“The New Jersey Legislature has sued to try to roll back a new rule by Gov. Christie’s administration making it easier to qualify for a permit to carry a handgun,” philly.com reports.

The State Police, with the attorney general’s approval, ‘wants to allow permits to carry handguns to those who have not been specifically threatened or previously attacked,’ according to the lawsuit.

So New Jersey legislators only approve of residents exercising their Constitutionally protected right to bear arms if they know an attack is coming, or if they’ve already been attacked. Afraid of the possibility of a random mugging, unannounced robbery or unforeseen rape? Fuhgeddaboutit.

What are these politicians even arguing about? Do they really think carry permits will flow because New Jersey applicants must now “only” demonstrate that they face a “serious” threat that “cannot be avoided by other reasonable means”?

You and I know that the new wording will do nothing to alter the bureaucratic blockade on New Jersey residents’ free exercise of their Constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms.

In 2014, New Jersey issued 496 carry permits. Given the Garden State’s culture of corruption, I reckon half of those 496 permits were issued to people based on their political connections. Unless the U.S. Supreme Court steps in, New Jersey’s de facto ban on bearing arms in public will remain indefinitely.

Whether New Jersey infringes upon its residents’ gun rights because of public support is entirely besides the point. The U.S. Constitution trumps state law. The right to keep and bear arms is protected by the Constitution. Case closed.

[Unless, of course, the Constitution is amended to repeal or remove the Second Amendment. There’s an app for that.]

Meanwhile, gun control laws like New Jersey’s faux permitting process — of which there are many egregious examples — stand as a condemnation of the Supreme Court’s failure to affirm the gun rights so clearly enshrined in our country’s preeminent legal document.

Judge Gorsuch’s appointment to the Court is a good portent that gun rights may one day be restored. But it should be remembered that the bench that included Justice Scalia (whom Gorsuch replaces) ruled in McDonald v. City of Chicago that the Second Amendment presents no impediment to “reasonable regulations.”

Those two words indicate that the Supreme Court is no way a friend of gun rights. While you could argue that McDonald represents “baby steps” towards firearms freedom restoration, how is it that the Court ruled that the “right” to an abortion or same-sex marriage was both immediate and absolute?

New Jersey’s punitive permitting process must not stand. Even if there’s some headline-grabbing loss of life that brings the dangerousness of the system into sharp focus, the U.S. Supreme Court is the best hope of its removal — and the destruction of all the other gun control laws defying and defiling the Constitution.

Which is to say current residents may or may not live to see the day their gun rights are restored.

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19 Responses to Random Thoughts About Garden State Gun Control and the Supreme Court

  1. Relying on SCOTUS (or any court) to save gun rights is analogous to locking the barn door after the horses have run off.

    If people don’t like what their elected morons are doing, they need to replace said morons and elect decent people who respect the Constitution and who will enact laws to support it.

    • If people don’t like what their elected morons are doing, they need to replace said morons and elect decent people who respect the Constitution and who will enact laws to support it.

      While that is nice, it does not address “tyranny of the majority”.

      I would like to think that justices are empowered to protect the rights of minorities. Of course that rarely seems to happen.

  2. ” But it should be remembered that the bench that included Justice Scalia (whom Gorsuch replaces) ruled in McDonald v. City of Chicago that the Second Amendment presents no impediment to “reasonable regulations.”

    We can thank ‘justice’ Kennedy for that wrench thrown into the 2A. That’s what it took to get Heller and McDonald. (H/T – Ralph)

    Let’s hope the good ‘justice’ soon tires of showing up for work and desires retirement to anywhere else than where he is now.

    Judge Diane Sykes might make a wonderful addition to the Court…

    • Geoff PR,

      Your comment is spot on.

      There is a reason, in spite of the “reasonable” caveat in Heller and McDonald, to hold out some hope. The U.S. Supreme Court’s Miller decision in 1939 clearly affirmed our right to keep and bear firearms that are used in the military and useful for a militia. Thus, the historical record, current information, the Miller decision, and stare decisis compel a future court to affirm our right to keep and bear short-barreled shotguns and rifles, suppressors, and even full auto firearms. The only sticking point is what “reasonable regulation” from Heller/McDonald would be allowed.

      I can picture a future court splitting the baby and allowing all the goodies with some sort of universal registration and background check as “reasonable regulations” … although they would be compelled to eliminate the ATF $200 tax stamp, forbid the 9 month wait for ATF registration, and open the machine gun registry.

      I would not be thrilled with that legal landscape. (I should not have to register anything and I should not have to pass background checks which government can pervert or grossly understaff.) At any rate, it would be nice to be able to pick up a new short-barreled rifle, a new suppressor, or a new full-auto firearm for a few hundred dollars and no wait. That is a significant improvement over where we stand right now.

      • I fear that scenario would be short lived. Some nutball full of hate and likely leftist in political persuasion would attack a school.

        The best we could realistically hope for is Cans, SBRs, and the like off the NFA and reopen the registry with the tax and wait.

        I wouldn’t be happy, but I could live with it. We simply cannot underestimate the utter hatred the Left has with guns and us.

        I’ve done a bit of digging the last week. The cheapest transferable F/A looks like a Glock with a rear plate selector switch. The *highest* price I saw was $2500. Drop a Mech-Tech carbine upper on it with a standard Glock 30 round stick, it’s a perfectly serviceable bargain buzz-gun… 🙂

        • The selector switch on the Glock is integrated into the slide not the grip. The Mechtech carbine only uses the grip of the Glock so wouldn’t you still only have a semi auto carbine in the end?

