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ATF’s Form 4473, the required background check form for purchasing a firearm, includes a litany of questions to which the prospective purchaser affirms, on penalty of felony, that they have answered honestly. When 65-year-old Charles Castelluzzo answered the third question, which asks whether one has ever been convicted of a felony, his “no” answer landed him in court.

According to the Shore Daily News:

“…Castelluzzo testified that he thought a 1980 charge of possession of cocaine was a misdemeanor and was dismissed because he was a first-time drug offender who said he did what he was told to do more than 30 years ago. He quit using drugs, did community service, and the police in New Jersey gave him his guns back, which had been confiscated because of the charge.”

Castelluzzo’s confusion regarding that four decade-old charge resulted because New Jersey simply lists charges by degree and his possession charge was “a third-degree.” It’s also more than a little interesting that his firearms were returned to him by one of the most heavily gun-controlled states in the country. I wasn’t able to find more information about this aspect of the story, unfortunately.

At any rate, again from the story at the Shore Daily News:

…Judge W. Revell Lewis III said the defendant was convicted of a felony. “New Jersey does have a first offender statute that was not applied in this case,” the judge said. “The problem I have is intent. I believe that Mr. Castelluzzo may have been mistaken about whether or not he” was a felon. “I can understand why you would be confused about this … Now you know sir. Never apply again for a firearm because if you come back again you are going to be found guilty.”

Or, you know, perhaps a 40-year-old drug possession charge (for cocaine in the 80s, mind you), the only apparent ding on Castelluzzo’s 65-year record, shouldn’t be upheld as a reason to deny him his natural, civil, and allegedly Constitutionally-protected basic human right of self-defense.

 

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91 COMMENTS

  1. The judge was merciful. I am surprised but I salute him. I wonder if Mr Catelluzzo gave petition to have the conviction erased?

      • This kind of crap is why felonies especially non-violent ones shouldn’t be a bar to voting or gun rights. They are there primarily to keep blacks from their civil rights, review the history.

        • “They are there primarily to keep blacks from their civil rights”

          do you think blacks committing felonies plays any role in this?

        • Blacks are more than twice as likely to be poor, and poverty in the black community plays a large part in their crime rate…

        • So “poverty” means the law shouldn’t apply? Is that only for property crimes or is arson and aggravated assault covered by “poverty” too?

    • Well, he can always just order over the internet. Or use the gun show loophole. Or hold a seance and get a ghost gun to materialize out of the ether.

      • I see this as setting a precedence for the trial of Hunter Biden. See, he went to trial…no presidential interference, and lo and behold there IS a precedent verdict. Go in peace and sin no more….must I add /sarc?

  2. Trump-humpers and RINOS in general would agree with the judge. I’ve taken dumps that are more pro 2A than a trump-humper.

        • Or:

          – All Hail
          – Hurr Durr
          – A True Patriot
          – Baaaaaaahahahahahaha

          Might be three different persons, or the same individual. Or a blend of the two, like Gollum.

        • I’m convinced all 4 are an angry autistic known as pee gee… 🙂

      • No it won’t. These creatures are on somebody’s payroll.

        Ask yourself this. We are on a pro gun site. I’ve been here for close to 10 years. Only once in that period have I ever gone to an anti gun site and I made no comment then. Normal folks stay in their lane.

        Either these trolls are mental or they’re paid. Ignoring them changes nothing.

        • “Normal folks stay in their lane”

          they do. day after day, year after year, decade after decade ….

          but some folks go out of “their lane” to say or hear or learn something new.

        • That’s not what’s happening ant. They aren’t learning. They’re disrupting and spreading bs.

        • “No it won’t. These creatures are on somebody’s payroll.”

          Wrongo !!!

          I operate over 87% of the so-called “troll” screen names, and I get paid exactly $0.00 to do so. Someone else controls the remaining 23%, and word is they aren’t paid either. It’s all conspiracy theory.

          A conspiracy theory I initiated.

