High court denies man's gun arrest appeal
By Jesse J. Holland, Associated Press – Tue Jan 18, 11:20 am ET
WASHINGTON – Missing a plane connection cost Utah gun owner Greg Revell 10 days in jail after he was stranded in New Jersey with an unloaded firearm he had legally checked with his luggage in Salt Lake City.
Nevertheless, the Supreme Court without comment refused on Tuesday to let Revell sue Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police for arresting him on illegal possession of a firearm in New Jersey and for not returning his gun and ammunition to him for more than three years.
Revell was flying from Salt Lake City to Allentown, Pa., on March 31, 2005, with connections in Minneapolis and Newark, N.J. He had checked his Utah-licensed gun and ammunition with his luggage in Salt Lake City and asked airport officials to deliver them both with his luggage in Allentown.
But the flight from Minneapolis to Newark was late, so Revell missed his connection to Allentown. The airline wanted to bus its passengers to Allentown, but Revell realized that his luggage had not made it onto the bus and got off. After finding his luggage had been given a final destination of Newark by mistake, Revell missed the bus. He collected his luggage, including his gun and ammunition, and decided to wait in a nearby hotel with his stuff until the next flight in the morning.
When Revell tried to check in for the morning flight, he again informed the airline officials about his gun and ammunition to have them checked through to Allentown. He was reported to the TSA, and then arrested by Port Authority police for having a gun in New Jersey without a New Jersey license.
He spent 10 days in several different jails before posting bail. Police dropped the charges a few months later. But his gun and ammunition were not returned to him until 2008.
Revell said he should not have been arrested because federal law allows licensed gun owners to take their weapons through any state as long as they are unloaded and not readily accessible to people. He said it was not his fault the airline stranded him in New Jersey by making him miss his flight and routing his luggage to the wrong destination.
Prosecutors said it doesn't matter whose fault it was: Revell was arrested in New Jersey with a readily accessible gun in his possession without a New Jersey license.
Lower courts have sympathized with Revell but refused to let him sue the police.
"We recognize that he had been placed in a difficult situation through no fault of his own," wrote Judge Kent A. Jordan of the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. However, the law "clearly requires the traveler to part ways with his weapon and ammunition during travel; it does not address this type of interrupted journey or what the traveler is to do in this situation."
The case is Revell v. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, 10-236.
I don't know what it's going to take, but we have to find a way to show our displeasure with the way legal, law-abiding citizens are treated in states, cities and towns who seem to think gun ownership is bad. After all, we are simply exercising our constitutionally protected right of self defense. We are a threat to no one, except maybe bad people.
So, I don't know about you, but for me, I am going to be looking to see if anything I buy comes from New York or New Jersey. And if it does, I won't buy it. And if given the opportunity, I'll pass on to the manufacturer WHY I'm not buying their products. I know, it's like throwing pebbles at an Abrams tank, but sometimes you do get their attention.
Current Mood: disappointed
Current Music: Southern Voice - Tim McGraw
My Carry Pistol: Rock Island Armory M1911-A1 .45ACP