        • Good point, you are right on that. I do not know.

          I *think* the registered part is the selector switch backplate and interrupter part. If you can’t adapt it, you’re probably stuck…

          EDIT – Airfield airstrike update – 58 of 59 Tomahawks fired struck their targets.

          1 miss out of nearly *60* fired!

          Murrica! 🙂

  3. So New Jersey legislators only approve of residents exercising their Constitutionally protected right to bear arms if they know an attack is coming, or if they’ve already been attacked.

    Nah, New Jersey legislators don’t even approve in those circumstances. They may say something along those lines publicly. Then, behind closed doors, the politburo decides which ranking members and which large political donors get licenses the legislature directs the police to not give out licenses to anyone.

  4. If we could get a decisive Civil-Rights majority on SCOTUS then we could accomplish more via the judicial vs. the legislative avenue. We need one more Trump appointment.

    Both before and after another Trump appointment it remains important to achieve what we can legislatively. We, the PotG, are politically very immature. We ought to be in a much stronger position than we have shown ourselves to be. There are 40 or so Right-to-Carry States; that ought to be enough to make gun-control a 3’rd rail in a decisive majority of Senate races. We ought to have inspired the fear of the NRA in the hearts of every Representative in a Red or contested district. We aren’t there today; why not?

    Many of us think that the only acceptable Congressional bill is one that repeals an existing law. Many more think that there may be a little room for negotiation; but the resulting bill must be just-about-perfect. Let’s rise-up out of our own foxholes and look at the political landscape.

    Most of the population lives in urban Congressional Districts and States where there is little potential to interest voters in hunting or marksmanship. Some such voters may be interested in home-defense; but far more would be interested in defense either Inside/Outside the home. Most such voters are not going to tolerate guns in their neighborhoods until they actually experience the FACT of concealed-carry in their neighborhoods.

    There is NOTHING more important to securing the 2A than introducing concealed-carry in the last remaining Won’t-Issue States. We ought to be looking for every legislative and judicial angle to promote this end.

    For example, there are a few States that Shall-/May-Issue to residents but not NON-residents. Delaware is such a State; but Delaware does not give reciprocity to PA. Delaware does grant reciprocity to “residents” of certain states; e.g., FL/UT. I have non-resident FL & UT permits; but since I am not a resident of those States my claim to reciprocity is poorly founded. Suppose we targeted such States as DE with a claim of “Equal Protection” demanding that they Shall-Issue to NON-Residents.

    We ought to meet with only modest resistance from such States; why should they expend every resource to fight against NON-Resident Shall-Issue? Suppose we won a Circuit decision – or several – admitting that there is an Equal-Protection basis for non-discrimination against Non-Residents. That – consistent with the gay-marriage SCOTUS decision – would put a big fissure in the Won’t-Issue States’ claim of States’-Rights.

  5. Should National Reciprocity get passed, what will the New Jersey “legislators” do? Right across the Delaware River is Pennsylvania, where roughly 12.2% of all adults in the Commonwealth possess a Pa. License to Carry Firearms. New Jersey’s adult percentage licensed? 0.0 %

    To compound the difference between New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the Keystone State only requires a one-page application, no training or testing and $20.00 to pay for everything. What will New Jerseyites do when they start comparing how many hoops they have to jump through compared to the folks next door?

    • The problem is at least half of NJ gun owners are FUDDS. Most of them are fine with only a shotgun for hunting. Several gun store owners in the state have come out publicly against concealed carry. That leaves about 1/2 a million 2nd amendment advocates in a state of 9 million.

      Couple that with a large population of progressive’s and FSA members and you have almost no chance of electing enough pro 2nd amendment politicians to the state legislature.

      The only hope is the Concealed Carry Reciprocity act and a favorable ruling by the Supreme Court in the inevitable law suit NJ will file if the bill is passed.

      Sadly as a life long subject of this state I hold out little hope for change.

  6. I’m not holding my breath on The Supreme Court to save us. That traitor Kennedy will ensure that no new gun regulations get struck down. He needs to go and a few of the progressive judges need to follow. Banking on him retiring before Trump leaves office and RBG dying so we can have a real 6-3 majority for a while.

    • You seem to forget Ginsburg will be hard pressed to live out the next four years and Breyer is no spring chicken. If Kennedy decides to step down, which could be possible now that his former clerk is on the Court you might see Trump having the chance to appoint four Justices to the Court.

  7. The real reason there is such a high number of carry permits issued in New Jersey, which does in all reality ban them, is because of Private Investigation companies. These companies employ retired police detectives, who are performing their previous line of work in a private, non-government capacity. The number of these people who actually might need a firearm is, of course, zero, because you don’t get to be a retired detective by being dumb enough to get in a gun fight.

    The rest are indeed politicians, judges, and wealthy friends of these. None of whom can’t afford round-the-clock bodyguards. So 500 permits a year isn’t some real number that means some real people actually get through the wall.. Nobody gets a permit in NJ the honest way. And even applying means you’ll have a permit denial on your record forever, discouraging most people from trying, because this can mean never getting a simple NICS check back in less than three days for the rest of your life.

  8. They’re going to have to die off of the court.

    No one on the court wants Trump to get any nominations.

  9. ‘Given the Garden State’s culture of corruption, I reckon half of those 496 permits were issued to people based on their political connections.’

    Methinks you grossly underestimate the Garden State’s culture of corruption.

  10. I don’t go anywhere in NJ without my gun. I also keep the xm42 in the trunk. No laws against flamethrowers

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