        • “They’re disrupting and spreading bs”

          some do, absolutely.

          but I’ve found that most blogs are really just social entertainment clubs for insiders. whatever the ostensible purpose of a blog, often it’s real purpose is to be a place where a club of insders shares roughly the same ideas and pats each other on the back at how intelligent and aware they are, and how blind and deluded everyone else is. like a calvinist church ….

          but when someone starts asking questions and saying what about this and what about that, the insiders get mad. really mad. deeply angry that someone is disturbing “their lane”. the questioner is seen as an enemy to be driven away.

          the left, being social, does it as deliberate articulated policy. the right, being in many cases anti-social, does it out of blind visceral instinct.

        • Everyone take heed, as stolen valor aficionado ‘jwm’ has something to say. Seriously what a complete clown he is…

        • “a place where a club of insders shares roughly the same ideas and pats each other on the back at how intelligent and aware they are, and how blind and deluded everyone else is. like a calvinist church …. “

          Antman, you have hit the nail on the head regarding TTAG and similar forums.

          And you are also correct about the unreasoning anger if any of these treasured beliefs are questioned in the slightest.

          On another note, I assure you I am not being paid to post comments on this or any other blog.

          I am providing my insightful, sparkling wit totally free of charge, all in an attempt to spark an original thought in some of the POTG.

          Remember, all original thought begins as heresy. Just ask Galileo…

        • chewboxie. Cite one example of mine of stolen valor.

          SA-Truppfuhrer miner. You’ve never had a though that wasn’t scripted for you.

          Notice I pan trolls and what shows up?

        • Ant7, be careful. Your comrades could consider you tainted and think you need a dose of reeducation.

        • Sadly true. Mental illness or monetary gain are the only possible explanations for these embarrassments.
          Their parents must be so proud.

  3. Wonder if the judge inquired about whether Castelluzzo still has his guns, and demanded they be confiscated? Would be interesting if the judge declared that Castelluzzo could keep those guns, but not buy any more.

  4. Wait! Hold on! Countless people have told me that Mr. Castelluzzo must be dangerous (because he has a felony conviction) and therefore should never, ever have firearms. The fact that he never harmed anyone in the first place–and has definitely not harmed anyone for the last 40 years since his conviction–somehow fails to establish that Mr. Castelluzzo is actually a trustworthy and honorable member of society. Go figure.

    • @uncommon,

      Stand in place, right where you are. Don’t move.

      Okay, I’m going to draw a line in the sand a couple of feet in front of you. If you step forward and cross that line, you will be in violation of the rules, and appropriate discipline will be meted out.

      Are you still standing in your original spot? Good.

      Now look behind you. See that line I just drew? It’s the same line I was going to draw in front of you, but I changed my mind and decided to place it there instead. Now you’re finding yourself in front of it, and in the “bad” zone. You’re a bad man and must be disciplined. Give me your guns.

      That’s pretty much how our felony system has evolved over the past 100 years. Many things that society was fine with, are now misdemeanors, and certain misdemeanors are now felonies. So many, in fact, that the average gun owner today has to proactively think about how to avoid crossing over the myriad lines drawn all over the place. 200 years ago, nobody had to think of it.

      • “Many things that society was fine with, are now misdemeanors, and certain misdemeanors are now felonies”

        indeed. iiuc in colonial times if a man killed someone he could plead … don’t know, that he just lost his temper or something, and if it was his first offence the court would dismiss charges. lots of people took advantage of that.

        different world.

        • Ant7 claimed, “indeed. iiuc in colonial times if a man killed someone he could plead … don’t know, that he just lost his temper or something, and if it was his first offence the court would dismiss charges.”
          Hey ant7, I’m not sure if you believe that, or if it was a feeble attempt at a joke, but I can assure you that it’s not true (just like your anti-gun comments aren’t true).

          How do I know? I just got back from Colonial Williamsburg, where I went on three different ghost tours, and they all told the same story about one husband from 18th century Colonial Williamsburg. The husband came back from a business trip and caught his wife having an affair with another man, so in a fit of anger, he beat the man to death. Sounds perfectly justifiable, right? Yep, but even back then, when adultery was a crime, the husband was hanged for what some would call (even today) justifiable homicide.

