Serving up equal measures of justice for all citizens is the primary objective of the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution. For Stephen Hopler, a gun enthusiast living in the Rockaway Township of New Jersey, the liberal threat to his most basic of freedoms is under siege. The local government, in cahoots with Obama’s nanny state, wanted to take away Stephen Hopler’s guns and require him address his diabetes. After four years and a Judge’s order from a higher court, it looks like Stephen Hopler will again enjoy gun ownership.
Hopler’s woeful story begins in 1991 when he was categorized by the state as blind due to eyesight complications arising from diabetes.
In 1994, under the regime of pistol pants President Bill Clinton, the Rockaway Township police revoked Hopler’s gun permit after learning he was blind. Hopler appealed and was allowed to keep his permit on the condition he fire weapons only in the presence of an adult trained in the use of firearms. Stephen Hopler has completed the NRA Home Gun safety course.
In 2004, Mr. Hopler met additional sight impairment discrimination when he tried to renew his license. The Rockaway Township police chief’s refused to give him a gun permit because of a municipal court conviction for being unruly in a bar. The mixture of diabetes and alcohol can be deadly. Diabetics that drink excessively are putting their lives at risk. Mr. Hopler contends he drinks no more than 2 beers per day.
The troubles leading to the Judge’s opinion handed down last week began in 2008. Mr. Hopler shot himself in the shin while cleaning a gun. While it isn’t clear why a blind collector would load a fire arm in the first place, even perfectly sighted individuals overlook removing ammunition from a gun during cleaning.
In an ongoing war over his Second Amendment rights, the Morris County Prosecutor’s office had asked Judge Thomas Manahan to revoke Hopler’s firearms ID card and seize all guns in his possession, arguing Hopler abused alcohol and posed a danger to others by being a gun owner. The police raided his home and confiscated all the guns found in plain sight while Mr. Hopler was in the hospital for his shin wound.
In the legal battle that ensued claims were made to Mr. Hopler’s drinking. Called to testify was a former tenant who testified Mr. Hopler would drink as many as 30 beers in a single day. Given Mr. Hopler’s diabetic condition, it is doubtful this took place because he would be dead.
The former tenant also was convicted of breaking into Mr. Hopler’s home and stealing several firearms from a safe that were not picked up in the police raid. The guns were then sold on the street and later recovered, with one used in a suicide.
This case is an example of how the Obama nanny state is trying desperately to take guns from law abiding citizens. Mr. Hopler has the right to keep his firearms for his own purposes and safety.