“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.