          The rest of the story: his wife helped him hide the body. But he was the only suspect (it was a small town, and EVERYONE knew his wife was having an affair, so when the womanizer disappeared as soon as the husband was back in town, everyone knew the husband had killed him). When confronted by the sheriff, he confessed to the killing on the condition that his wife not be punished. He was hanged. His ghost still haunts the area to this day (or maybe it was the ghost of the womanizer he killed? Yeah, I think that’s the one who became a ghost, the womanizer). His wife wasn’t punished, but her reputation (if she had any left!) was ruined, and she left town.
          True story, I just can’t remember the names.

    • “What bullshit.”

      Correct, Marsupial One.

      About the article :

      “It’s also more than a little interesting that his firearms were returned to him by one of the most heavily gun-controlled states in the country.”

      Not really, that was 1980, and I lived in New Jersey in 1980. It was no where near as anal then, as it is today. So I’m not overly surprised…

  5. Personally I think anything short of murder should roll off public records similar to one’s credit history. Severity could determine length.
    Otherwise any conviction is a life sentence. I have known people in their 60s working menial labor for life because a felony theft at 20 prevented any decent employment. There is no excuse for that. And no excuse for losing your civil rights.

    • What we have in the US is a revenge system. Not justice. 1 transgression and the system will grind you for the rest of your life.

    • “I have known people in their 60s working menial labor for life because a felony theft at 20 prevented any decent employment. There is no excuse for that.”

      “1 transgression and the system will grind you for the rest of your life”

      who’s to blame for that? the courts or the employers?

      • I was originally tempted to say “our lawmakers”, but I’ve personally seen abuse first hand in court by District Attorneys. They are the ones who choose which charges to pursue, and how to twist the facts to win themselves another gold star while the defendant gets shafted with consequences that follow them for life.

        I do not trust any D.A.s or attorneys. Not even the ones that I hired, and not even when I/we won. They are all despicable.

        • (nod) how else could a justice system be run?

          should we have a justice system? most rabid far-right gun guys would say no, my six-shooter is justice enough. and they mean it. but how ’bout for the rest of us? how should it be done?

        • Was this your relative who raped a woman and got off on a technicality? What a loser ‘he’ is…

      • learn the laws of money, the law of economics and useful service. Working for money is something I’m leaving behind soon and anyone with a felony rap sheet should exercise more power of thought and less power of labor.

        Work a menial job, live in a van, and build assets that generate passive income.

  6. Strange thing how people pick and choose which Laws they rail against, yet make no attempt at getting them changed.

  7. If you are not serving a sentence your full rights, including 2a rights, should be restored.

    • That’d make an interesting poll.

      I doubt that even on this site, a majority of people would want to just let previously-convicted felons purchase firearms, or even vote without going through some sort of petition or “re-entry” program. I wouldn’t.

      There’s one against, and I assume, one for…

      • Chalk me up for agreeing with jwm.

        Loss of rights should only apply to certain major crimes, such as capital crimes. For lesser violations, rights should be restored after the probation/parole period has expired.

        • I’m good with that. If one is convicted of a capital crime, and duly executed, one should not have one’s civil rights restored once the sentence is carried out.
          This does not mean, of course, that duly-executed criminals cannot vote from the grave, because the DNC depends upon the votes of myriad numbers of dead people, and not allowing dead felons to vote just because they can’t appear in person is just like Jim Crow.

      • “I doubt that even on this site, a majority of people would want to just let previously-convicted felons purchase firearms, or even vote without going through some sort of petion or “re-entry” program. I wouldn’t. ”

        That would put one squarely in the, “I believe in the 2d Amendment, but..” camp.

        • but there’s always a “but”. most “pro-2nd” types, if the grid were down and they found themselves suddenly the only source of any law and order in their neighborhood, would turn into the biggest gun-grabbing tyrants you ever heard about – and they’d be perfectly fine with it.

