contact with Mr. Reininger for this disgusting situation. Poor judgement on their parts. Yes, another injustice from the ‘gun grabber’ mentalities. If the Governor has any compassion he WILL release this Patriot!!!

  12. Joe Neat says:

    Just for the record I just sent Governor Christie an e-mail requesting the release of Mr. Reininger as well.

  13. A very similar situation occurred with my stepson. He was traveling through New Jersey to a jobsite to repair cell tower damage after the hurricane when he was stopped for a minor traffic violation. I am sure that because of his Texas plates the officer asked if he had a firearm in the vehicle. He replied that he did and it was in a locked briefcase. The office asked that he open the case and he complied. He was arrested and his vehicle searched. During the search they found a AR 15 magazine which he had left in his truck. He was arrested and charged with two felonies. 3 years and $30,000 in legal fees later he was convicted and given 3 years probation. Supposedly he got probation because he cooperated with the officers. However he lost his right to vote and the right to possess a firearm in his home state. Need I say he was an avid hunter. He also worked under contract to FEMA to repair storm damage to cell towers owned by the government but not anymore. With the felony conviction he can no longer work for FEMA. It is a sad situation to be convicted of a felony for conduct that is legal in your home state.

  14. Jack Stravage says:

    I use to live in NY took my money, income and family and moved to S.Florida now all is right with me. (PS I love Florida even though no one signals when making a turn, it rains half the year, Tornado’s come and go, pig hunts everywhere, and most of the people i meet are from Brooklyn GOD give me strength, Plus i feel naked leaving the house without my S&W 357 (:))
    If your going to move a arsenal any distance don’t you thing you might know “all the laws” in the states you will be passing through, maybe he thought all he had to do is flash his old badge and he would get a pass, Just another one of the 8 million story’s in the big city. Move on! move on…

    • Tionico says:

      Ever hear of the Firearms Owner’s Protection Act? Federal level law that was INTENDED to prevent such stupid arrests. If a firearm is legally possessed in the departure jurisdiction, and will be legally possessed in the destination jurisdiction, one may legally transport it between the two places. many gun owners are aware of this law, but apparently LEO in several states are not… New Jersay, New York, Illinois, and California, are not. These states regularly arrest people who should be protected by the FOPA. I will simply not travel through those states.

  15. Larry Sluder says:

    Never ever ever ever go to one of the communist states(NY, NJ,CA IL etc) and spend money, if you MUST go, Don’t be a dumb a**. NO Guns, No Ammo, No Mags. We need to starve the bastards. No a single dime of my money spent in any of them!!

  16. Arnold D says:

    There has to be more to this than just transporting the firearms illegally. Yes…illegally. He didn’t have them in locked cases. But that’s not why he went to prison , there’s more to this. Anyone who says he is in prison for the whole firearm transport thing is just trying to justify the situation for political gain. He had to have done something stupid beyond the transport.

    • Tionico says:

      not so.. New Jersey, New York, Illinois, regularly arrest people who SHOULD be protected by the FOPA. Search it out Ive raed of dozens of similar cases. Best solution? Don;t go into or through those states. I recently flew into the midwest, trip out was through DFW, trip back they wanted me to fly through Chicago. I said NO WAY (had handguns in checked luggage, legally). They routed me through Los Angeles. I refused to even give Chicago/Illinois the airport fees and taxes for the layover. Not to mention putting myself at risk should weather force me to miss a flight, claim my checked luggage (complete with multiple handguns, illegal in Chicago as we alll know…), and risk a simlar arrest. Illinois also requires a firearms owners mother may I pwper, which they will NOT issue to non-residents, and takes several weeks to get for residents.

  17. Andrew Hébert says:

    That’s why I live in Texas

  18. dave says:

    These laws are clearly unconstitutional. New Jersey needs to be fined as a state and the legislators who passed the law, along with the governor who signed it need to be charged with federal crimes of sedition and insurrection.

  19. Randy says:

    NJ is losing population, credibility, common sense, and decency. If Guv Christie has any ambitions to further his career at the national level (i.e. Pres or Vice Pres), then failure to pardon Reininger will guarantee he receives one of the most involved and largest blocs of the Republican Party – activist gun owners. He is already “suspect” for his silence (and notable inaction) on working to restore 2nd Amendment freedoms for NJ residents, so this failure to pardon is cause for more suspicion and lack of support for Christie at the nat’l level . . .

  20. NinjaMan says:

    This sentence from the article is COMPLETE B.S. “The purpose of America’s prisons is not to hold honest citizens guilty of accidental infractions, but to punish those criminals who have intentionally broken the law for personal gain”. America’s prisons and “justice” system are solely designed so prison owners and “the system” can profit, in turn making government larger. Why do you think marijuana is still illegal??? Because so many people can be easily thrown into prison for it. Search GET THAT GOLD FRINGE OFF MY FLAG.

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