Back in December, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop acquiesced to the demands of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in American and agreed to force companies supplying firearms to their police department to answer an anti-gun questionnaire before awarding their next contract. [Click here for the six questions in question, which include “Do you agree not to sell certain models of firearms for civilian use?” and “Do you manufacturer and sell assault weapons for civilian use?”] Some 109 New Jersey mayors signed a letter supporting the move – although not promising to pursue a similar policy. And now wsj.com reports that Fulop’s implementing MDA’s purity test before signing a $500k contract to supply his city’s 800 cops. Only here’s the thing . . .
Middlemen currently handle Jersey City’s firearms and ammo needs. Specifically, Lawmen Supply Company and Atlantic Tactical. While both companies sell “certain models of firearms for civilian use,” the questionnaire doesn’t really apply. Neither company “manufactures” anything, for example. That said, both Lawmen and Atlantic are ready to play ball with Mayor Fullop.
“Ultimately, as long the questions aren’t asking confidential information, I’d certainly share with anybody what our sales practices are because they are ethical and certainly legal,” said Sean Conville, president of Atlantic Tactical.
Chris Ferrari, president of Lawmen, said he would consider opting out of future bids if Jersey City sought to restrict how the company conducted business. “This is definitely a different type of questioning,” he said.
Weasel words, fer sure. The more important consideration: will Jersey City require Lawmen, Atlantic and/or a player or players to be named later to answer the anti-gun questionnaire on behalf of manufacturers, or pass it on to the potential firearms and ammo suppliers? Which was, of course, the point of the whole exercise.
The effort is setting up a fight with gun makers and supporters of Second Amendment rights.
“These politicians are politicizing the purchase of firearms for law enforcement, when law enforcement should be able to buy whatever best suits their needs,” said Andrew Arulanandam, managing director of public affairs for the National Rifle Association.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation, a leading firearms trade association, is monitoring Jersey City’s efforts and studying legal action. “It’s an issue that could be of industry concern,” said Lawrence Keane, the Connecticut-based gun-rights group’s senior vice president and general counsel.
And an issue that’s a consumer concern. I don’t think The People of the Gun would look kindly on gun makers and ammo suppliers who let gun control advocates influence the police procurement process. You know; any more than they already do. Watch this space.