    • I agree. As a society one of the many problems with our criminal system is the fact that once you are convicted with a felony, your life is forever changed. No matter how small or minor the facts of the felony might be. We’d rather let them out and encourage them to take on harder crime because we won’t allow them to participate fully in society anymore. It’s asinine.

      We shouldn’t let people out who are still dangerous, but if they are out they should have the right to rejoin society fully (I am okay with the idea of a probationary period, but it must have a defined end).

    • “If you are not serving a sentence your full rights, including 2a rights, should be restored.”

      A nice idea, but…..

      The law declares that for some crimes, you are serving your sentence for the rest of your life, even if you are not incarcerated. Thus, while alive, you are never finished serving your sentence.

      • some crimes are not exactly about what was done, but about trust. once that trust is broken there’s little rational reason to assume it again.

        • “once that trust is broken there’s little rational reason to assume it again.”

          That means no forgiveness, ever; not cool.

          On a lighter note, I can think of no serious argument that natural, human rights depend on trust of another human. The theory behind gun control is lack of trust that a person will not just snap and shoot everyone in sight.

        • The trust thing is interesting. And maybe that is the probationary period reason. To try to build back some trust. But mainly I’d still go with once they have “paid their debt”, don’t keep them paying after they get out.

          If they get out, though, and commit the same type of crime the fact that they have been convicted before should be able to be used against them in sentencing.

    • JWM,

      Maybe….with the way left-tards are just turning folk loose from prisons….without completing their….

      See. I did not complete my sentence, either.

      But really, you are 100% correct.
      In my…..

  8. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. At the same where do your natural rights end? I believe that maybe in the case of nonviolent felonies a person should be allowed to petition for civil right restoration.

    • I will add my errant 43 year old son got a felony for “home invasion” when he was in a psychotic haze. Spent a year in jail in Newton co,IN. He basically wandered into a house. No violence. We discussed getting his 2A rights back but he thought it a lost cause. “I got no $”…I dunno if he cares. I DO.

    • “At the same where do your natural rights end?”

      where another’s begin.

      (but quite a few on the far right are borderline sociopaths and barely recognize the existence of other people except as hindrances to THEIR rights. which they are, as they conceive of them.)

      • “At the same where do your natural rights end?”
        ….where another’s begin.”

        There is a natural, human right to deny another person their natural, human rights because one does not trust certain other humans?

        Even people in prison retain a natural, human and civil right to self-defense.

    • “I believe that maybe in the case of nonviolent felonies a person should be allowed to petition for civil right restoration“

      That is already how it is done in many states, a common term is ‘expungement’.

  9. @ant7

    “would turn into the biggest gun-grabbing tyrants you ever heard about – and they’d be perfectly fine with it.”

    perfectly fine if they grab guns from the dead, who/whom/whatever they are.

  10. @ant7

    “but when someone starts asking questions and saying what about this and what about that, the insiders get mad. ”

    Can’t believe I have to continually sort this out. Here is truth: anyone who posts or comments in a way I disagree with, is a “troll”. Such individuals should be shouted down, and banned permanently. I have a natural, human and civil right to be free of thoughts and words that upset me.

    There it is; that simple.

    “Sit on it.”

  11. So, if this guy has been a felon for the last 40 years, how can his voter registration be legit?

    • If he in fact was registered to vote and did vote, he is probably guilty of multiple voter fraud felonies. Even a continuing pattern which would qualify him for special sentencing guidelines.

  12. whats bab is in some states a charge can be a 3rd-degree felony and the state next door be a misdemeanor really screwy a person don,t know what to do used to have a friend in that boat

    • Yes, here in New Jersey, everything is a felony (or the equivalent, a “crime of the Nth degree”) that can get your 2A rights revoked for life in all 50 states.
      Possession of a slingshot in New Jersey is a felony. I kid you not, it’s true.
      Slingshots are forever banned in New Jersey because of a typo decades ago (they were trying to ban the slungshot (a blunt force weapon), but some clerk thought slungshot was a misspelling of slingshot, so they accidentally banned slingshots in New Jersey. A felony to possess now).

