A New Jersey family is considering legal action after their home was raided by authorities responding to a Facebook photo of their son posing with a firearm.
Four local police officers and two officials from the New Jersey Dept. of Children and Families showed up at the Carneys Point, N.J., home of Shawn Moore.
The officials demanded to see the homeowners’ guns.
This all started when Moore, a firearms instructor, posted a photo of his 11-year-old son holding a rifle (legally owned, above) on Facebook Tuesday.
Shortly after the photo went up on Facebook, an anonymous call was placed to the family services agency, according to Moore’s attorney, Evan Nappen.
“It led to an incredible, heavy-handed raid. They wanted to see his gun safe, his guns and search his house. They even threatened to take his kids,” he said.
The Dept. of Children and Families has a child abuse hotline that anyone can make a call to, and that they were following procedure in their response.
The organization is required to follow up on “every single allegation that comes into the central registry,” the DCF spokesperson, Kristen Brown, said.
The department would not confirm or deny the raid or investigation.
Moore is a certified firearms instructor and range safety officer for the NRA, as well as a hunter education instructor for the state of New Jersey.
His son, who posed for the photo wearing camouflage and holding a .22 rifle, has a hunting license and has passed the New Jersey hunter safety course.
“If you look at the picture, his finger isn’t even on the trigger, which is proper,” Nappen said, noting that the raid took place while Moore was not there.
When his wife notified him, Moore came home and called his attorney.
Upon arrival, officers asked Moore to show them both his gun safe and his guns. Moore gave the officers his phone with his attorney on the line.
Nappen demanded a warrant from the authorities, and when the officers didn’t have one, he asked officers to leave Moore’s home immediately.
Moore was told he was being “unreasonable” and “suspicious” because he wouldn’t present his guns, but he was unflinching in refusing to do so.
“They told me they were going to get a search warrant. I told them to go ahead,” he said, adding that the police eventually left and have not returned.
The incident has sparked outcry and raised numerous legal questions amid an already-heated national debate over 2nd Amendment rights and privileges.