Phil Murphy gun control new jersey
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
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By Theresa Inacker

Over the past several weeks, Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey has used peculiar words to describe his approach to handling the COVID-19 situation. Those words include “army,” “recruit,” “deploy,” and finally, “SWAT team.”

These words resound like a dog whistle for Second Amendment advocates: caution ahead.

In a recent press briefing, Governor Murphy outlined his plans for aggressive contact tracing in the state, stating that the contact tracers would be “augmented by a SWAT team as well, from the Department of Health.”

Listen here:

via ytCropper

In his six-point plan revealed at the end of April, Murphy said described a desire for robust contact tracing:  “We will need to recruit and deploy an army of contact tracers whose sole purpose will be to identify these individuals so we can follow up and ensure they do not contribute to further spread of COVID-19.”

Why does Murphy choose those particularly aggressive, militarized words when talking to the citizens and taxpayers of New Jersey?

In 2018, the Governor signed a “high capacity” magazine ban into law with no grandfathering. New Jersey was already capped at a reduced 15-round limit at the time. One cannot get a carry permit in New Jersey without proving “justifiable need,” a standard that is being challenged in several court cases pending before the US Supreme Court. including Cheeseman v. Polillo.

People who understand the true purpose of the Second Amendment know that it’s intended to keep power in the hands of The People. The Governor’s rhetoric leaves people questioning whether their government is threatening them. What kind of SWAT team is needed to reinforce the deployed “army” of contact tracers? What exactly does the Governor have in mind?

His words are designed to intimidate those who are prone to submission. For the tone deaf, these words roll off without any significant meaning. He could say it’s merely rhetorical flourish with no teeth, but couple this with the fact that his Attorney General has ordered the arrest of people who don’t obey Executive Orders, or those who have organized peaceable protests, he has closed our gun ranges, he actually shut down the NICS background check system until a suit was filed. I would say that his language must be taken at face value and taken seriously.

The Governor may be baiting people into a reaction. But if so, his timing is bad and his tactics are questionable. Is he hoping there will be civil unrest so that yet even tighter controls can be forced upon New Jersians?

Citizens are becoming increasingly concerned with the militarized rhetoric the state is using in its approach to the citzenry. Recently, a job opportunity was posted by a confidential source, explaining that “military experience required” for a COVID-19 Social Compliance Officer position in Bridgewater, New Jersey. It is unknown if this is a government position. Nonetheless, it does raise some serious questions.

If anyone thinks Second Amendment advocates are paranoid, I would suggest we are merely situationally aware. We are tuned in to being wary of government overreach because we have been subjected to it at the highest degrees by New Jersey politicians over the decades.

No concealed carry, ten-round magazine limits, permits to purchase, one handgun a month limitations, shutting down gun shops, ranges and the cessation of fingerprinting that’s required for background checks. These are not imaginary events. These are all the restrictions government has already imposed on us. So far.

Let’s hope that the Governor will dial back the militarized rhetoric to reduce the tension level among those of us who care about our gun rights. In the mean time, stay vigilant.


Theresa Inacker, an attorney and Second Amendment advocate, is a member of the US Supreme Court bar, the New Jersey delegate to The DC Project, and serves as the Communications Director for the Coalition of New Jersey Firearm Owners.

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  1. Perhaps military rhetoric is used here responsive to the U.S. President characterizing this as a “war”?

    • You are the typical lowlife useful idiot attempting to lay democRat Sleaze at the doorstep of the POTUS. Take your slander and libel and put where the sun doesn’t shine.

      TRUMP/PENCE 2020.

      • Only slander or libel if untrue. Has Trump not declared himself a wartime president in this crisis?

        • The difference between these is that Trump has declared war on the virus and source of infection. Murphy appears to be declaring war on the citizens of New Jersey!

    • This is the most ignorant comment I’ve read today–but I slept in late as it’s my day off and I have nowhere to go and all day to get there (apologies to Styx.) By your logic, any reference to “war,” such as “War on Poverty,” “War on Drugs,” etc., are militaristic and can lead to militaristic responses. I’d love to tell you what I think of your assertion but modesty and moderators prevent me from doing so, therefore I’ll refer to it as ludicrous.

      • –By your logic, any reference to “war,” such as “War on Poverty,” “War on Drugs,” etc., are militaristic and can lead to militaristic responses.–

        Actually, that’s Ms. Anaker’s logic as expressed in the article, not mine.