      Also, BB guns are firearms in NJ, so for a BB pistol, you need the same permits and registration (Firearms Purchase ID Card and Permit to Purchase a Handgun, and the unobtainable Concealed Carry Permit to transport it outside your home). And an airgun with a sound suppressor is a felony in New Jersey (FYI, most adult air guns have built-in sound suppressors). And possession of a toy gun outside the home is a felony too, as they are treated the same as real guns. And self-defense outside the home is illegal in NJ. I’m not making these things up; I’ve been told these things by a firearms lawyer, including the exact quote, “New Jersey does not recognize a legal right to self defense outside the home.”

      Yes, there are ways to legally buy a BB gun in New Jersey, but it’s just like buying a firearm, all the same paperwork, background check, and rules about “state-compliant firearms” apply to air guns. This includes a ban on air guns with silencers (felony) and an “assault weapons ban” that covers BB guns too (felony if your BB gun holds more than 10 BBs, or if it has an adjustable stock and pistol grip). God help you if you move here from another state and didn’t realize that your BB gun, pellet gun, or other air gun is now classified as an illegal “assault weapon” or “silenced firearm” in New Jersey! You become a felon and are banned for life from possessing firearms in all 50 states thanks to NJ’s dumb laws.

  13. A one time offense is forgivable except for a few types. This guy in the 80s, one offense where NJ returned his firearms had no reason to believe he was a felon by law. By all accounts he has lived a good life since. That is forgivable.

    What is not forgivable is rape of a child. Abuse of children or the elderly. People who do such things are animals and should be put down.

    People who are repeat violent offenders, not forgivable.

    Did something stupid without intent or that didn’t harm someone else, forgivable.

    • Yes, agree. Interesting, and confusing, legal piece. Assume either the admittedly only partly researched/reported details are foggy, or, back in the 80’s plea bargains and first time offender diversion programs had sketchy status or record keeping.

      But the most interesting aspect is that they gave him his guns back. Oops Judge Lewis, are you possibly covering for yet another inconsistency in our logically eloquent legal, much less criminal justice system, and, avoiding an embarrassing appeal with broader consequences (and they say the IIIrd time’s the charm)?

      Personally, my NICS still shows an un-updated Federal two felony indictment. Was plea bargained to one low status misdemeanor as it should have been charged initially. But only after a lot of Fed money was expended on a non-violent crime investigation (it was an environ-mental case, I had apparently endangered every species in CA), and, a prolonged expensive court training practice exercise for a novice assistant DA. No worries though, have submitted the proper paperwork to the several states have lived in to correct the matter over the last 20 years. Wasn’t even prosecuted for obvious reasons when first denied a firearm purchase and discovered the problem.

      But this sort of thing with NICS and other legal record interpretations is commonly done. It’s an obstruction/denial of 2A rights clear and simple. As was in part the intent of stronger drug criminalization by Nixon. Don’t believe it? Have you sent in your comment yet to the BATFE on proposed arm brace legal status changes? No?. Shame, you soon to be scumbag felon.

  14. Considering that the government, either state or federal, defines what constitutes a felony, it strikes me as utterly baffling anyone would claim that the 2A protects our ability to take up arms against an oppressive government, but simultaneously believes that that same government has both a right and a responsibility to decide who can own what firearms.

    If you believe that the 2A exists solely to protect your right to defend yourself against street thugs, in other words as a matter of public safety, than an argument could be made that the state can and should restrict certain people from owning certain weapons. Also, this mindset necessarily involves an underlying assumption that gun ownership is a privilege rather than a right, and thus that legitimate ownership is predicated on social utility. A “right” that can be revoked on the state’s whim for the sake of “public safety” is no right at all.

