Earlier this week, a Third Circuit three-judge panel ruled that New Jersey’s new law prohibiting possession of magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds is constitutional. That means New Jersey gun owners who own standard capacity magazines have until Monday to destroy them, alter them, or turn them in.
The question then becomes…what happens after Monday? New Jersey has upwards of a million gun owners. That means there are tens, if not hundreds of thousands of magazines in the state that will be illegal after the deadline. We’re all the way down here in Texas, but if there were lines of gun owners wanting to turn in their prohibited magazines forming around every Garden State police station, that would probably be all over the news right now.
The Washington Free Beacon’s Steven Gutowski tried to get some answers as to how the hoplophobic powers that be in New Jersey plan to enforce their new law. Let’s just say they weren’t particularly forthcoming.
Neither the state police nor the attorney general’s office elaborated on how they plan to enforce the law. Nor did they provide any guidance for those currently in possession of the magazines. . . .
State police told the Washington Free Beacon the effort to enforce the law will be a statewide endeavor directed by the attorney general’s office. They would not comment other than to say they will enforce New Jersey’s laws.
“We will enforce the law of the state,” Lieutenant Theodore Schafer of the New Jersey State Police said. “That’s our plan.”
Schafer would not give any details on the agency’s plan to enforce the law and referred the Free Beacon to the attorney general’s office for further questions.
Surely the AG’s office has some guidance, since Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has been such a fan and outspoken supporter of the new magazine capacity limit law.
Leland Moore, a public information officer for the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, refused to answer any questions on how the state planned to deal with gun owners who did not comply with the new law. He would not say if the attorney general has any guidance at all for those who currently own the magazines being targeted, which gun-rights activists have estimated to be up to a million New Jersey residents, or provide any insight about how the state will deal with those who don’t turn in, modify, or destroy their magazines.
“We have no comment,” Moore said to multiple inquiries.
It’s almost as if they don’t really have a plan at all for how to enforce their shiny new confiscation law. That’s because, in all likelihood, they don’t. Just look at New York’s SAFE Act registration requirement as an example of how an unenforceable gun control law works in practice.
Under the SAFE Act, New Yorkers were required to register their “assault weapons” by a date certain. But the mandate was met by civil disobedience and wide spread non-compliance from the state’s gun owners. Only a fraction of the estimated number of “assault rifles” in the state were ever registered.
The response by Governor Soprano and his minions was…silence. They’ve chosen to ignore it, having no desire to stir up a hornet’s nest by proactively enforcing the law. If someone is discovered with an un-registered firearm as part of a traffic stop, domestic disturbance call, burglary…whatever…then they’ll prosecute. Otherwise, the unspoken approach seems to be, in effect, don’t ask, don’t tell. And the Governor will continue to trumpet the law’s “success” in making the Empire State safer. Allegedly.
Look for the same approach in New Jersey. Neither Governor Phil Murphy or AG Grewal has any interest in going door-to-door looking for 15-round magazines. And when the State Police’s Lt. Schafer says, “We will enforce the law of the state,” that means they’ll charge you if they happen find +10-round magazines in your car during a traffic stop. Or if someone breaks into your home and they happen to see an offending magazine when they investigate.
So look for New Jersey’s gun owners to respond to their state’s latest Second Amendment infringement much as New Yorkers did. By flipping an invisible bird at the Governor and legislature and claiming all of their standard capacity magazines had been lost in an unfortunate series of tragic boating accidents.
In the mean time, the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, have pledged to appeal the decision. And New Jersey’s gun owners will bide their time, hoping for a favorable ruling.