New Jersey Gov. Murphy Wants to Price Low Income Citizens Out of Armed Self Defense

phil murphy toy guns

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)


It’s no secret that the Garden State is hardly Eden for Second Amendment supporters, who are subjected there to some of the strictest firearm laws in the nation. But now Democrat Gov. Philip D. Murphy is targeting New Jersey’s law-abiding gun owners and would-be gun owners with proposals to increase by several orders of magnitude the mandatory fees state residents must pay to own or carry firearms.

These anti-gun taxes would hit low-income residents the hardest, predictably pricing many of them out of the gun market entirely, even though they typically live in the state’s highest crime areas.

As reported in a New York Times article published on April 22, Murphy proposes to hike the fees for a firearm identification card from $5 to $100, a permit to own a firearm from $2 to $50, and a permit to carry a firearm from $20 to $400. 

He additionally wants to impose excise taxes of 2.5% on firearms and 10% on ammunition.

The article states that although Murphy “is prohibited by state law from directing the new revenue toward specific programs,” he insisted “it would go toward anti-violence initiatives.”

The Times article mentions no evidence that Murphy’s plan would have any beneficial effect on violent crime, going so far as to say that “gun control advocates and researchers” were “not certain” that “higher fees alone would reduce violence.” 

Indeed, as we have noted many times before, criminals typically go outside legitimate retail markets to obtain the firearms used in their offenses.  

But research by economist John Lott reveals the most predictable outcome of raising fees for firearm-related permits, licenses, and mandatory training is simply to suppress the number of people who lawfully exercise their Second Amendment rights. Because fewer people can afford to participate in lawful gun markets, moreover, the promised funding for anti-violence initiatives never materializes. Meanwhile, the costs of policing low-income neighborhoods where law-abiding residents are disarmed may well increase.

All this presumably is not lost on Gov. Murphy, who believes imposing affirmative steps for voter registration (such as obtaining a state-issued ID) is tantamount to “voter suppression.” He can hardly escape the conclusion that punitive taxes aimed specifically at law-abiding firearm purchasers, especially when heaped upon the considerable delays and bureaucratic procedures New Jersey requires simply to keep a firearm in one’s home, are an even more drastic form of suppression.  

Murphy’s proposals are so drastic and patently discriminatory that even some of his normally anti-gun Democrat colleagues are not enthusiastic. The Times quotes Democrat Stephen M. Sweeney, Senate President, as stating, “Just to check a box to say you did something, I’m not sure that’s necessary. I don’t think it’s going to raise a lot of money.” Former Colorado governor and current Democrat presidential candidate John Hickenlooper agreed in the Times article that raising costs would “reduce” participation in otherwise lawful activity. “But I’m not sure that’s the right way to make policy,” he admitted.

Murphy himself, however, seems unburdened by such concerns, proving that he’s just as comfortable with hypocrisy and double standards as he is with infringing the Second Amendment rights of New Jersey residents.


This article originally appeared at and is reprinted here with permission. 


    1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      Wouldn’t it be *awesome* if the (inevitable) lawsuit against that price hike ends up being the one that ends up declaring *any* fee for the constitutional right to carry armed gets declared by SCOTUS to be unconstitutional?

      Do it, NJ. Jack up that price nice and high… 😉

      1. Yes, if poll taxes (no matter how low) are unconstitutional limitations on the right to vote, then any tax or fee on guns (or gun permits, or FPID cards, or CCW permits, or ammo) at all is an unconstitutional limitation on the right to keep and bear arms.

  1. avatar GS650G says:

    If they want to profit from this make it easier to buy guns. As it is now it’s so hard to own one these fees are not an issue.

  2. avatar Ransom says:

    They’re not certain that higher fees will reduce gun violence? Huh? The astounding ignorance of someone who thinks that’s even a possibility. Maybe we could curtail teenage pregnancy by taxing the shit out of Natty Ice.

    1. avatar guest says:

      They’re saying they want to curtail teen pregnancies by having a much higher tax on condoms.

    2. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      “They’re not certain that higher fees will reduce gun violence? Huh?”

      Well, the British are about to ‘crack down’ on knife carrying, so there you go… :

      “No excuses: there is never a reason to carry a knife. Anyone who does will be caught, and they will feel the full force of the law,” London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted on April 8.

  3. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    Why does he look like a stupid simp? Where do these morons get these ideas? If such horse hockey is not infringement I need a new dictionary. This kind of stuff has to be taken to court on that basis. Heller sort of ruled that special restrictions ARE restrictions, ie, infringement.

  4. avatar Rick the Bear says:

    NJ already make it near impossible to get a carry permit. WTF?

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      [New Jersey Governor] Murphy proposes to hike the fees for a … permit to carry a firearm from $20 to $400.

      Since New Jersey only has about 1,200 concealed carry licenses at the present time — and only for specially connected people — I don’t think that price hike will affect any low-income people. Not that that makes it okay, just sayin’.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        But he wants to hike the fee to $100 to get a card that allows you to own firearms, and another $50 for a permit for each firearm you want to buy. With tax and transfer fees, that would double the cost of a High Point. That’ll show ’em!

        1. avatar Bad Hat Harry says:

          The NJ firearm puchaser id is not a permit to own firearms, it is a permit to purchase firearms, and you can an unlimited number of long guns with one purchaser id. However, with hsndguns you are correct, you must get a handgun purchaser id card for every handgun you want to buy. NJ is strictest on handguns the most, semi auto long guns second. Funny enough, there are no restrictions on pump action shotguns. Moreover, the whole NJ gun purchaser id system is bs.

