Hackensack, NJ Police Director Calls for National Gun Buyer Fingerprinting

Hackensack, NJ Police Director Michael Mordaga, then and now (courtesy cliffviewpilot.com)

“I support a civilian’s right to bear arms and protect the home and possess firearms,” Michael Mordaga tells northjersey.com, “if allowed to have one.” See what he did there? The civilian director of the Hackensack police supports New Jersey residents’ right to bear arms and protect the home. If a Hackensack resident wants to bear arms outside the home, fuhgeddaboutit. And clock that caveat: “if allowed to have one.” According to who, exactly? Why, the police! Amongst others. Yes, it’s gun ownership as a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. But there’s no mistaking Mordaga’s end game . . .

Mordaga said he supports citizens’ rights to own firearms and believes criminals can be deterred from committing residential break-ins if they think homeowners have guns. Still, he said, gun control measures must be strengthened to make sure criminals are not able to get firearms — and a national fingerprinting system is a way to accomplish that.

“It should be the same criteria across the country,” he said. “For whoever purchases handguns, there should be a legitimate background check across the country.”

I wonder if Mordaga knows that the FBI has to destroy its NICS firearms background check records within 24 hours, in accordance with the Firearms Owners Protection Act. A piece of legislation that forbids the establishment of a national firearms owners database like the one he’s proposing.

That doesn’t cover state governments like New Jersey who maintain a firearms registration. Connecticut, California, Hawaii—all these states know what guns resident bought, where they live and keeps a copy of their fingerprints on file.

Reading the northjersey.com article, listening to former Detective Mordaga, you’d think that’s a feature, not a bug. As the son of a Holocaust survivor I can assure you it’s not. How many times do we have to watch gun registration lead to gun confiscation lead to tyranny and mass murder before we appreciate the fact that firearms anonymity protects liberty? Registration is the slippery slope to the abyss.

“If you go to fingerprinting, you infringe on [the] privacy rights and constitutional rights of every American, but the criminal will find a way to get around it,” said Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, a gun-rights group.

Gottleib alludes to the horrific dangers of gun registration but doesn’t quite go there. He trots out the standard gun rights media meme: “expanding” firearms background checks won’t work. As the NSSF and NRA say, “we need to fix the current system first.” Wrong. The system needs to be eliminated. All of it. Everywhere. Background checks don’t work. Period.

I know that’s not a politically palatable position. But attempting to thread the needle—turning a blind eye to the ATF’s registry (form 4473) and states that maintain a firearms owners database while calling fingerprinting an invasion of privacy—makes gun rights groups look stupid. We support the system but we don’t want to improve it? Geddowdahere!

“We find it’s still beneficial for the state to have its own strong system to keep guns out of the hands of criminals,” said Daniel Weber, director of the Center for Gun Policy and Research at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “While it’s not foolproof, it elevates the street price and makes it generally less available.”

When incrementalist idiots like this seem to make more sense than the gun rights groups we got trouble.

As for the former cop’s story—a criminal attempted to kill Mordaga, the con changed his name in prison and bought firearms illegally 24 years later in Virginia—so what? The tale proves Gottleib’s point, not Mordaga’s. Besides, a man who doesn’t understand the difference between Little League rules and a natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right shouldn’t be making decision about anything more than where to spend his police pension.

“People get fingerprinted when they want to become coaches in Little League,” he said. “People get fingerprinted for a lot of different things . . . no one should be against being fingerprinted if they want to have firearms.”

Unless they value their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.


  1. avatar Thomas Paine says:

    fingerprinting? this is 2013. DNA.

    1. avatar Daniel Silverman says:

      Is he really that stupid? Oh never mind of course he is…

  2. avatar Thomas Paine says:

    also, never got fingerprinted to be a Little League Coach. Maybe that’s just Jersey. 🙂

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      Probably don’t have to be fingerprinted to be a scout leader, either.

  3. avatar Craig says:

    I applied for my concealed carry permit today in Rhode Island. I had to be fingerprinted, and its a damned shame that its required by statutory law (11-47-11). Criminals are fingerprinted for booking, carry permit applicants and holders don’t deserve this kind of treatment.

