New Jersey Teacher Brings Loaded Gun to School – No Charges

.32 caliber North American Arms Guardian
.32 caliber North American Arms Guardian

Arizona -( When you have over 400 million guns in a country with a population of over 330 million, one-in-a-million odds do not look too bad. In this case in New Jersey, a teacher ended up in school with a loaded gun in her bag – by accident.

In December of 2017, Karen Horen was 70 years old and teaching at a New Jersey school. It is understandable when you consider her annual salary, as a home economics teacher, is $70,339. She came to work at the school and briefly left her bag outside in the hallway, unattended, for a few minutes as she spoke to someone in the school office. She came back, went to her classroom and noticed the pistol in her bag. From

Sgt. Joseph Robertazzi was the school security officer on duty that day. Horen told him she had found a loaded gun in her bag and “did not know why or how it go there,” according to the police report.

“She thought someone put it in her bag while it was unattended in the school hallway,” the report states.

When Somers and Detective Sgt. Peter La Rocca arrived, they asked a “visibly disturbed and upset” Horen if she thought the gun could have come from her Point Pleasant home. She said no.

The gun was a silver .32 caliber North American Arms Guardian model. The handgun magazine was found fully loaded with six bullets, which Robertazzi had disarmed, Somers said.

Police checked surveillance video of the hallway. No one appeared to have approached the bag or to have tampered with it. Then the police checked the pistols serial number. It belonged to Ian Horen, Karen’s husband. Karen was dismayed that the gun belonged to her husband. She had no idea how it came to be in her bag. Police investigated. It turned out that Karen had taken some money from the family safe. The NAA Guardian pistol was normally stored in the safe, next to the envelope containing the money. From

“I subsequently learned from Investigative Personnel that Karen Horen had gone into the family safe to retrieve money for Christmas shopping and may have accidentally and inadvertly had the firearm fall or be placed into her bag without her knowledge,” Robertazzi wrote.

The NAA .32 Guardian is one of the smaller pocket pistols on the market. It is not hard to see how it could be unnoticed in a bag that contains a number of other materials. The weight of an average handbag is over five pounds. The NAA .32 Guardian weights about one pound.

No charges were brought against Karen Horen or her husband Ian. The New Jersey police showed common sense, something often lacking when speaking of New Jersey Police and guns.

There were over 771 million passenger trips through TSA secured airports last year. With that number of people traveling, in a nation with over 400 million privately owned firearms, 3,957 ended up with a firearm unintentionally carried in their carry-on luggage.

Karen Horen’s story shows one of the many ways it can happen.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

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About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.