- White House: More changes to contraception mandate coming
- ‘Operation Normandy’ set to send 3,500 volunteers to border to ‘stop an invasion’
- Netanyahu’s spokesman: Safe to fly to Israel
- Oregon vandals smear cars with doughnuts, pastries, chocolate bars
- Obama’s ‘Katrina moment’ leaves his favorability factor at 42 percent
- Feds tout nearly 200 arrests, $625K in seized cash in Texas border crackdown
- Joy Behar: Sarah Palin should be ‘turning letters over on some game show’
- Rhino poacher in South Africa sentenced to 77 years in jail
- John Kerry defies FAA and flies to Israel to talk peace
- Beretta leaves Maryland over gun laws, heads for Tennessee
No charges for family that faced police in SWAT gear over picture of son with rifle
Question of the Day
No charges will be filed against a man who posted online a photo of his young son holding what appeared to be a military-style rifle, police said Wednesday.
In a moment of heightened sensitivity around guns and gun control, the brief saga had the makings of a debate starter between people who oppose guns and those who say authorities are overzealous about even legal weapons.
Police in Carneys Point, a town of 8,000 some 30 miles southwest of Philadelphia, gave their version Wednesday, days after the boy’s father, Shawn Moore, brought attention to the issue, saying that state child welfare workers and police in SWAT gear showed up at his home because of the online photos.
Moore first posted a comment about the incident on a gun rights website and within days was appearing with his son, Josh, on a Fox News talk show and elsewhere. Moore said that the weapon was a .22-caliber rifle made to look like an assault rifle and that it was a gift for Josh’s upcoming 11th birthday.
In a statement, Carney Point Police Chief Robert DiGregorio and Mayor Richard Gatanis said officers went to the family’s home at about 8:15 p.m. Friday after getting anonymous tips that a boy there might have access to weapons and ammunition.
“In light of some of the recent school shootings across our nation, the Carneys Point Police Department takes these types of calls seriously,” they said, adding that they were obligated to go there with state Department of Children and Family caseworkers who requested assistance.
Moore had said the authorities requested to see his weapons, but with his lawyer on a speakerphone he denied them access because they did not have a search warrant.
The Carneys Point officials said the officers — in night uniforms and body armor but not SWAT gear — did not attempt an unlawful search.
The officials said that they respect citizens’ rights to own weapons and that several officers knew the elder Moore from a shooting club.
Moore’s lawyer, Evan Nappen, said the problem is the idea that the government could respond to people talking about or with photos of weapons on social media.
“This is a shame because of the impact it has on a really good dad and his son,” Nappen said. “No one was in danger.”
He said the state Department of Children and Families was aggressive and intimidating and could have avoided the situation by calling first.
A department spokesman did not return calls Wednesday, but said Tuesday —without commenting on the specific case — that the department routinely checks on tips it receives.
The department has been under years of court-monitoring and has been criticized in several cases where children who died or were in peril were not checked on.
TWT Video Picks
Retailer pays a price for getting too close to Obama
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- HURT: The cost of 'free' water in Detroit
- EDITORIAL: Obamacare in intensive care
- Pentagon team dispatched to Ukraine amid crisis with Russia
- Contrasting judgments on Obama's health care hours apart; appeals court calls subsidies unlawful
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq