“Sgt. Ray Hughes had taken his wife to dinner in Atlantic City. He was driving home when he and his wife were hit by a drunk driver,” buzzpo.com reports. “When police responded, they noticed his ‘Fraternal Order of Police’ decal and law enforcement credentials. Hughes explained that he had his weapon with him, and police officers assured him that they’d secure it and he could pick it up later at the station.” Yeah. No . . .

It wasn’t until a few days had passed that Sgt. Hughes received a phone call explaining that he was being charged with a felony punishable by 3-10 years in prison.

The arresting officer explained to Hughes that he was adamantly against arresting him, but the decision came from above his level of authority.

Sgt. Hughes didn’t have a New Jersey concealed carry permit. Nor could he, as a Pennsylvania resident (NJ does not honor PA permits, nor the reverse). But surely Hughes was covered under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act, which allows serving police officers to carry in all 50 states (with certain exceptions). LEOSA? No suh!

As buzzpo.com rightly points out, under LEOSA, an officer must have “statutory powers of arrest.” Since Sgt. Hughes is a corrections officer, nope. Not covered. After getting whacked by a drunk driver, nearly losing his life, Sgt. Hughes’ life is about to destroyed.

So, who were these “higher level” authorities who ignored both common sense and professional courtesy? Not known. But the highest level authority in New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie, allows these infringements on his citizens’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.

In the run up to his failed bid to ascend to the executive office, Governor Christie pardoned a few previous, similar cases. Now that he’s not running for President any more, will he do the right thing for Sgt. Hughes? Meanwhile, the Garden State anti-gun madness is set to continue for years to come. RIP, Justice Scalia.

[h/t JG]

116 Responses to NJ Police Charge PA Corrections Officer with Felony Gun Possession

  1. Equal jeopardy under the law. I think NJ, along with CA, NY and a couple others should be occuppied by federaltroops until civil rights are restored for all.

    But if that’s not going to happen then there should be no carveouts for folks that work in the system.

  2. I think I would have quit on the spot if I was the arresting officer. No point in going home safely at night if you can’t sleep once you get there.

    • DA’s are completely unaccountable. This is probably why they constantly do this kind of injustice. They are drunk with power. They are totally out of control.

        • I suspect that slipped through the screening process somehow. I imagine that you have a tough row to hoe. Good luck.

      • I think all laws need to be enforced. It is the only way to find out whether they are good or bad. The real problems come when you have a DA who picks and chooses on which to enforce based on his beliefs instead of the facts.

        Good people going to prison for stupid ass reasons will help bad laws get repealed. Hold the lawmakers responsible for this nonsense.

    • On one hand: I wonder what the consequences would have been if he’d refused the order to arrest? On the other hand: I wonder if he would be equally opposed to arresting a non-LEO under the same circumstances?

      • I think we all know how that would have played out if the guy had been some ordinary Pennsylvania schmuck, and didn’t have an ID card and stickers to let the responding officers know he was an LEO. There wouldn’t have been a courtesy call days later to tell him how sorry they were to have to arrest him, because he would have been cuffed and stuffed at the scene of the accident without so much as a second thought.

    • Sgt. Hughes should have known he wasn’t legal in NJ. Period. Did he perhaps figure on his status as a correctional officer to get him out of any jams (Professional Courtesy is what the privileged call it) he might blunder in to. Well not everybody passes it out so liberally. Remember, if you don’t have the secret handshake where you are going, you are just another non-LEO SCHMUCK like the rest of the serfs.

    • Ha Ha….Cops in NJ make well over $100k per year, with full paid bennies and a big fat pension after 20 years…
      they’re not giving up the golden goose/gravy train for anyone, especially not a PA cop that makes less than half on average.

      • They only make 6 digits bc of the absurd cost of living in that commie shizhole. I had a friend come here to IN from there and he was completely baffled by the normal cost of living here and in the surrounding states barring upstate IL.

