TMZ has reported that Jon Gosselin, pulled a gun after a paparazzi photographer followed him onto his personal property to continue taking pictures of him. Gosselin was heading to his cabin when the pap snapper kept pace with him. He fired the gun in the air after pulling it, as a “warning shot.” Jon may have overreacted, but was he in the right?
According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) he was. If you go to their website and look for Know Your Rights: Photographers he did nothing wrong. The web page states that you are allowed to take pictures of things that are “plainly visible” from areas that are public. It is, in fact a constitutional right.
However, the second you enter private property, the rules change. The owner can set any rules they like about taking pictures. Furthermore, the owner can also order you off the property if you continue to take pictures when on said private property. On top of being ordered off, the owner can actually have you arrested for trespassing.
The female photographer tailed Jon Gosselin to his home in Pennsylvania and his cabin in Beckersville, Pa. She made the assumption that the property she encroached on was a public area. As she continued to snap away at the 36 year-old reality TV personality, he pulled a pistol and shouted at her. He then, allegedly, fired his gun in the air as a “warning shot.”
Did Jon Gosselin overreact? Most certainly. But if you read the ACLU guidelines, he was in the right. Overreaction or not.
Apparently the unnamed paparazzi photographer is going to speak to the local police about lodging a formal complaint. Not a particularly good idea as Gosselin can then have her charged with trespassing. While he could perhaps have been in serious trouble if he had shot at he did not and being on his own property, he could conceivably be within his rights to shoot off the firearm.
In Pennsylvania, he could, legally, shoot someone who had entered his home but only if it could be proven that the individual meant to harm him or his property. The same rule does not apply to the grounds of the property.
This special interest in Gosselin came after being spotted working in the local Black Dog Cafe by Entertainment Tonight. He is currently employed there as a waiter. The “spotting” happened earlier this week. Jon used to be a computer programer. But Gosselin claims that after the Jon & Kate Plus 8 reality TV show ended and he and Kate got divorced, it was hard for him to go back to his prior job.
Gosselin said that initially he was nervous about working as a waiter. But after he thought about, he decided it would be “fun” and that he would be interacting with people. Since customers would, or could, recognise him from the reality television show, it gave him a talking point.
He said that folks who dine at the eatery would ask him if he was that “guy” from the show. He would respond in the affirmative and go from there. Jon made the decision to move into the cabin in a effort to avoid the paparazzi. He revealed that his new home does not have TV or the internet.
Jon Gosselin also explained that he was not “struggling financially” and that he is happy to be “off the grid.” So he may have overreacted at the “invasion of his privacy” but, technically he was in the right. It remains to be seen if local law enforcement officials feel the same way.
By Michael Smith