Since it was reported last month, the story of Meg Fellenbaum and her New Jersey gun arrest has been shared widely, and questioned almost as much, since there appeared to only be one source for the inflammatory tale: The New Jersey Second Amendment Society.
Today, the organization posted an update on the case, assuring readers that the story is, indeed, real.
From today’s post: “Many people have been asking questions in regard to the Meg Fellenbaum case we posted over a week ago…Many people have inquired to us about this story since they cannot find it anywhere else on the web. That is because NJ2AS broke the story since no other media outlet would cover it. Currently there is limited information available on this case because the Warren County Prosecutor’s office refuses to release any information on the case with the ability to redact or edit the information prior to release.”
The post includes a photo of an apparent letter to Fellenbaum’s lawyer setting a per-indictment conference date and to let the defense attorney know he may not disclose any “copies of CDs/DVDs which are provided without redaction of privileged information are being provided on the understanding that the defense attorney will not disclose the privileged information to their clients or to the third parties without notification to the assigned AP to allow for transcription and/or redaction prior to distribution.”
The charges stem from an incident in which Fellenbaum, a Pennsylvania resident and licensed concealed carrier who also owns a residence in Hackettstown, New Jersey with her girlfriend, was traveling to her second home on an undisclosed date. She pulled over to the side of the road to send a text (it is illegal to use a cell phone while driving in NJ).
An NJ State Trooper allegedly approached the pulled-over vehicle and knocked on Fellenbaum’s window to check on her. The officer allegedly returned to his vehicle, but was back at her window before she pulled away. The story says the trooper told Fellenbaum he noticed a single round of ammunition on her back seat floor and asked if she was carrying a firearm. She replied that she wasn’t as her firearm was locked in a lockbox in her trunk, per state law.
New Jersey, despite sharing most of its border with Pennsylvania, does not recognize carry permits issued there, or in any other state for that matter.
The trooper asked to see her carry permit, which she produced, the story says. The officer then asked her to step out of the car, handcuffed her, and read her Miranda rights.
The story goes on to say her car was towed when she refused to consent to a search of the vehicle and she was taken to a police station, handcuffed to a bench, and denied feminine hygiene products and a lawyer for at least 10 hours. Fellenbaum ultimately spent a week in jail and was charged with unlawful possession of weapons, possession of hollow-tip ammunition, and criminal trespass.
NJ’s laws regarding hollow-points are a little complicated, but it basically boils down to this: individuals are allowed to possess hollow-point ammunition, they’re allowed to hunt with it, and they’re allowed to practice with it. 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…”
The NJ2AS is asking that supporters call the Warren County Prosecutor’s office and “respectfully demand they release the tapes of the incident, drop all charges against Ms. Fellenbaum, and return her firearms to her.”
Additionally, the organization reports that the fundraising site, GoFundMe, has dropped Fellenbaum and took down her page “because her case involves firearms.” The site speculates that the action may be related to the infamous Operation Chokepoint program (which has been cancelled) that has been forcing banks to stop working with gun stores, manufacturers, and others involved in the firearms industry.
“Because of GoFundMe’s failure, NJ2AS has decided to step in to fundraise on her behalf,” the site says. “If you’d like to contribute to the fund to help Ms. Fellenbaum, you can donate here.”