On Tuesday, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Josh Huff was arrested during a traffic stop for speeding on the Walt Whitman Bridge, traveling from Pennsylvania to New Jersey, according to this story from nj.com. He was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and hollow point bullets.
Because he was charged in Camden County, New Jersey and not Pennsylvania, Huff is subject to the state’s extremely strict gun laws and could face a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 1/2 years in prison, the story says.
The story says Huff was carrying a Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun loaded with six hollow-point rounds and had it stored in the driver’s side door of the car.
In New Jersey, having a firearm in your vehicle is considered under the law to be the same as carrying a concealed firearm on your person, and requires the same permit. Out-of-state residents from bordering states often fall victim to Jersey’s gun laws, many through ignorance. New Jersey also does not recognize concealed carry permits from any other state.
Huff is set to appear in Gloucester City Municipal court on November 15 to address the charges.
The state’s laws are very specific about the rules regarding hollow-point ammo. It is legal to own the ammunition in New Jersey, but it is illegal to carry it outside the residence without a permit unless strict procedures are followed.
If someone wishes to transport the hollowpoint ammo, say to a target range or to hunting grounds, it must be secured in “a closed and fastened container or locked in the trunk of the motor vehicle in which it is being transported. The course of travel should be as direct as possible…”
As for the handgun, to legally transport it in the state without a concealed carry permit (which are notoriously difficult for regular civilians to attain) the gun must be “carried unloaded and contained in a closed and fastened case, gunbox, securely tied package, or locked in the trunk of the automobile in which it is being transported..” Additionally the gun “should not be directly accessible from the passenger compartment of the vehicle.”
Even if Huff could convince the court that he was headed to the range or to go hunting, he still wasn’t transporting the gun and ammunition lawfully, the story says).
In Pennsylvania, the state on the other side of the bridge Huff had just crossed, hollow-point ammunition is legal to carry and transport. While it is legal to openly carry a firearm in your vehicle in Pennsylvania, such as a long gun on a gun rack in a truck, it is illegal to carry a concealed firearm without a carry permit.
The story says Huff could conceivably tell the court he is a new resident to the area who is unfamiliar with the local gun laws and is more accustomed to his native Texas, where it is legal to have a gun in a vehicle without a permit.
There have been reports that there was a small amount of marijuana also found in Huff’s car, but that hasn’t been confirmed and likely wouldn’t impact the gun charges, the story says. Medical marijuana is legal but highly regulated in New Jersey, while recreational marijuana possession remains illegal.
Recently, a legal gun owner, Meg Fellenbaum, who has residences in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and has a concealed carry permit in PA, was arrested when she pulled to the shoulder in NJ to text someone. A state police officer approached her car and reportedly noticed one round of ammunition on the floor in the rear of her car, according to this story from ammoland.com. He handcuffed her before searching her car.
Despite the fact that her firearm was locked up in the trunk, unloaded, she was charged with illegal possession of a weapon, possession of hollow-tip bullets (police claim the single round they found was a hollowpoint) and, unbelievably, criminal trespass for pulling over on private property, the story says. Fellenbaum was reportedly handcuffed to a bench for 10 hours and denied phone calls, an attorney, and hygiene products, despite repeated requests. She ended up spending a week in jail.