    1. avatar Ron Burgundy says:

      My local PD took me to the holding cell area (deserted, I live in a nice small town), where they keep the fingerprinting equipment. Washington has no training requirement, but you still get the printing and additional background check. Constitutional carry, a nice daydream. 🙂

      1. avatar Twistedwacko says:

        Not in Arizona, even if you buy new. just put it under a carry garment and your set.

  4. avatar Ross says:

    I support Mr. Mordaga right to get run over by a bus.

    1. avatar Chip says:

      Why specify a bus? Wouldn’t a thousand motorcycles make a better headline?

  5. avatar Ralph says:

    I’d like to run a background check on Mordaga. Please ask him to send me his social security number and fingerprints. I promise that I won’t misuse them.

  6. avatar Larry says:

    Been to Hackensack lately ? I’m willing to bet there are a lot of people carrying firearms there and not a one are on the old police cheif’s sanctioned list. ” I support civil rights, but you have to exercise them in a manner I deem appropriate.” Hey Chief…FOAD.

  7. avatar NYC2AZ says:

    Michael Mordaga tells legal gun owners:

    “And I will wait for you
    As long as I need to
    And if you ever get back to Hackensack
    I’ll be here to arrest you”

  8. avatar Larry says:

    Few slight adjustments to make it palatable to the ACLU…

    “Mordaga said he supports citizens’ right to vote and believes criminals can be deterred from committing voter fraud if they think poll workers have the tools to deter them. Still, he said, vote control measures must be strengthened to make sure those who commit voter fraud are not able to vote illegally — and a national fingerprinting system is a way to accomplish that.

    “It should be the same criteria across the country,” he said. “For whoever votes, there should be a legitimate background check across the country.”

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      What could go wrong with a national registry check database? After all, look how successfully the national healthcare exchange is being implemented.

  9. avatar the ruester says:

    Of all the petty little things that have to get reported to NICS, name changes are not among them? You get a ticket out of state and it goes to a warrant, reported.
    You catch a DUI in some states, reported. Your girlfriend claims you threatened her, reported. You try to kill a cop, spend years in prison, convert to islam, and change your name; GOOD TO GO!?!?

  10. avatar dph says:

    This a-hole is calling us civilians as if he were a military man? I really tired of the military direction the hired help is taking.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Yes, well it’s pretty obvious these guys have some serious self-esteem issues in Jersey, otherwise why wear all those pretty fruit salad medals every time they’re in uniform? They must give those away like Cracker-Jack prizes. It’s no wonder they have to try to conceive themselves as elite troops protecting the civilians.

      1. avatar Rick says:

        In that case, his mustache is too wide; needs to trim it down to approximately nose width…

      2. avatar BillF says:

        Medals for writing traffic tickets and rescuing cat from trees. And medals for feel-good ideas and silly Little League analogies.

    2. avatar niceguns says:

      Amen to that brother

    3. avatar Blue says:

      Did you fail to recognize his SS uniform?

  11. avatar Ken says:

    Who gives a rat’s ass what a cop in Hackensack New Jersey thinks?

    1. avatar Blue says:

      Because that shit spreads like herpes in a hippie commune.

  12. avatar Ing says:

    Sounds to me like this guy needs a swift kick right in the hackensack.

  13. avatar Damocles says:

    When I clicked on the website and took a quick glance at the photo, I thought I was looking at Heinrich Himmler without his glasses. Oy vey! Keep your propaganda in Hackensack.

  14. avatar Silver says:

    Sorry, New Jersey, you lost your right to any kind of lawful credibility when you started wiping your rears with the Constitution.

    1. avatar Damocles says:


    2. avatar niceguns says:

      Well said, all of New England is a sespool.

  15. avatar JoshuaS says:

    In CA it is just the right thumb print….and frankly none of the ones I have given are readable. Just smudges.

    I think the politicians pass a law, but no one really gives a hoot about actually implementing these thing. My fingerprints have been more fussed over for a backrgound check for teaching than for a firearm.

    1. avatar LongBeach says:

      Same. They went all out on my fingerprinting for the two schools I work in, but the right thumb thing was purely an act. A dark oval rubbed over and passed off as legitimate.

