Regular readers and most sentient life forms are well aware that New Jersey — America’s armpit, as a college friend from there used to call it — is where gun rights go to die. The latest egregious example: US Army Lt. Col. Terry Russell. The soldier who’s stationed at the Picatinny Arsenal, a facility that’s been the target of terrorist threats, applied for a concealed carry permit. You know, because it’s a civil right. Well, it is in most places . . .
The Lt. Colonel is exactly the kind of person those in the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex like to say are the only ones who should be allowed the privilege of carrying a firearm. As he told a nj1015.com,
“I have been fully trained and qualified, at a minimum annually, to skillfully employ handguns and rifles,” Russell explains.
In addition, he’s been “vetted through the Department of Defense security office every five years for the past 25 years” to have Top Secret Sensitive Compartmented Information clearance.” An attachment to his application shows that he already holds a concealed carry permit in Texas.
The Garden State, however, is a
no may-issue jurisdiction. Which means unless you’re a) a cop, b) a retired cop, or c) wealthy enough to pay off the local authorities, you aren’t getting a permit. Lt. Col. Russell was none of the above.
In denying his application for a concealed-carry permit, Oceanport Police Chief Daniel W. Barcus said Russell was unable to demonstrate “justifiable need” because there had been no specific attacks or threats made directly on him.
Russell then took it up the chain.
After police (denied) Russell’s application, he appealed to Superior Court. Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni stood by the denial, saying in a Jan. 29, 2015, letter to Judge Joseph Oxley that the soldier had failed to demonstrate “justifiable need” to have a carry permit.
Of course he did. Serving his country for 27 years isn’t sufficient need. Working in a military facility that’s been the target of terrorist threats isn’t sufficient need. And as we all know, the desire to exercise a constitutionally protected civil right is certainly insufficient to “let” someone bear arms. So, for his jaw-dropping obtuseness, gross stupidity, and conspicuous failure to uphold the Constitution as he has sworn to do, Chief Barcus is our gun zero of the day.