  3. What…hold on….if I try real hard I might be able to squeeze out a tear.

    Nope can’t do it.

    Nice to see the law equally applied to those that the “law does not apply”.

  4. New Jersey- Gun Free Zone/ Second Amendment does not apply- unconstitutional state. Looking for trouble, go there.

  5. Since he’s no longer running for President, Chris Christie no longer has any real incentive to continue his pardon-fest.

    • That’s what I said before. Christie has never done anything to ease NJ’s idiotic gun laws. And he’s had many long years to do so. It’s just that when he was running he wanted people to think he’s pro-2A so he started pardoning people. That’s pretty much over now.

      Which just goes to prove what I’ve always said: Christie is a-OK with NJ gun laws and how restrictive and punitive they are. He has never made any effort to fix any of them, i.e. repeal them. And when he got called out on it during the campaign he started yelling at the guy claiming that’s false. Typical bully behavior. Christie is a typical lifetime opportunist politician. I will be surprised if the pardons any more victims of the sick NJ justice system.

  6. It’s ok – Christie may pardon him, after the guy spends his life savings trying to stay out of prison for this victimless technicality.

    That’s what it comes down to in New Jersey. You have no protections from arrest. You are arrested and prosecuted at the whim of an individual (prosecutor) who’s performance is measured by how many are prosecuted regardless of innocence or justification, and you hope and pray that the ruler of the state saves you from the money-robbing life-stealing machine – completely funded and supposedly controlled by taxpayers. Then later in a discussion on the 2A, these same taxpayer tell you that “we” are the government. Happy feelings all around right?

    • At the VERY least, the Governor could use his office as a bully pulpit to suggest that enforcement of administrative gun laws incurring felonies on innocent violators, who have no criminal intent, should cease.
      If he is truly a supporter of the 2nd Amendment, he should be actively calling for reform of NJ gun laws, beginning with the establishment of a “shall issue” CCW system, and reciprocity with all other states.

  7. I guess New Jersey prosecutors will never figure out that arresting law abiding people does nothing to lower crime. F**king idiots every last one.

    • They old saying goes “Never attribute to malevolence what can be adequately explained by incompetence”…

      However, given how these pigs work in this environment every day, they absolutely understand how the laws in that hellhole affect innocent people more than criminals. They understand it, and they use it for personal gain.

  8. Talk about kicking a man while he’s down. This is another perfect example of why (malum se prohibitum?) is rarely a good approach to lawmaking.

  9. And this is the inevitable outcome of Progressivism: some agents of the state are more equal than other agents of the state.

    You would think that employees of the state would start leaving in droves once they start eating their own.

  10. Hughes explained that he had his weapon with him…

    That was his second mistake.

    (His first was going into New Jersey at all.)

    Do police really wonder why law-abiding people are becoming less and less cooperative?

    • I refuse to travel through NJ, NY, CA and any other state with ridiculous gun laws. I had to make a break for it through NY when I was leaving MA to go to KS. I told my wife we were not stopping until we reached Ohio for any reason, including piss breaks. She agreed and we went the entire distances without stopping. It really sucked. Never again will I do that.

        • He may have travelled through upstate new York, by going through Albany. Easy to avoid the NYC traffic cesspit that way. (Still, Erie PA would have been a valid place to stop if needed.)

  11. Wouldn’t any of us be subject to arrest in a similar situation (minus all the LEO affiliation)? Why should corrections guards, or any other LEO, get “professional courtesy? With all the laws against guns in the northeast, shouldn’t any police type know when and where guns are legal?

  12. If the Liberals treated AIDS the same way as they do guns, me thinkith that AIDS would have been history by now…

  13. The arresting officer explained to Hughes that he was adamantly against arresting him, but the decision came from above his level of authority.

