After New Jersey man Shawn Moore uploaded a photo on Facebook of his 10-year-old son Josh holding a military-style rifle, the state's child welfare agency and local police visited his home.
Now, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie wants the attorney general to investigate that visit.
According to Moore, police in SWAT gear showed up at his home, the state child welfare workers were aggressive and the visit was unnecessary. The inquiry was made because police say they got anonymous calls expressing concern about the safety of a child. The gun in question was a .22-caliber rifle made to look like an assault rifle. No charges were filed.
Christie says reports about the inquiry raise "troubling questions" and asked Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa to look at "whether all applicable laws were appropriately followed, and to take any remedial, investigative or other actions that may be required."
In a letter released by the Christie administration on Wednesday, the governor wrote:
"The public reports of this matter raise troubling questions concerning the facts and circumstances surrounding the investigation, the manner in which the investigation was conducted, and the procedures followed by law enforcement and the Division of Child Protection and Permanency."
Moore's lawyer, Evan Nappen, said the public outrage about the visit led to Christie calling for the probe and that he did not request it, reports Fox News.
"We welcome the investigation so that something like this hopefully doesn't happen again," Nappen said. "There's this really great reason why there's no charges and the case is closed, and that's because my client didn't do anything wrong."
After the “aggressive” visit, Moore posted a comment about the incident on a gun rights website and was soon appearing on a Fox News talk show and elsewhere.
Carney Point Police Chief Robert DiGregorio and Mayor Richard Gatanis defended the way that authorities conducted the visit in a statement: "In light of some of the recent school shootings across our nation, the Carneys Point Police Department takes these types of calls seriously.”
The father of an 11-year-old took a picture of him holding a .22 rifle and posted it on Facebook. Shortly after, an anonymous call was made to New Jersey’s Department of Youth and Family Services, and they showed up at the father’s door demanding to see his firearms or else they would take the child.
Shawn Moore posted on a pro-Second Amendment forum detailing the experience. Moore said two representatives from the state’s social services came to his house on the night of March 15 with four police officers.
They said they were responding to a call about a young boy holding a firearm and, without a search warrant, demanded to see his firearms. Though Moore was not initially there, his wife called him and talked to him throughout until he was able to arrive at the home.
They also called their lawyer, who listened to the exchange between the DYFS, police and Moore’s family. His lawyer told Moore to deny entry to the DYFS.
After he told them they could not enter, a DYFS representative threatened to take his children. When Moore asked for her name, she refused to give it to him and soon left “empty handed and seeing nothing.”
Evan Nappen, Moore’s attorney, told The Blaze more details about the ordeal.
Apparently, the DYFS representative wanted access to the house and gun safe so that she could make sure they were catalogued and “properly registered,” though New Jersey does not require registration.
Nappen said he believes they are still wanting to inspect the house, but he assured Moore that it will not happen.
He also said Moore is more than qualified to carry the firearms as he holds three significant firearms designations, including an NRA Certified Firearms Instructor, NRA Certified Range Safety Instructor, and NJ State Certified Firearms Hunting Instructor.
On top of that, his son is also certified by the state of New Jersey. Anyone under the age of 18 must pass a state firearms hunter safety test in order to go hunting, and Moore’s son did so.
The community of Second Amendment supporters is angered by the incident and has reposted the story on Facebook pages and numerous pro-gun sites.
Moore said on Monday night that the DYFS is still insisting on seeing his safe.
He ended his post by saying, “People it can happen that fast. Most people wouldn’t have stood up to them like I did.”