Brian Aitken moved from Colorado to New Jersey. He brought two guns with him, unloaded and locked in his trunk, in accordance with New Jersey’s flatly unconstitutional gun control laws. “Unconstitutional”, because the law assumes anyone in possession of a gun outside the home is bad, but makes a few exceptions. One of the exceptions is moving.
Aitken was stopped by the police, and acknowledged he had guns with him. After spending two hours taking everything else out of his car, the cops found the guns, and arrested him.
The judge in Aitken’s case refused to allow him to raise the moving defense, refused even to allow the jury to hear about exceptions to the law, although the jury asked him for those exceptions three times. Accordingly, Aitken was convicted, and sentenced to seven years in prison.
Today is Bill of Rights Day. I celebrated, along with, I hope, numerous other liberty lovers, by calling Governor Chris Christie’s office, and begging him to pardon Aitken. Here’s my statement:
Like many Americans, I applaud Gov. Christie’s efforts to rein in New Jersey’s budget. However, he now has an opportunity to make an equally forcible stand for the human rights of individual citizens. He should therefor grant an unconditional pardon to Brian Aitken, a peaceable citizen now in prison for making a good-faith effort to follow New Jersey’s unconstitutional gun control laws.
I thank him again for his efforts so far, and pray he will set Mr. Aitken free.
Christie has promised to decide the case by Christmas.