Christie pardons 3 on gun charges after pressure on campaign trail the headline at northjersey,com proclaims. How cynical is that? Surely Christie pardoned North Carolina cell tower worker Brian Fletcher, Floridian Elizabeth Griffith and Pennsylvanian Todd Doering because the New Jersey governor recognizes the unconstitutionality of his state’s gun control laws. northjersey.com has a different, although hardly unique perspective on the presidential candidate’s motivation, including this background info on Christie’s gun rights record . . .
Christie, working to highlight his conservative credentials for Republican voters in key states, has a mixed record on gun issues.
In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, Christie called for a ban on .50-caliber assault weapons, but he later vetoed a Democratic measure to do just that. This year, while visiting South Carolina, before he officially declared his candidacy, Christie told attendees at an event that he hasn’t signed any new gun laws. Christie has, however, signed several less controversial gun-related measures, including bills that increase the criminal penalties for gun trafficking and provide a 180-day amnesty period for people to turn in illegal weapons.
Again, the paper’s being less than charitable. Or honest, depending on your perspective. Will this pardon impact the Garden State’s policy on reciprocity? Without mentioning the fact the New Jersey only has reciprocity with . . . wait for it . . . no other states, [In this NJ is not alone: California, Connecticut, DC, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island and New York (have the same policy.] At least nj.com raises the issue.
Currently, 37 U.S. states have firearm permit reciprocity agreements with at least one other state. Some, like Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, universally recognize any carry permit issued by any other state.
Such a reciprocity law would have protected Griffith, who had Florida-issued concealed carry permit.
“I don’t know why the Legislature won’t change something like this when they, over and over again, see folks who are legal carriers of guns in other states, who are coming through here and not doing anything other than traveling through New Jersey,” said Christie in an August interview. “It doesn’t make any sense.”
If New Jersey had reciprocity with more states, its residents might begin to question NJ’s own highly-restrictive gun control laws. In other words, no; this will have no impact on NJ law.