Millstone – On June 14, New Jersey veteran Leonard Cottrell Jr was at work at his local Wawa store at around 9:30 p.m., when his wife called to tell him that two police officers were standing on his front doorstep. The New Jersey state troopers were there because of a comment Cottrell’s 13 year old son had made about “school security.” They were there to search his home without a warrant and confiscate his guns.
That didn’t work in Cottrell’s case.
“No one from the state was going to take my firearms without due process.” Leonard Cottrell
His wife let them in to search the home. They first searched the boy’s room, but found no weapons. Mr. Cottrell is a disabled Army veteran who deployed 3 times to Iraq. He owns a shotgun, used primarily for hunting, and a pistol, and has the correct permits for both. Police wanted to seize them.
New Jersey.com reported,
“He said the attempted seizure resulted because of a new law Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law that makes it easier for police to confiscate guns when someone in the state poses a threat to themselves or others. The law is part of a broader statewide effort to make New Jersey’s gun laws even tougher amid the national outcry for more gun control in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.”
Cottrell’s son had no idea what he did. He made a comment about Millstone Middle School’s security and someone reported him as a threat. His son was barred from returning to school, and was not allowed to attend the graduation.
“He’s upset. He didn’t do anything wrong, and he doesn’t understand why it happened – he was just having a conversation with nothing as far as threats. It shouldn’t have blown up the way it did. But he understands it happened, there are consequences and there’s fallout from his actions.” Leonard Cottrell Jr
This case illustrates the problem with those “extreme risk protection orders” being touted by gun grabbers across the nation: there’s no real “due process” and sometimes the people reporting an issue are wrong. Assuming someone is a mass murderer because of a conversation about school security is exactly what’s wrong with those laws that make it easier to confiscate guns with no due process.
Mr. Cottrell agreed to remove his guns from the house until their investigation was over. When it was completed, they determined everything was fine.
“Troopers responded to Mr. Cottrell’s residence in reference to the report of a possible school threat. Based on their investigation, it was determined that Mr. Cottrell’s weapons did not need to be seized.” Sgt. First Class Jeff Flynn, NJSP
We live in an era of suspicion. This kind of incident effectively makes holding an ordinary conversation impossible…which is exactly what happens in Communist countries.
Featured photo: screenshot of Leonard Cottrell via NJ.com