    So, police lovers, please do not ever, EVER tell me that cops won’t go along with illegal gun confiscation. Some of them will be thrilled to kick our doors in. Others will cry crocodile tears while they claim that they are so, so adamantly against it, but the decision came from above their level of authority and they must obey higher authority. Then they will kick our doors in and laugh about it later with their buddies..

  14. Cases like this are why more people need to know about jury nullification. One principled person can make a difference in the face of unjust laws.

  15. Bottom line: stay out of NJ. I realize some of us may be in a situation in which we kind of have to live there (job considerations, ex-spouses with custody, etc.) As far as I’m concerned I have no reason to ever set foot in that state, and I have no intention of aiding the economy of that leftist utopia.

  16. Correctional officers are NOT police officers in many states. Hope he does hard time….stupid laws need to be changed

  17. How many times have I posted about that lefty shit hole on this site!? There are many good people there, but it is the definition of government that’s out of control on every level. Chris Crisco just tinkers around the edges, but has made no meaningful changes, nor will he.
    Meanwhile, in Newark, Patterson, Camden , New Brunswick, Plainfield, Morristown, or Boonton, some drug slinging thug is packing an illegally obtained gun without a care in the world. It’s much easier for the lazy-assed cops and prosecutors to turn middle-class folks into criminals and ruin their lives. I’d love to go visit my family members there, but I’m not willing to surrender my guns or my freedom at the other side of the Delaware river. The laws there are literally insane!

  18. Many corrections are law enforcement with arrest authority. Everyone knows who/what they are and you are issued ID as such. HR218 is very specific.
    NJ laws stink for all people. Down here we are always arguing that states have the right to regulate unfortunately this is an example of such in the opposite direction we would like to see.

  19. Soooo…NJ sucks. Got it. Yeah I doubt big chris gives a rat’s azz anymore. So who does the rotund one support for pres? His buddy donald?

  20. For at least 10 years now, I have refused to set foot in NJ. I started rerouting travel to Washington DC to avoid NJ in 2000. Unfortunately had to spend time at Ft. Monmouth during the 80s.

  21. It’s just the way it is in NJ. They’ve set up a system where at any given time, just about every common citizen is breaking a law or two.

    I grew up in NJ, and I remember how basically everything was against the law. Couldn’t light sparklers on the Fourth of July. Couldn’t play airsoft or laser tag in our front yard. My dad got fined for having a 24 inch fire pit. A party the neighbors had in their back yard was called an unlawful gathering since there were 27 people. Another kid ticketed for skateboarding in his cul-de-sac.

    It’s not an overzealous belief in law in NJ – it’s a concept that almost everything can and should be made illegal, and then the wise ruling class decides who to punish and who not to punish.

    The gangsters of the 20s and 30s never left NJ. They just ran for office.

    • Also growing up in NJ, I can absolutely positively confirm this.

      Our rule was, “If it’s fun, it’s probably illegal” – I know other areas have that saying, but in NJ it was absolutely true. I remember playing flashlight tag at night — as a kid — and being harassed by a cop over an ordnance to “distractions to drivers”, and later on, for standing up on my bicycle while riding it. Got harassed by cops for things like taking pictures on the side of the road.

      Got in trouble once for playing music on a portable stereo one summer while running through the sprinkler. Not obscene music, not ‘too loud’ music, but pretty much just music at all.

      Everything was illegal. A kid brought a hollow point .357 magnum round (one) into class once and we all gathered around it and stared at it like it was a nuclear bomb. (Possession of hollow point ammo – even one round – is illegal in NJ.) And yes, for the fourth of July my parents would smuggle in some sparklers from New Hampshire, but we had to light them in the woods under cover because we knew they were contraband.

      You always knew a kid or two who was spending a week or two in Juvy programs or summer school for something absolutely piddling, like lighting a campfire, possessing spray paint or model glue for a model car, being caught with a pocket knife over 3 inches, mistaken trespassing in the woods, skateboarding in the road or riding their bike on the sidewalk.

