ROCKAWAY TOWNSHIP, NJ - We are scared for Steven Hopler.
On Friday, Judge Thomas Manahan ruled that the blind gun enthusiast may keep the six handguns he still has in his home, but he must store them in a safe pending an evaluation of his alcohol use.
Four years back, Hopler accidentally shot himself in the shin while cleaning one of his guns, according to nj.com. Police say that while he was in hospital, a tenant in the two-family home broke into his apartment with some accomplices and stole 12 handguns and two shotguns.
Police recovered eight guns but kept them “for safekeeping following him shooting himself. Now, they are being held because we are seeking their forfeiture,” Jeffrey Paul, a spokesman for Morris County prosecutor Robert Bianchi, told the site.
A prosecutor's office had asked a judge to revoke Hopler's gun permit and seize all guns in his possession arguing that he was a drunk and posed a danger to others, the news site says.
Judge Manahan ordered Hopler, 47, to complete a course dealing with the maintenance and care of weapons.
Under a 1994 court order, Hopler was allowed to fire his weapons if he was in the presence of an adult trained in the use of firearms.