      1. avatar niceguns says:

        What, school teacher with a gun? Why haven’t you drank you koolaid.

    2. avatar niceguns says:

      Josh, do you mean there are acctually teachers in California that are not liberal elitest Democrats?

  16. avatar ChuckN says:

    What I’d like to ask him is, if one already has their fingerprints on file
    as well as an active security clearance why do you even need a
    background check. The next question would be, would you be allowed
    to view your own background file or will it be sealed (a la terror watch
    list). Lastly, if the background registry gets anything wrong will the
    federal government be held legally liable for any issues (either a
    felon being okayed, or an innocent being banned from ownership).

    Unfortunately I imagine he’s got a bloody shirt ready and waiting for
    the first logical question posed.

  17. avatar Mediocrates says:

    I have witnessed a background check prevent a felon from acquiring a gun. Saying they don’t work is an overly broad generalization.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Maybe you can have your record expunged.

      Just kidding.

    2. avatar Hasdrubal says:

      Good thing he was stopped, now that he knows he can’t own one, he knows better than to steal one or buy one out of the back of a Pinto in a dark alley, or worst of all possible cases, get someone to buy it for him at the exact same store.

      Because, of course, the ATF will come after him with everything they’ve got. Straw purchases don’t go unpunished in this country, right?

    3. avatar Blue says:

      How do you know he was a felon? NICS (nor FDLE here in Fl) give a reason for denial. It could be something simple like a misdemeanor restraining order or failure to appear for a speeding ticket bench warrant. It could even be a mistake.

  18. avatar James Smith says:

    The Government does not have a duty to protect the individual, just a duty to protect society as a whole. Therefore, according to Constitutional law, the right for individual self defense is there.

    1. avatar niceguns says:

      I’ll go with that.

  19. avatar LongBeach says:

    I ask this out of ignorance, so bear with me. Do they really delete all the background check stuff after 24 hours? Reeeeally dispose of it? Or is it like dragging something on your desktop into the trash can and its not really gone?

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      Of course they do, it’s the law.

      In reality, if the checks are being done electronically, then it’s probably automated. It runs a check every hour, or every day at midnight, and any records with timestamps >23:59 ago are purged.

      1. avatar LongBeach says:

        I ask because its sort of a “who will watch the watchers” deal. I’d love to believe that because they’re a government agency operating under the rule of law they’d be honest about it, but given so many instances of .gov sneakiness, I wouldn’t put it past them to say they’ve disposed of everything when really they haven’t. An automated system that deletes info would be a good way to go, but could such a system be modified so that instead of automatically ‘deleting’ things, it switched over to automatically ‘saving’ that info? I bow to your (vastly) superior knowledge of The Internet, and Technology.

      2. avatar JFP says:

        Yes, I’m sure the FBI dumps the data every night, and right before that happens it gets copied over to ATF databases (or some obscure agency). Oregon state police run the checks here aka they take the data down and then run it through the FBI, $10 per check for the buyer. I’m sure Oregon has all the data on guns checks run through their system saved.

        1. avatar Blue says:

          It would really be good to catch them because they could be charged with a felony at the fed level and some state levels including here in Florida.

  20. avatar Patriot says:

    This @sshole Gestapo much?

  21. avatar Joe Grine says:

    He’s the Modern-day “SS” officer: Power hungry and more than ready to ensure that the masses have no ability to resist police power. FOAD.

  22. avatar Nate says:

    Eh, background checks will stop plenty of criminals who can then go purchase illegally so it’s efficacy is suspect.

    For those who want the checks gone, what do you propose for deterring/stopping psychos and the dangerous from getting guns? Saying “there’s nothing we can do!” Is not a real answer.

  23. avatar Pat says:

    Filthy libtard. A certain destination paved with good intentions (assuming the intention is good).

  24. avatar niceguns says:

    Sick of F ing cops!!! Actually I’m sick of New Englanders too.

  25. avatar Blue says:

    The uniform photo of this peckerwood would look good next to Hitler and Musollini. All he needs is a black band with SS on the sleeve.

  26. avatar JEH says:

    I bet Hackensack wouldn’t stand a half a day confined out among the real voting citizens !!! Mrs. Hackensack would be more appropriate for his/her new name…..

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