TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is asking his attorney general to investigate the state’s visit to the home of a man who had posted a photo of his son on Facebook holding a gun.
The state child welfare agency and local police went to the Carneys Point home of Shawn Moore on March 14 following what police said were anonymous calls expressing concern about the safety of a child.
Moore has said he believes he was investigated because of the photo he posted online of his son holding the gun he got for his 11th birthday. The weapon in the photo resembles a military-style assault rifle but is actually just a .22-caliber copy, Moore said.
Moore said he gave his son Josh the gun to use on hunting trips. Moore was at a friend’s house when his wife called saying state child welfare investigators along with four local police officers were at the house asking to inspect the family’s guns.
Moore said he called his lawyer Evan Nappen, who specializes in Second Amendment cases, and had him on speakerphone as he arrived at his house.
“They said they wanted to see into my safe and see if my guns were registered,” Moore said. “I said no. In New Jersey, your guns don’t have to be registered with the state, it’s voluntary. I knew once I opened that safe, there was no going back.”
With his lawyer listening in on the phone, Moore said he asked the investigators and police officers whether they had a warrant to search his home. When they said no, he asked them to leave. One of the child welfare officials would not identify herself when Moore asked for her name, he said.
No charges were filed.
Nappen called the incident outrageous.
“This family was victims of an overreaction,” he said. “There’s no danger here, there was no problem here, no report of anything other than a picture with a smiling kid with his finger off the trigger, showing he was properly trained.”
Christie said reports on the inquiry raise “troubling questions.”
New Jersey’s Department of Children and Families had declined to comment specifically on the case but says it often follows up on tips.
State child welfare spokeswoman Kristine Brown said law enforcement officers are asked to accompany caseworkers only if the caseworkers feel their safety could be compromised.
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