      2. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

        On its own yeah. I just fear they are getting it in place just in case the NYC case goes badly for the commies to try and slow down freedom purchases (until challenged or they manage to find a workaround)

  5. avatar rosignol says:

    For a lot of Democrats, their main problem with firearms is that too many of the ‘wrong’ people have them.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:


      And increased pricing/risk to exercise a fundamental right reduces the number of people who will exercise that right.

  6. avatar Maxpowers says:

    And yet they won’t do jack squat to stop their out of control violent crime and have many times refuse to enforce their own laws against the criminal element.

    1. avatar Binder says:

      “out of control violent crime” WTF

      New Jersey murder rate was 3.6 in 2017, Texas was 5.0

  7. avatar Michael says:

    Keep pushing morons, Karma hammers down the nails what sticks up the highest.-30-

  8. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    This latest move only makes sense: it is an integral aspect of New Jersey’s effort to boldly and proudly claim the title of the highest taxed state in the U.S.

  9. avatar John Boch says:

    Another closet racist. Trying to keep black people – and others they view as “undesirable” – from having access to guns.

    It’s the same reason they hiked poll taxes… to keep poor “undesirables” from exercising their franchise.


    1. avatar Rocketman says:

      Reminds me of a story I once heard. Back in the 1930’s a number of southern states had a “literacy test” to make sure the voter could read the ballot and know who was on it. A number of white redneck sheriffs decided to use that against black voters at the polls. A black voter comes into the polling place and tries to vote. The sheriff says to him that there is a literacy test and hands him a newspaper to read, a newspaper written completely in Chinese. The black man looks at the paper for a couple of seconds and his shoulders slump. “Well, do you know what the newspaper says?” demands the sheriff. “I sure do.” Says the black man. “It says that there ain’t going to be any black people voting in this here precinct.”
      That’s where this country is headed. Only instead of blacks it will be anyone who isn’t a socialist.

  10. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    The principal behind this reminds me of the Stamp Act. How did that work out for England?

  11. avatar NORDNEG says:

    Well somebody in Jersey is voting for these creeps…
    You get what you vote for,,, apparently the thugs must be voting so as to keep their victims from obtaining guns,,, good Idea if I don’t say so myself…. the ultimate Democrats in Jersey could be the perps themselves,,, probably not though , Not many that can read .

    1. avatar Tiger says:

      Sorry, thugs are not waiting in a polling place. Murphy won in a landslide. Every they wiped every GOP congressional seat but one. So this the majority view in NJ in play.

      1. avatar GS650G says:

        Most of the conservative minded people already left the state. Now the excess liberals are moving to PA and DE unfortunately.

  12. avatar former water walker says:

    Coming soon to ILLinois. Dumbocrats hate you and want you defenseless…

    1. avatar JR says:

      Well, taxes aren’t the only reason people are leaving Illinois, but it’s a large part of it.

  13. avatar James A. "Jim" Farmer says:

    I have state repeatedly over the years I haven’t see an anti-gun politician yet who wasn’t deceitful crooked
    immoral treasonous and socialist! And today’s corrupt Democratic Machine, including RINO’s: Republican
    In Name Only, all stand equally guilty! Depraved Democrats vs. Reprobate Republicans, what is the difference?

    James A. “Jim” Farmer
    Merrill, Oregon (Klamath County)
    Long live the proverbial State of Jefferson!

  14. avatar Hannibal says:

    “and a permit to carry a firearm from $20 to $400…”

    Wow, the state will have a budget windfall of $800! Just kidding, there are actually something like 500… out of 9 million residents.

  15. avatar Domestic Hearse says:

    “This article originally appeared at and is reprinted here with permission.”

    TTAG, why don’t you start writing your own content, rather than borrowing shadow-cover propaganda from thieves and conmen? Cut the cord with the Negotiate Rights Away now. They’ve done nothing but waste our donations and dues while lining their own pockets. Not saying the price-hike in NJ isn’t happening, and isn’t wrong, I’m just saying pick a source that hasn’t been lying and cheating to us.

  16. avatar WI Patriot says:

    “New Jersey Gov. Murphy Wants to Price Low Income Citizens Out of Armed Self Defense”

    Where are the liberals/naacp/aclu on this…??? They yelled and screamed about voter ID laws, saying they were prejudicial and un-Constitutional, well, isn’t this the exact same set of circumstances…???

    1. avatar Tiger says:

      Because They think this is great. That why they backed him and most voters did to.

  17. avatar Cletus says:

    Good news, if the courts rule that this is legal, we can bring back the poll tax.

  18. avatar Missouri_Mule says:

    The Racist Roots of Gun Control (1993)
    by Claton E. Cramer
    The anti liberty crowd just recycles the same old shirt.

    1. avatar Chris T in KY says:

      Racist gun control always kept the gun prices high in order to disarm and control the poor black population.

  19. avatar barnbwt says:

    Meh, water remains wet, as it has since the Tammany Hall days. What else is new?

  20. avatar M1911A1Steve says:

    This stupid measure will not “price [poor people] out of armed self-defense.”
    On the contrary, it will turn them into criminals, forcing them to buy personal protection items “on the street,” rather than from legitimate sources.
    Not only will the poor be driven into criminality, but, by having done so, the state will lose control over the legitimate gun market.

    Maybe “stupid” is too weak a word for describing this new law.

  21. avatar Chris Morton says:

    Racially invidious gun controls are the stock in trade of the Democrat party.

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