Good God, Garden Staters. Do you have any idea of the newly established den of evil and iniquity lurking in your midst? Are you blind to this threat to the peace and tranquility that are Jersey City and Hoboken? And located so close to Manhattan, too? Never fear, though. Assata Wright of the Hudon Reporter is on the case. She’s raising the alarm like a modern-day Paulette Revere. That she does it in the guise of an ‘objective’ local news story is doesn’t slow her down for a minute…
It’s not exactly a Welcome Wagon puff piece. Wright writes about the opening of First Line Tactical in Jersey City Heights. You just know something’s up from the piece’s title – ‘On Target? Gun paraphernalia shop opens in the Heights.’ Oooh, paraphernalia. Might as well be a head shop. There goes the neighborhood.
You can almost feel the disgust dripping from every word Wright typed. And here’s the priceless lede to the story:
Just weeks after the city held a gun buyback program to cut down on crime, a new retail store, First Line Tactical, opened its doors at 353 Palisades Ave. in the Jersey City Heights.
Can you believe it? Here they are trying to fight crime and get guns off of the streets and these guys come along making things worse! Damned merchants of death. Have they no shame?
Only one problem. First Line doesn’t sell guns.
Described by the company’s CEO and northeast director as a store for the law enforcement, professional security, and emergency services industries, First Line Tactical does not sell any handguns or other firearms. What it does sell are all the items a gun owner may need to tailor their weapon to suit their personal tastes – gun sights, holsters, magazines, and other accessories.
“We will follow the rules and regulations of the state of New Jersey regarding what you can sell,” said Alfredo Gadoy, a Jersey City resident and First Line’s Northeast regional director. “We won’t sell to anyone that doesn’t have a firearms ID card, which is required by the state in order for you to be a legal gun owner.”
Oh. Well, Wright’s an intrepid journalist. No reason to let something like a conspicuous lack of firearm sales keep her from drumming up some local opposition. Time to hit the streets.
“What kind of place is this? Is this a gun store? If so, I have a real problem with that,” said Odessa Smite, who lives just blocks from First Line Tactical. The mother of three said she had “real problems” with what she saw online.
After learning the store does not sell guns and expects to cater to police officers, security professionals, and rifle enthusiasts who shoot at the gun range, many of Smite’s concerns were eased, she said.
“If they’re just selling different kinds of holsters and flashlights, I have no problem with that. I don’t like the fact that they’ll be selling knives,” she said. “But, you know, people can buy knives lots of places. There’s no difference between a knife from this place and a knife from someplace else…As long as they don’t sell stuff to kids or criminals, I’m okay with them being here.”
Dee Dee Johnson, another Jersey City Heights resident, had similar concerns about the store.
“As long as they are serious about checking that kind of stuff, that’s one thing,” said Johnson. “My concern is, will there be some employee who doesn’t check? What happens if they get careless? What happens if some friend of a friend comes in wanting to buy something they have no business having? If they’re careful and following the law, then fine. Then I see them like every other business out here. But they better be careful who they sell to, that’s all I can say.”
Yeah, we don’t want just anyone buying a holster. Wright did manage to gin up one supporter who was disappointed the shop won’t sell things that actually go bang. Then she threw this in just to demonstrate the egregious affront to polite society that First Line presents, just to drive the point home:
Interestingly, one resident interviewed, Nina Lewis, believed First Line Tactical glorified weapons and sent the wrong message to young people.
And just so no one thinks the city’s finest are happy about the store being there…
So far, First Line appears to have the blessing of city authorities, although the store initially raised some eyebrows.
Jersey City Police Chief Tom Comey said last week, “The reality of it is, we may have our personal feelings about it, but as long as they meet all of the legal standards, we have no option other than to hope that they have the best of intentions, and are cautious about who they do business with.”
Because we wouldn’t want a new, profitable, productive employer moving into the area. Not unless they’re “our kind” of business. So to sum up, we have the Jersey City PD and at least some of the media lined up against First Line Tactical. Nice store you have here, boys. Be a shame if anything happened to it.