NJ father jailed, stripped of parental rights for transporting legal guns to new home

Three unloaded, legally owned guns locked in the car trunk of a man moving from Colorado to New Jersey is keeping a man from watching his son grow up.

In New Jersey, they call that the rule of law.

brianaitken1017Now, Brian Aitken is traveling the country, using the crowdfunding website Indiegogo to raise money and hoping to write a book about a travesty of justice that’s keeping him from his son.

Aitken was arrested in 2009 while returning to live in New Jersey to be near his son who lived with his ex-wife, according to a Daily Mail article. He had stopped at his mother’s home with a vehicle full of his belongings and she called 911 because she was concerned he was so distraught he might harm himself.

She hung up before the call was complete, but police responded anyway. By the time they did, Aitken had left, so police called him on his cell phone and — with a combination of threats and persuasion — convinced him to return to the scene.

Officers searched his car and found the weapons in the trunk, where Aitken said he’d been instructed to keep them for transport by the New Jersey State Police.

“I did exactly what they told me to do,” Aitken told the Daily Mail.

Regardless, police arrested him for violating the Garden State’s strict gun control laws, which prevent even legal owners of guns to have them in their possession outside of the home except under certain conditions.

After a trial that in Reason magazine’s description comes across as Kafkaesque – his jury seems to have wanted to acquit him but was essentially prevented from doing so by the judge – Aitken was sentenced to seven years in prison, but released after four months when his sentence was commuted by Republican Gov. Chris Christie. Even with the commutation, Aitken still spent his 27th birthday behind bars.

So Aitken is out of prison, but because his conviction was on a second-degree felony a family court has ruled he cannot see his son.

“After I was indicted of a victimless and violentless charge, with no prior criminal record, a family judge interpreted the charge to mean that I was a violent criminal with access to firearms and that fathers who own guns pose a threat to their children,” he said in a written statement to Ammoland.

Granted, some fathers who own guns probably do pose a threat to their children. Just as some fathers who don’t own guns can pose a threat to their children.

The real question is, did Aitken, who had no criminal record before the day his mother called the police hoping to make sure he was safe,  ever pose a threat to anyone — much less to the son he moved half a continent to be with while he grew up?

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Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders, a 25-year newspaper veteran, is a staff writer and editor for BizPac Review who lives in Tallahassee and covers capital and Florida politics. Email Joe at jpjsaunders@gmail.com.


  • copperpeony

    Mothers should NOT meddle in adult children’s affairs unless asked for advice.

    • Jean Nelson

      WTG Mom. He won’t need any enemies with a mom like this

  • Jean Nelson

    Welcome to communist new jersey……..he got permission and did as instructed

  • Colonoscopy

    Bunch of douchebags in New Jersey, and the surrounding states in general.

    • Doug

      Love your name.

      • Colonoscopy

        I just had my second one…so I decided it would be a good handle.

  • Diego Blanchard

    Those conditions are as follows, Guns are not loaded, locked two ways one with a trigger or bolt lock and in a lock box, Put underneath everything else you have in the truck, all ammo should be kept separate and locked but best not to have any. HE DID NOTHING WRONG. WHERES EVEN NAPPEN? WHERES THE NRA? WHERES THE JUSTICE? This state sucks big monkey balls.

    • Grant Ritchie

      What do you expect the NRA to do? His idiot mother sicced the cops on him. :-(

  • Holli1901

    This is BS and he should def make a scene about what happened…..I’d let him see his son and dare someone to stop me.

  • Gail Krauthoff

    This is beyond ridiculous and this is EXACTLY what this type of Government is giving and will continue to give us. IT MUST BE STOPPED!!!

  • dbsdey

    Guess what? John Kerry signed the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty. That treaty will give the U.N. control over some American gun rights.
    49 members of the Senate sent a letter to Kerry stating that the Treaty would not be ratified by the 2/3 of Senate requirement. All Republicans signed the letter, but only a few Democratic Senators signed it.
    If you don’t want to lose another of your Constitutional rights, please contact your Senators and demand that they vote NO on ratification of the Treaty.

  • darcy922

    I stand amazed ! There are really no excuses for this man to be treated like a criminal.. This is only the beginning under this president sadly to say.

    • Doug

      This was a state story. President not involved. Give him a pass on this one.

  • Hector Rivera Jr

    His mom was probably an anti-gunner Democrat so she stuck it to her son. Reminds me of the story of Hitler Youth turning in their own parents to the Gestapo for speaking against Hitler.

  • fartyboypointed

    I live in NJ and you need a permit to say g_n. This is what happens when freedom is taken from us. More of it is coming.

    • Doug

      I lived in Bloomfield for 42 yrs. before moving to Fl. Where are you?

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