New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy never passes up an opportunity to further burden the right to keep and bear arms in his Second Amendment hellhole of a state. Raising costs and increasing the hassles involved in gun ownership is just part of what governing means for Murphy.
Along those lines, Murphy used the expense of dealing with COVID-19 in New Jersey — where people have died at a higher rate than anywhere else in the nation — as cover to propose massive tax increases on the costs of owning, carrying, selling and even making guns.
As the NSSF’s Larry Keane wrote . . .
Gov. Murphy’s proposed antigun increases include raising the handgun purchasing permit fee 2,400 percent from $2 to $50; the cost of a firearm ID card by 1,900 percent from $5 to $100; the price of a handgun carry permit 7,900 percent from $50 to $400; the fee for a gun retail dealer license by 9,900 percent from $50 to $500; and the fee for a firearm manufacturer 900 percent from $150 to $1,500. There are, or course, additional fee increases as well.
Happily, though, Murphy was forced to give up his dream of further burdening Garden State gun owners in the final budget deal.
The agreement…jettisons Murphy’s other proposed tax increases on sales of cigarettes, firearms, boat sales, limousine rides and a tax on opioid manufacturers, according to two legislative sources who were not authorized to publicly discuss the plan and requested anonymity.
New Jersey gun owners likely won’t be celebrating for long. Murphy’s proposed these kinds of increases before and he’ll no doubt do it again. This time, he couldn’t get away with using a pandemic as an excuse to plug the state’s budget deficit, in part, on the backs of lawful gun owners. But there will be more opportunities to try again down the road and Murphy never lets a crisis go to waste.