    However, if you’re educated enough to recognize that the 2A, as intended, protects our ability to fight a tyrannical government, well… there’s simply no way to reconcile that concept with a belief in the legitimacy of gun laws. Believing that we need guns to potentially fight state overreach but also that those same states we’re prepared to violently overthrow have a moral right to tell us who can and can’t own what hardware? Give me a break… that’s as egregiously idiotic as leftists who believe that all cops are racist trigger happy assholes and also that only cops should have certain guns

    • “…that’s as egregiously idiotic as leftists who believe that all cops are racist trigger happy assholes and also that only cops should have certain guns.”

      Idiotic is a prerequisite for being a useful idiot.

  15. From Wikipedia:

    “In the United States, where the felony/misdemeanor distinction is still widely applied, the federal government defines a felony as a crime punishable by death or imprisonment in excess of one year. If punishable by exactly one year or less, it is classified as a misdemeanor.”

    This goes back to common law and the Magna Carta. If the crime was not bad enough to be put away for 366 days(before time off for “good behavior”) with or without a fine, it should not be classified as a felony.
    1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th degree(or A, B, C, or D) felonies are just splitting hairs, like mortal or venial sins and the type that go on your permanent record.

    Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime. Making people “felons” is a way to take away rights from people that do not agree with you. Just like Nixon putting marijuana on the schedule “A” narcotics list. He did not like the type of people that partook of the evil herb, so he included it as “dangerous”, to punish his critics.

  16. Here’s a thought, if someone is too dangerous to own a gun because of past violence or sexual assault, they shouldn’t be free among us in our communities.

    I say for every other offense, once they’ve done their time and served their sentence, give them 100% of their rights back–including the right to vote and firearm ownership.

    The left loves the idea of allowing people to vote without an ID. Well, we could “compromise” and give them that if they let people buy firearms without ID (or background checks), too.

    If someone says that voting isn’t as dangerous as a gun, tell them that Hitler was legally voted into power as German Canceler by the German people.

  17. I’M CONFUSED!
    Didn’t someone with the initials of Hunter Biden falsify a gun purchase application and yet the FBI or ATF [or some other alphabet soup agency] refuses to do anything about it?
    Are we talking DOUBLE STANDARDS again?

  18. Sam I Am July 14, 2021 At 18:02

    “I operate over 87% of the so-called “troll” screen names, and I get paid exactly $0.00 to do so. Someone else controls the remaining 23%, and word is they aren’t paid either. It’s all conspiracy theory.”

    This doofus would have more credibility if he could or she could do third grade math. he/she might actually earn some money from trolling.

    • “This doofus would have more credibility if he could or she could do third grade math.”

      Ever think the comment was constructed intentionally to have an error?

      You missed the gag, entirely. First, a claim to own 87% of troll screen names screams “mockery”. Then the arithmetic error doubles down on the “ridicule”. And where would I learn the “other 23%” are unpaid?

      Skim reading will lead you right off the literary cliff.

  19. I’m still waiting for Hunter Biden to be charged for feloniously lying on his 4473.

    Maybe his art sale negotiated by the White House staff is really meant to raise funds for his defense in not reporting his coke use? Or is it to pay off the Secret Service for magnet trolling his gun out of a dumpster to cover it up?

    I wouldn’t be surprised either way. You wonder now why Trump kept the SS at arm’s length and has employed his own protective detail for decades. He found out he couldn’t even trust Milley, who knuckled under to some woke BS from the press.

    What Hunter has done is to show exactly how useless the 4473 is. If the privileged can ignore it with impunity, why fill it out at all? Just buy a gun you want from your friends uncle behind the bar out of his trunk? No 4473, no record, no prosecution. It’s expendable, toss when used or sell it and and move on. Cost of living in the Big Metro.

    BTW, Grassley has Hunter’s laptop now. Oops. Even the criminal child porn. At the very least, some links will be exposed, back doors opened, names revealed where it came from and who it was shared with. More will come out than most of us will ever want to know, like Bill Clinton’s two secret flights with Ghislane and Epstein on his way to China and back. Wonder who dug that up? It wasn’t on the normal logs, we’d have seen it by now. Maybe the same people who leaked Hunter’s 4473 stating he never snorted while actually snuffing up tracks documented and proven.

    Where’s Hunter’s Federal Indictment for lying?

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