        • @Serpent-Vision You may be content being a sheeple; may even think, as you appear to do, that sheeplenes is a proper status for everyone else. As one who is decidedly not a sheeple, what I feel on reading your comments is pity. You have lost the light. Now please go away.

    • Theresa Inacker, you are one of NJ’s greatest 2nd Amendment assets. Another great and thoughtful article. Please keep them coming.

    • Just recall this dictator. He was elected he can be removed. Come on New Jersey lead the way and be the first to kick out one of these power hungry low IQ idiots!

    • Really that is your take on this? The Constitution of the United States of America is being trashed by these ultra liberal Progressive elected officials that have sworn to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States of America. Yet they are doing everything in their power to destroy it to take total control over all of the citizens of this country and turn it into a Socialist Country, kind of like Russia, Venezuela, Cuba, and the like. Wake up America the destruction of our country, and total loss of the freedoms, guaranteed by our Constitution and the Bill of Rights, are on the chopping block.

      • Ok, let’s deal with “defending the Constitution”.

        My liberal, leftist, statist, authoritarian view of the constitution is that it grants power to the federal government to seek/promote the general welfare above all else. That is, we can’t let the words of people from an entirely different “world” dictate what the government can do to serve and protect its people, and their future. We can’t let law stand in the way of doing what is right for the greater majority. Thus, in defending the constitution, whatever legislation promotes peace and safety, health and welfare, qualifies as fulfilling my oath of office.

        People who disagree with me are attacking the people, preventing them from living safely and peacefully according to provisions of the constitution. Public officials who try to stop me from exercising my constitutional rights and responsibilities are failing to uphold their oath to protect and defend the constitution.


        Failure to uphold the constitution is, after all, a matter of opinion. The only opinions that matter are the opinions that have power to back them up.

        It’s a nasty state of affairs, but there it is.

        • Nothing funnier than a democrat claiming to uphold the constitution and defending Murphy as the document’s champion. How many of these Governors nullified federal law regarding immigration, then passed state laws to supersede federal law? Not by popular vote of the majority, but self proclaimed divine right, he declared anyone here illegally an immigrant deserving tax payers help. As for his emergency powers where in the constitution does it say he can rule by executive order, or decree as Governor. Where does it read he can defy federal laws, he does not approve of. When does he ask consent of the people through our legislative branch to make laws? Like Cuomo, he bankrupted the state long before the pandemic, and now seeks a total bail out. Who would trust Murphy with a treasury full of federal money? He would piss it away without our consent, give him money, but appoint someone from federal government to watch how he and his aides spend it. If Murphy gave a speech on upholding the constitution it would be funnier than a tiny car filled with twelve circus clowns. Everything he does is politically Leftest based.

          • “Nothing funnier than a democrat claiming to uphold the constitution and defending Murphy as the document’s champion.”

            You do realize I am not liberal, leftist, statist, authoritarian….right? (Although I do stay at Holiday Express motels, and play a liberal pretty good.)

            It was just an exercise in differing viewpoints, and maybe why proclaiming that someone is not upholding the constitution because they have evil intent (not that evil intent cannot account for much of liberal, leftist, statist, authoritarian thinking) is not a convincing meme.

  2. If approached by the “contact tracers”, would one be subject to arrest for claim 5th Amendment protection?

    Are we not seeing more and more examples of government power grabs enticed by the knowledge that law suits to defend constitutionally protected rights take years to resolve, leaving the infringements in place all that time? Knowing there is little, or no, personal risk in violating civil rights?

    Deterrence only works if the enemy believes it is possible, likely, and decisive. Government seems all too often to tell us that it fears no court, no electorate.

  3. They do it because they know they can get away with it. Even if it’s just for a little while. They so despise 2A rights that even a temporary victory is to be reveled in.
    Here in MA, the RABID anti-gun dike AG got to stomp on the 2A for two whole months. I’m sure she reveled in that fact every morning when she woke up. “Ahhh… another day that the 2A doesn’t exist in MY state…” Of course, we’ve heard not one peep out of her or the puppet RINO governor since the federal court slapped them down. She knew their edict was blatantly unconstitutional. She also knew it would take a while to challenge in court but, no matter. She got to live her fondest dream of no 2A for two whole months. She was loving every minute of it while it lasted.

