Like America’s first soldiers at the Battle of Brooklyn, Michael Littlejohn is fighting for his right to bear arms.
The Revolutionary War buff charges the Bloomberg administration with tyranny for trying to seize his handmade flintlock rifle – a dead ringer for the weapon once used against the redcoats.
“This is the last legal gun that you can have without registration in New York,” Littlejohn said. “And yet Mayor Bloomberg is driven crazy by my flintlock gun – the one that won the American Revolution.”
Littlejohn hired a Tennessee blacksmith to recreate the vintage rifle. It arrived at his Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, apartment in June. The NYPD learned about Littlejohn’s $825 rifle when he accidentally left a receipt inside a Staples copy center, and someone called NYPD.
Police claim it’s illegal for Littlejohn to keep the flintlock without a gun license.
Littlejohn, 50, cites the earliest American patriots as his inspiration while refusing to surrender his firearm or apply for a license. He is also citing an exemption in the city’s asinine gun laws which allows license-free ownership of “antique firearms” – defined as rifles that require the bullet and gunpowder to be loaded separately. Littlejohn’s rifle fits the definition.
Loading the weapon, he explains, is a multi-step process that takes several pokes with a ramrod and up to a minute to complete. To fire, the rifle relies on a sharpened piece of flint that produces a spark when the trigger is pulled. That point is moot, since Littlejohn doesn’t own gunpowder or bullets.
The letter of the law is not enough to make the NYPD retreat. The cops visited Littlejohn’s apartment and sat down this month with the Tennessee blacksmith who forged the rifle. The lead detective on the case told Littlejohn’s lawyer that he had orders “from higher-ups” to pursue the case.
Cops aren’t threatening to arrest Littlejohn – yet. Lawyer Joyce David (email@example.com), who represented Littlejohn until it became too expensive, says her ex-client could wind up with a summons.
A police source says the war could end peacefully if Littlejohn bowed down to Bloomberg and applied for a permit with the NYPD handgun license division.
Littlejohn would rather fight. The Brooklynite says he’s willing to sue for his rifle rights.
Littlejohn’s interest in the Revolutionary War dates to his childhood. He grew up playing tag outside the upstate Newburgh house used in 1782-83 as Gen. George Washington’s headquarters. As an adult, he joined in Colonial American reenactments in Virginia and Georgia.
If you would like to help Mr. Littlejohn, please contact Joyce David at firstname.lastname@example.org