A black man in New Jersey is fighting charges after being arrested for carrying a firearm and possessing polymer-tipped ammunition — both of which he says he is authorized to do under state law.
New Jersey police arrested Roosevelt Twyne, a 25-year old black American who works as a security guard, in February after officers performed a traffic stop on him due to his vehicle's tinted windows, the Washington Free Beacon reported. Twyne's attorney, Evan Nappen, told the news outlet that his client was then charged for illegally carrying a firearm and being in possession of ammunition that officers erroneously referred to as "hollow-point."
But, according to Nappen, Twyne has a permit for carrying a firearm and the ammunition in his possession was state-approved. Even more, it was the same as the ammunition issued by his employer.
"He had a permit to carry a handgun," Nappen said, adding that the law "makes it clear that it's illegal to transport unless you are licensed pursuant to chapter 58. And that is precisely what a handgun carry permit is."
As for the polymer-tipped Hornady "Critical Duty" ammunition in question, Nappen directed attention to a New Jersey State Police website that says that the ammunition is "not considered to be hollow point ammunition" and is not illegal to possess in the state.
"It's lawful," Nappen told the outlet. "It's publicly announced as lawful because it is. It's not hollow. It's filled."
Nappen added that while the three white police officers who made the arrest did not make any racist remarks during the incident, the issue of race is the "elephant in the room."
"They didn't make racist comments," he said. "They didn't say anything racist but, on its face, it's dubious. Let's just say it's dubious."
Twyne said that the arrest has been "traumatic" for him and has unduly damaged his reputation.
"Honestly, it's been traumatic and has impacted my life in a way that I've never experienced before," he said in a statement. "It's hard because now even looking for a part time job or any job, it's made it so much harder for me. Not only has it tainted my name and reputation, which I have worked hard to attain, not just growing up in Elizabeth, but as a black man trying to make a difference."
New Jersey gun laws are some of the strictest in the nation and include open carry restrictions, bans on large capacity magazines, and red flag laws. In 2016, an actor alleged that he was charged in New Jersey for using a prop gun while filming a movie.
The Free Beacon said that Twyne's arrest was representative of the challenges of navigating the state's many complex gun restrictions.
Twyne's court date is set for April 2.