Todd Starnes

New Jersey police and Dept. of Children and Families officials raided the home of a firearms instructor and demanded to see his guns after he posted a Facebook photo of his 11-year-old son holding a rifle.

“Someone called family services about the photo,” said Evan Nappen, an attorney representing Shawn Moore. “It led to an incredible, heavy-handed raid on his house. They wanted to see his gun safe, his guns and search his house. They even threatened to take his kids.”

Moore was not arrested or charged.

A Dept. of Children and Families spokesperson told me they could not confirm or deny an investigation or raid had taken place due to government regulations.

“The department has a child abuse hotline for the state of New Jersey and anybody can make a call to that hotline,” spokesperson Kristen Brown said. “We are required to follow up on every single allegation that comes into the central registry.”

Moore, of Carneys Point, is a certified firearms instructor for the National Rifle Association, an NRA range safety officer and a New Jersey hunter education instructor.

He recently posted a photograph of his son wearing camouflage and holding his new .22 rifle. The child has a New Jersey hunting license and recently passed the state’s hunter safety course.

“If you look at the picture, his finger isn’t even on the trigger – which is proper,” Nappen told me. “If half of Hollywood could follow that rule we’d be thankful.”

Brown said their role is not to go out and search Facebook for photos of children holding weapons.

“In general our role is to investigate allegations of child abuse and neglect,” she said.

The family’s trouble started Saturday night when Moore received an urgent text message from his wife. The Carneys Point Police Dept. and the New Jersey Dept. of Children and Families had raided their home.

Moore immediately called Nappen and rushed home to find officers demanding to check his guns and his gun safe.

Instead, he handed his cell phone to one of the officers – so they could speak with Nappen.

“If you have a warrant, you’re coming in,” Nappen told the officers. “If you don’t, then you’re not. That’s what privacy is all about.”

With his attorney on speaker phone, Moore instructed the officers to leave his home.

“I was told I was being unreasonable and that I was acting suspicious because I wouldn’t open my safe,” Moore wrote on the Delaware Open Carry website. “They told me they were going to get a search warrant. I told them to go ahead.”

Nappen told Fox News the police wanted to inventory his firearms.


Todd Starnes

Todd Starnes is the host of Fox News & Commentary – heard daily on 250+ radio stations. He’s also the author of “Dispatches From Bitter America.” To check out all of his work you can visit his website or follow him on Twitter @toddstarnes. In his spare time, Todd is active in his church, plays golf, follows SEC football, and eats barbecue. He lives in New York City.