“Help me publish my book, take my case to the Supreme Court, and get my son back,” Brian Aitken asks supporters on his Indiegogo crowdfunding page.
He’s trying to raise total contributions to $20,000 over the remaining 18 days of his fundraising campaign. That will allow him to write a book about his legal ordeal, which can in turn fund his case.
Aitken was a New Jersey gun owner arrested while transporting locked up and unloaded guns legally purchased in Colorado from one residence to another, and who was sentenced to seven years in prison. His sentence was commuted by Gov. Chris Christie in 2010 after Aitken had served four months, but the commutation does not expunge his conviction. As such, Aitken is currently prohibited from owning firearms and has been “legally” denied access for the past four years to even see his young son.
“In January 2008 (one year prior to my arrest and illegal search and seizure) Gov. Corzine amended the Graves Act, which turned Illegal Possession of Firearms from a Fourth Degree Felony to a Second Degree Felony (akin to the use of a firearm in the commission of a crime),” Aitken told Gun Rights Examiner. “This change in law made the mere possession of a firearm a ‘violent crime’.
“The Family Court Judge interpreted that to mean I was a violent gun owner and that any parent who owns guns is, by nature, violent,” he explained.
“Until my case is resolved I can't vote or pass a background check. It's next to impossible to get a credit card or even sign a lease for an apartment,” Aitken writes on his fundraising page. “I can't leave the country and I can't see my son.
“Until my case is heard, and a legal decision is made, tens of thousands of gun owners in New Jersey remain at risk of becoming thrown in prison simply for transporting something they legally own from one residence to another,” he cautions.
That danger is substantial, and has increased since New Jersey’s “unlawful possession of firearms” law was “upgraded” in August. With the mandatory minimum sentence increased from 36 to 42 months, “It also changes possession to a First Degree Felony in some cases with a term of 10-20 years,” Aitken advised. “If I owned a firearm right now in New Jersey I would be in violation of this law and subject to 10-20 years in prison."
Gun owners will get a chance to hear Aitken’s story directly from him tonight on Salem Radio Network’s nationally-syndicated “Armed American Radio” program with host Mark Walters. The program is broadcast from 8 to 11 p.m. Eastern time. He is scheduled to appear in the second hour.
I’ll be joining Mark for all three hours. Other guests will include Emmy-winning producer and director Peter Jay Gould, who will talk about “Infringed: Second Amendment in the Crosshairs,” his in-the-works documentary; Tom Skoch, a mainstream newspaper editor who had the integrity to consider the arguments of Second Amendment advocates, accept the truth and the wisdom of the right to keep and bear arms, and become a vocal advocate himself; and Evan Hughes of the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, who will talk about the city of Burlington’s assault on state preemption, and what gun rights activists there are doing about it.
Those interested in hearing the program can locate a radio station within AAR’s vast nationwide network or listen via live streaming if outside a broadcast area. Additionally, producer Sean “Seanto” Young has set up a live studio feed camera on his IRF News website.
Gun Rights Examiner readers are encouraged to tune in to tonight’s program and share this announcement with their friends.
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