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In the Matter of the Denial of the Application of Giles

May 16, 2011

IN THE MATTER OF THE DENIAL OF THE APPLICATION OF GILES W. CASALEGGIO FOR A RETIRED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER PERMIT TO CARRY A HANDGUN.


On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Passaic County, Docket No. 10-004.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Graves, J.A.D.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

APPROVED FOR PUBLICATION

Submitted March 22, 2011

Before Judges Carchman, Graves and Messano.

The opinion of the court was delivered by GRAVES, J.A.D.

Giles W. Casaleggio appeals from a Law Division order that affirmed the denial of his application for a permit to carry a handgun as a retired law enforcement officer. Casaleggio contends that he qualifies for the permit pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:39-6(l) based on his prior employment as an assistant prosecutor and deputy attorney general. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

In 1973, Casaleggio was hired by the Union County Prosecutor's Office as an assistant prosecutor. At that time, he was "issued a firearm" and "trained in firearms operations." Casaleggio subsequently joined the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office, where he remained from 1975 to 1983 and ultimately attained "the title of chief assistant prosecutor in charge of narcotics and organized crime investigation." In 1983, he moved to the Morris County Prosecutor's Office, where he was "in charge of [the] narcotics task force." From 1985 to 1988, Casaleggio was employed by the Division of Criminal Justice as a deputy attorney general. In that capacity, he worked with the Special Prosecutor's Unit and State Police Narcotics North Unit.

Casaleggio was authorized to carry a handgun throughout his prosecutorial career.*fn1 He retired in good standing from the Division of Criminal Justice in 1988. Since that time, he has been employed as a professor at St. John's University.

In June 2009, Casaleggio applied to the Superintendent of State Police for a retired law enforcement officer's permit to carry a handgun. The Superintendent rejected the application for procedural reasons that are not relevant in light of our decision on the merits.

Casaleggio appealed the denial to the Law Division pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:39-6(l)(5). Following a hearing, the court entered an order denying the appeal on May 7, 2010. In a written decision, the court noted "that the [L]egislature intended a narrow interpretation of the statute." The court also found the omission of assistant prosecutors and deputy attorneys general from N.J.S.A. 2C:39-6(l) to be significant, particularly in light of the inclusion of "full-time county prosecutor's detective[s] [and] investigator[s]."

In addition, the Law Division judge rejected Casaleggio's argument that he was entitled to a permit under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004 (LEOSA), 18 U.S.C.A. §§ 926B & 926C. The court determined that the law, "as used within [N.J.S.A. 2C:39-6(l)], does not create its own separate route for an applicant to receive a permit." The court also found that N.J.S.A. 2C:39-6(l)'s "specific, exclusive list of occupations" was consistent with the "restrictive nature" of the statute.

Casaleggio appealed the Law Division order on June 18, 2010. He raises the ...


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