Dustin Reininger: Texas Dude With a Truckload of Guns Forced to Remain in New Jersey Gulag

Categories: Courts

James Bond didn't need no 21 guns...
Second Amendment-hating New Jersey judges rejected a Texas man's appeal on a 2010 conviction of illegal possession of multiple firearms this week, but the case may soon be headed for New Jersey's Supreme Court.

Rockport resident Dustin Reininger's Kafka-esque nightmare began in 2009, when he was driving through Readington, New Jersey. Like many weary travelers, he parked his SUV behind a bank, curled up, and went to sleep, surrounded by "14 rifles, four shotguns, and three handguns" and some hollow-point sounds.

Unfortunately, his slumber was interrupted by a few of New Jersey's finest peeked through the window, saw guns in plain sight on his backseat, and conducted a warrantless search. Reidinger reportedly told the officers he was moving to Texas from Maine, but had a Rockport address, according to the Associated Press.

He was convicted "on several weapons counts, including illegal possession of shotguns, rifles, hollow-point bullets, and a high-capacity magazine," the AP story states.

A three-judge panel denied Reidinger's appeal, in which he argued in part that New Jersey's gun laws were unconstitutional.

Reidinger's lawyer, Evan Nappen told the AP that the warrantless search was illegal, alleging that "All the officers saw were cases. The court is essentially saying the plain view of a gun case is a basis for a warrantless search. That means every law-abiding gun owner in New Jersey is subject to warrantless search if they transport their firearms in a gun case. My recommendation to all gun owners is to transport all firearms in guitar cases."

Just like Desperado!

We tell ya -- what has this country become, when a dude can't even catch a few Z's behind a bank with a truckload of guns?

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"We tell ya -- what has this country become, when a dude can't even catch a few Z's behind a bank with a truckload of guns? "

I detect some sarcasm here...  If the guns were indeed cased, then the search was probably illegal.  How else was he supposed to transport them?  When my collection was smaller, I would take it with me when I drove to visit friends & family elsewhere in the midwest.  It seemed more secure to have my firearms in my possession rather than simply leaving them at home. I am always mindful of gun laws, and always transport my guns unloaded. 

Seems to me this gentleman's mistake was taking a path through Jersey to begin with.  He should have stayed a night in Vermont, and then pushed through to PA the next day, obeying the speed limits in NY, MA, CT, NJ.  From PA,  get to OH, then KY, and TN.  Driving through IN is OK, but IL must be avoided at all costs. 


Um, you say, you're always mindful of gun laws. He wasn't. As stated, the weapons/ammo he carried is illegal in NJ. As for the search, the multiple, visible, gun cases lend to probable cause. Multiple, visible, gun cases in a suspicious vehicle--eg out of state plates, at a bank, at night, when it's dark--is slam-dunk probable cause. The Fourth Amendment died when the TSA was mandated to molest me every time I board an airplane. This guy was found guilty of violating the law, end of story.


@MadMac Have to agree with you, my friends. All the states righters need to remember that each state has rights, not just their home state. Know before you go. And, parking behind a bank to bunk for the night, seriously?


@Becci1 @MadMac 

Fine he broke the law, but he doesnt deserve to sit in prison for 5 years he has no criminal history and no one got hurt he made a dumb mistake give him a fine and let him go! nobody benefits from him sitting in prison sick NJ justice system You texas boy had better band together and make some noise for this man

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