      I know one of my friends got ticketed and fined for sitting on a fence rail in a park. She had to go to court three times over it.

      We had a lot of land. Me and my siblings – again maybe 10-12 years old at the time, made an RC car / bicycle dirt track in our back yard. First, the town got on our case for not having a ‘permit’ for it. Then, as we’d ride our bikes around the thing, a cop would pull up to a road adjacent to our property and yell on a megaphone, repeatedly, “THE SPEED LIMIT FOR UNPOSTED AREAS IS TEN MILES PER HOUR, EVEN ON BICYCLES AND MOPEDS”. He actually did that from the road, onto our private property. We eventually planted trees so nobody could see us.

      When we drove past a NJ state trooper, my father would say “Nobody look at him – Look straight ahead – if you look at him he’ll pull us over.” Because they would. And so we didn’t.

      I’m probably forgetting a ton of things. But I’m also sure ANYONE from New Jersey has stories like this. And anyone from NJ who doesn’t have gripes and experiences like this is absolutely the “There oughta be a LAW” type.

      They congregate on the east coast. I miss the ocean and the trees. I don’t miss the authoritarianism.

      • Yep. When a kid in 4th grade, I suddenly couldn’t get caps anywhere in Jersey City for my cap pistol. One candy store owner told me that “The cops came around and asked us not to sell them. They’re ‘fireworks’ under the law”.
        I started an “ammo-running” operation, buying caps down the Shore, where it was legal, for my friends in school.

  22. Is he in custody? If not, will Pennsylvania officials allow him to be extradited?

    We seriously need start looking into ‘equal protection under the law’ in this country.

    And the one poster hit it squarely on the head: Cops may not be bound to unjust or unconstitutional laws, but they will obey those who sign their paychecks.

    • I think it was Massad Ayoob who said that unless you work for it, receive a check from it or do business with it, the Government is not your friend.

      I think he’s being generous.

      Don

      • There is only one government (local, state and federal – kind of like the trinity). They’re a lot like the cable company. Except you could get Dish or DirecTV. Or screw ’em both and just do Netflix. Still, the lackey at your cable company doesn’t give a rat’s ass if you don’t like his service – what are you gonna do? – go someplace else? Now replace the cable lackey with a government bureaucrat who can’t be fired no matter how much time he spends watching porn on the job AND if you piss him off he might just throw you in jail. And people want to be dependent on this dude?!?

        Also, I think Colt’s Manufacturing Company might take exception to Massad’s advice about doing business with the government.

        • Colt screwed themselves. They were making obscene profits on the M4 and when FN stepped up and was willing to take a merely good profit, Colt lost.

          The Government was very much Colt’s friend. Actually more like its suggar daddy. Except it got caught taking cash out of the sugar daddy’s wallet when he was showering up after a meeting.

  23. The ole come back and get your gun trick. We’ve seen this before. Corrections officers deal with category of convicted criminal. Arian jackasses putting hits on correction officers. They need the ability to defend themselves. The thought that a DA would consider charging the man is a moral abomination. I have a propane tank, who has the tar, who the feathers.

    • Those nontrinitarian Christians are known for their violence.

      No government employee should have any special privileges that citizens do not enjoy. PERIOD. Bury this “corrections officer” under jail. A government employee is the only person I would vote to convict on any “victimless crime” charges. Citizens would get a Not Guilty.

  24. Amazing. What a hole of a state.

    If I were the investigating officer that gun would have been secured in a way so as not to come to the attention of a DA.

  25. When it comes to guns NJ is not a part of the US. Anyone, when guns are concerned, from any other state is persona non grata permit or not. Welcome to the Garden State You and yours are welcomed just not your (legally anywhere else) guns. However it still doesn’t stop the “CRIMINALS”.

  26. Robert,

    Professional Courtesy??? The common english word for that is CORRUPTION. I have several cop friends. I am very familiar with the practice. Shoot, an entire web site was devoted to outing cops who did not offer the courtesy. (copswritingcops.com).