  4. Everything is a “war” when you want to be a hero, especially if you’re useless incompetent intent on screwing citizens over in the name of control. Unfortunately, I live in NJ. It was, and still is, a crony racket for stupid Libtards and their union friends … but now, after the Scamdemic FUD took place, the business-killing regulations and stupid decrees make it even worse.
    Murphy is a clever idiot with a “Big Plan”.
    The taxbase has been shrinking and people voted with their feet due to the cost of living. It will only get worse. The state isn’t coming off these ignorant lockdowns anytime soon because it’s a way to leverage citizens as hostages for Federal bailouts..
    I’m not sick and won’t submit to a test without being arrested, Not only are the the tests notoriously unreliable, but using them as a means to enforce unconstitutional decrees is illegal. To hell with these fools.

    • Research Kery Mullis, inventor of the PCR”test”. It’s really a manufacturing technique, and NOT designed as a diagnostic test….

  5. Gun-grabber Murphy said the Bill of Rights is above his pay grade. He uses the Constitution for toilet paper! Who votes for these people?

  6. SWAT performs a breech on the door. Shoots the dog and tosses flash bangs down the hall towards the bedrooms. Man woman and kids are arranged on the living room floor with zip ties and held at gunpoint, fingers on triggers as obscenities are screamed at them.

    The a nurse in a brown uniform with State of NJ patches on the sleeves administers temperature and swab checks. Dad looks to be a carrier so kids are removed. Woman is given ankle monitor along with her husband and ordered to remain in the house or face jail time.

    Nurse tells them to have a nice day and be safe on the way out the door.

    • They won’t all be able to hide,but that would be their best bet for survival after such a scenario. The people, true patriot citizens, won’t stand for such shit.

      • We hope so. And I agree that people would fight such a scenario. But keep in mind the government would not just lay down, it would protect its enforcers. Masking identities and such. Basically they would learn how we track the ones willing to comply and then react. It wouldn’t just end because we fought back.

      • It is no longer “Survival of the Fittest”; but it is NOW “Survival of the quickest and best SHOT.” NJ Storm Troopers, stick that in your Body Armor, you will need it!

  7. Multiple widespread antibody test have shown that there are anywhere from 50 to 80 people who have had Covid for each person that shows up sick at the hospital.

    This means that every state governor that is hiring an ‘army’ of contact tracers thinking they are going to stamp out Covid is either extremely dumb, or they are lying and are going to hire tens of thousands of government workers and create another vast bureaucracy that will somehow never go away.

  8. What exactly would be the consequences for the Governor or honestly any Governor for violating any of our constitutionally protected rights? State elected officials enjoy enjoy a level of immunity in this country that many third world dictators would kill for. Most likely even if a swat team opened fire on peaceful protest a few officers would be placed on administrative leave while a review was in place, people would sue the government (and pay for both sides of the court case) and a settlement would be made (once again paid for by the tax payers). The official would likely lose their elected position just to get picked up by any number of lobbyist firms, think tanks or other party affiliated organization and we get to start over again with the next official.
    Counting on voting to solve this is a losing proposition considering the attention span of the average American, depending on the courts is a losing proposition as judges are picked not for their understanding of the law but for their ability to interpret it based on their political ideology. That’s two of the boxes but any attempt to use the ammo box will invoke a Federal response as one thing the federal government agrees to regardless of party is challenges to government authority will not be tolerated.
    I don’t know what the best or even the least bad solution is but I think it’s going to get much worse before it gets better and I’m getting too old for this.

    • You are never too old to aim and pull the trigger. At 73 y/o, I don’t much care if I die obliterating TYRANNY.

  9. I wonder if he has heard of the Militia or is he smart enough to know what that means?

  10. Perhaps the Dem governors should read up on the Warsaw ghetto uprising. The American people are much better armed than the residents of the Warsaw ghetto were. It is fast coming “Time to feed the hogs.”

  11. We live in anti gun Massachusetts but Gov. Murphy has got us beat. We have time share in Atlantic City but are now ashamed to go to New Jersey. Who knows. As unarmed NRA Life Members we could be arrested.

  12. In case you haven’t noticed –sarcasm– that all these wannabe tyranical dictator governors are ALL demoncrats who are hell bent on removing the Constitution. This clown obviously gets his jollies from acting like he is a military leader. I think they are all trying to imitate the mueller farce with Roger Stone, a swat team and cameras so that a weaponless elderly man could not escape. What a joke. I for 1 am extremely surprised that our (to protect & serve) law enforcement agencies willingly go along with these UNconstitutional anti-American edicts from anti-American governors.

  13. It’s Sunday. Say your prayers. I would care less if I picked up the newspaper and read that the NJ governor caught the coronavirus with a terminal outcome.

  14. Question!
    What might the voters of New Jersey have been thinking about when they elected their present governor?

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