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We Support Our Guy Campaign

Our Purpose

  • WeSupportOurGuy is devoted to freeing Guy Ackerman from an unjust criminal prosecution in New Jersey.
  • Our Guy has been charged under New Jersey law with “unlawful” possession of a firearm.
  • We are asking the prosecutor to consistently and fairly apply New Jersey law in Our Guy’s case,
  • By providing Our Guy with pre-trial intervention and dropping this prosecution.

The Facts

  • Our Guy was arrested for unlawful possession of a handgun on July 1, 2013.
  • He had traveled to Atlantic City to enjoy the weekend.
  • When he arrived at the Borgata Hotel & Casino, he discovered that his 0.38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver was in the console of his car.
  • Our Guy had purchased this handgun lawfully in Virginia.
  • He had passed the background checks for that purchase.
  • He had a concealed carry permit issued by Virginia.
  • He had not realized he had it with him ‘til that moment.
  • He put it in his carry-on bag and took it to his hotel room and put it in the room safe.
  • It was unloaded at all times.
  • The valet observed the placement of the handgun in the carry-on and reported Our Guy to the Atlantic City police.
  • The police dispatched eight officers – that’s right, EIGHT! – to the Borgata to question him.
  • They confronted him on the casino floor.
  • He admitted ownership of the handgun and his placing it in the safe.
  • They escorted him to his room, found the handgun in the safe and “secured” it.
  • Then they arrested him, booked him, put him in jail and charged him with “unlawful possession of a handgun.”
  • He cooperated and complied fully with the officers throughout his questioning and arrest.

The Law

  • New Jersey has some of the most stringent gun control laws in the country.
  • In New Jersey, it is “unlawful” to possess a handgun, any handgun, even an antique one, without a permit issued by the State.
  • In New Jersey, “unlawful possession of a handgun” is a Second Degree Felony, carrying a mandatory sentence of Five to Ten Years in State Prison.
  • New Jersey refuses to recognize permits issued by any other State as lawful possession.
  • Prosecutors in New Jersey are required to offer in return for a guilty plea a reduced sentence of three years in prison, with parole eligibility after one year.
  • Prosecutors in New Jersey have the power to order pre-trial intervention in appropriate cases.
  • That means rehabilitation instead of trial, conviction & imprisonment.
  • Prosecutors in New Jersey have the power to permit probation, in place of mandatory prison time, in appropriate cases.
  • Prosecutors in New Jersey are required to follow the guidelines issued by the State’s Attorney General.

Our Guy

  • Our Guy has no criminal record, other than these absurd charges in New Jersey.
  • He assumed (mistakenly) that this registration and permitting would be sufficient for the purposes of New Jersey law.
  • He was in New Jersey for personal travel and leisure.
  • He is a lifelong, upstanding resident of Chesterfield County, Virginia.
  • Guy has two Daughters and Three Grandchildren.
  • He was employed by DuPont for 36 years before retiring.
  • He worked as a fireman and a certified HAZMAT Technician and received his certifications from the Delaware State Fire School.
  • He is now a contractor specializing in home repairs, remodeling and renovation. He also owns and manages a few rental properties.
  • He’s a member of the Colonial Heights Baptist Church and is a member of the church’s security team.
  • He's a member of "BNI's On The Rise" business networking group

Pre-Trial Intervention or Probation

The guidelines in New Jersey provide that defendants:

  • Who have no prior involvement with the criminal justice system,
  • Who lawfully acquired and possessed the firearm in a different state, and
  • Who were present in New Jersey incident to lawful travel

Should receive pre-trial intervention (i.e. rehabilitation instead of trial, conviction and imprisonment).

The guidelines in New Jersey also provide that defendants who:

  • Who have no prior involvement with the criminal justice system,
  • Whose firearm was unloaded, and
  • Whose firearm posed no risk to officer or public safety

Should receive probation instead of mandatory prison time.

Justice Denied

  • The acting Atlantic County prosecutor – James P. McClain – knows Our Guy deserves either pre-trial intervention or probation,
  • But he has twice refused to consider either one.
  • Our Guy’s New Jersey lawyer tells us that any other prosecutor would grant one or the other, in these circumstances.

The Effect on You

  • If you travel to New Jersey (or any other state with very stringent gun controls),
  • You could be caught up in the criminal justice system and face mandatory jail time,
  • Just like our Guy.
  • And even if you don’t intend to visit the Garden State,
  • You should care that prosecutors fairly and consistently apply the laws.

What This Isn’t About

  • We are not arguing over whether New Jersey’s severely restrictive gun laws are good or bad policy.
  • We are not arguing over whether New Jersey’s severely restrictive gun laws might violate provisions of the United States Constitution.
  • There are other places and times for those arguments.
  • But Our Guy is facing a possible felony conviction and a possible prison sentence.
  • We are simply asking that Mr. McClain apply the law consistently and fairly,
  • So that Mr. Ackerman and similarly situated defendants can avoid prison when they don’t deserve it.

The People Who Can Fix This

  • The acting Atlantic County prosecutor is James P. McClain.
    • He has the power to grant pre-trial intervention.
    • He has the power to waive mandatory prison time and permit probation. 
  • The acting Attorney General for New Jersey is John Jay Hoffman.
    • He is Mr. McClain’s ultimate boss.
    • He is responsible for making sure that New Jersey’s laws are fairly and consistently applied. 
  • The Governor is Chris Christie.
    • He is the man who appointed Mr. McClain
    • He is the man who appointed Mr. Hoffman
    • He is the man who submitted their nominations to the New Jersey legislature for confirmation.

LET THEM KNOW THAT YOU EXPECT THEM TO HELP OUR GUY - We're asking you to urgently call, write, email, facebook, tweet asking them to help Our Guy.  And please, add your name to the petition.