    In all, I am perfectly fine with Sgt. Hughes getting arrested and prosecuted for his offense. Cops should not have extra rights. Drag them down to the level of the rest of us, let them squeal and feel our pain.

    Until that happens, we will not be able to count rank and file officers as our allies in this struggle.

    Shiny badges and fancy costumes do not grant extra rights.

    If he was going to carry on LEOSA, then he should have familiarized himself with the requirements and limitations of the law.

    Don

  27. “So, who were these ‘higher level’ authorities who ignored both common sense and professional courtesy?”

    Professional courtesy? You mean unilateral, illegal exemption to a very serious crime (under unconstitutional NJ law, admittedly)? No deal. Throw the book at him. No professional courtesy. No statutory carve outs. No expedient political season pardons. The law is the law, and while that shouldn’t be the law, nothing will change it until the public pain threshold is breached.

    People are perfectly content to let a stray good guy here and there get busted by these draconian laws. They’ll read it in the paper, shake their heads, mumble ‘Ain’t that some [stuff]?’, then go about their day. That’s why nothing changes.

    Let more and more good guys get caught up in this insanity, perhaps someone they know, and it starts hitting closer to home. Then maybe these indifferent freedom forfeiters will get off their lazy butts and demand their rights.

    In the mean time, understand up front that NJ is a police state ruled by madmen. Everyone is a potential enemy of the state. Stay away from NJ like you’d stay away from NK.

  28. I’m a FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL OFFICER, with arrest powers ONLY on the job at work, but I AM COVERED by LEOSA. I don’t understand why this guy isn’t. Shoot, the Federal Bureau of Prisons HATES that we are covered by LEOSA and tried some B.S. early on to track who might carry off work. PLUS we can’t carry while we travel to work, because we don’t have any storage and ARE not legally allowed to bring them onto the job location.

    • Same here. There was a bill to allow us to store personal firearms in our vehicles in lock boxes but I’m pretty sure it died in a committee someplace. It’s a shame that PA doesn’t make sure their people are covered.

  29. Maybe I’ve been watching game of thrones too much but I’d like to see soon Governors go head to head.

    NJ: hand him over
    PA: Nah, **** off

  30. NJ resident here. NJ LEO is actively hostile to concealed carry. You don’t like it when applied to your own? Support efforts to allow concealed carry.

    Highly disappointed with Evan Nappen for taking this case. He’s supporting LEO carveouts at the expense of the rest of us.

    That being said, choosing Evan as your lawyer in Atlantic County may not be the wisest move. I don’t think he made any friends defending that woman from Philly last year. The corrections officer should have gotten someone lower profile, and let his LEO allies get this quietly dismissed.

  31. LEOSA still needs some tweaking. The latest tweaks made me(retired reserve deputy) eligible for LEOSA. However my S.O. won’t qualify ret. reserves. I think it should be tweaked to allow CCH instructors and/or NRA certified instructors to also qualify retirees, That would take inane decisions and local politics out of the equation Last August after losing a deputy, my Sheriff said Police Lives Matter. evidently there are exceptions.

    {stepping off Soap Box)

      • I agree with that, it improperly uses the Interstate Commerce Clause. But the Libs uses a inane court decision on the Comm. Clause to write invalid laws to exert the heavy hand of the Government on its citizens and it is wonderful the Republicans used it for something good..
        I went to the reserve office and they said Sheriff Hickman won’t allow retired sheriff reserve deputies to qualify with their sidearms for LEOSA purposes.. I guess we aren’t allowed to use the Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act. We are expendible.

        • …it is wonderful the Republicans used it for something good.

          I do not consider creating two classes of people, such that one class can exercise a natural, constitutionally protected right while the other class cannot, to be “something good.”

  32. If I’m not mistaken, this gentleman would have been charged in NJ even if he had a BB gun or an airsoft pistol, right?

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