New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray, File)
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New Jersey Governor Phil “That’s Above My Pay Grade” Murphy is at it again. In his continued assault on Second Amendment rights (and freedom in general) in the Garden State, Murphy is using the current COVID-19 crisis as a springboard to radically increase fees for firearms permits.


New Jersey millionaires, smokers, and gun owners would pay more in taxes and the state would borrow $4 billion to help fill a massive tax revenue hole in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic under a revised, nine-month state budget proposal Gov. Phil Murphy will unveil Tuesday, NJ Advance Media has learned.

This thinly veiled attempt to make the hike seem necessary because of the COVID-19 outbreak is a page right from the Rahm Emanuel playbook of never letting a crisis go to waste. But, the permit fee hikes have long been in his plans. Governor Murphy has expressed an interest in increasing fees going back as far as 2018.

From a June 21, 2018 article:

“It’s hard to believe it’s actually cheaper to get a permit to purchase a handgun, which is $2, than it is to get a dog license in practically any town in our state,” Murphy said at a June 13 bill signing.

The proposed fees would increase Firearms Identification Card prices from $5.00 to $100.00 and Pistol Purchaser’s Permits from $2.00 to $50.00. That adds up fast. On a $500.00 pistol, that would translate to a 10% tax in addition to regular NJ sales tax, and NJ NICS fees.

Before new gun owners even even get going, they’re looking at $100.00 for a FID, $50.00 for a pistol permit (that’s for each handgun purchased), $55.00 for fingerprints, $22.00 for a background check (on every gun), and $15.00 for NICS on every gun.

That’s a whopping $242.50 in fees to exercise a constitutionally protected right. Throw in about $500.00 for the price of the pistol, $250.00 in training to learn how to use a gun, $150.00 for a good storage solution, and more expenses for accessories and ammunition. I would like Governor Murphy to explain how his subjects are supposed to afford the fee hike or can justify it.

Not all of us have the luxury of the kind of money a rich progressive socialist like Murphy has. These fees will be disproportionately felt by lower income people who choose to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

Given the years-long record assaults Murphy have levied against gun owners and prospective gun owners in New Jersey, don’t buy the rationale that these new increased fees are about the current COVID-19-related budget shortfall.

Murphy has been working to make gun ownership more expensive and more difficult for Garden Staters since he’s been in office. I don’t know what’s more disgusting…the fact that these fees are blatantly unconstitutional (if not directly affecting/targeting those of a lower socially economic demographic – read however you want) and onerous, or that Murphy has the gall to compare exercising an enumerated right to dog ownership.


John Petrolino is a US Merchant Marine Officer, writer, author of “Decoding Firearms: An Easy to Read Guide on General Gun Safety & Use” and NRA certified pistol, rifle and shotgun instructor living under and working to change New Jersey’s draconian and unconstitutional gun laws. You can find him on the web at on twitter at @johnpetrolino and on instagram @jpetrolinoiii

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  1. Here in MN they have been charging 100 for carry and 100 average for mandatory pre-certification for some time. I think the purchase permit is 25.
    But I agree with Ralph above, there shouldn’t be such a thing as licensing for many things especially owning inanimate objects or a canis familiaris.

    • The Revolution was a tax revolt more than a war for independence. Any time you give the government money it’s a tax. The Stamp Act was a tax on free speech. These fees are taxes on our 2A rights. Maybe we should be at least as concerned about this as the riots.

      • Nah, you can give the government all the money in the world and it’s not a tax. All the rich bitches demanding higher taxes (like Bernie Sanders) can give every penny they own to the government, without restriction, but somehow they are really talking about giving away MY money, not their own. It is when the government TAKES the money, by force of arms and under penalty of death, that it is a tax.

    • Downunder I have a $200+ for a 5 year license + $30 for a permit to acquire for each firearm (plus dealer transfer costs if applied). Congratulations, some US states are exceeding Australia for their ridiculous firearms laws and processes (yes, California, I’m referring to you).

  2. What do you get voting for a democrat in NJ? Or any state in the union? Is it just “free Stuff”. And those meany conservative republicans won’t give you “free stuff”.

    • State, I’ve had opportunity to drive through New Jersey. Of course, I avoided the cities. I know now why it has the moniker “The Garden State.” The country side is stunning. As is most of the Northeast and New England. In fact most of this country is beautiful. That that I have seen and that’s a bit. It’s those in the metropolitan areas, generally speaking, that screw everything up.

      • Yeah, I’ve been there, from Seattle to Key West, two loops of the country, one (motorcycle) loop of the Northwest, and a couple decades of avoiding air travel in favor of driving fun cars and staying in nice motels, eating in good restaurants. I’ve been basically everywhere by car, and you are correct, this is one beautiful land we have here. I cannot understand why people cram themselves into the sardine cans we call airplanes when BMWs are available. Any time of year!

  3. These fees are so common in some States and localities there must be rulings from various courts that allow them. I wonder what rationale the courts used and how these fees differ from a poll tax? How is it permissible to charge a citizen for the “privilege” of exercising a Constitutionally enumerated right?

      • The general public in NJ aren’t firearms owners so they don’t know gun related news and legislation. Most of the time they aren’t even aware of what their own state government is doing behind their backs. Most are busy trying to make a living and if they aren’t occupied with work, its family, kids, or simple distractions on social media. Not everyone is going to research or look up current events that aren’t daily main stream media force feedings

  4. Worse than ILLinois…for now😕😕😕 We’ll catch up in the blue paradise. Jabba the Prickster wants to make it impossible for anyone but the truly rich to reside in the chit state. Friend’s are moving east a bit. I hope we can join them…where do go from Joyzee? Pennsylvania?!?

    • Please don’t stop in PA or Ohio – just keep moving along, maybe Indiana or Missouri have enough folks to the right to keep things going properly but Pennsylvania and Ohio are already too close (or already tipping over) to the left as is. Or better yet, Jersey Boys, stay home and fix your own state before you screw mine (or next door where my granddaughters live) any more than they are!

  5. “$5.00 to $100.00 and Pistol Purchaser’s Permits from $2.00 to $50.00”

    I’m wondering (read: asking the legal minds here at TTAG for their take) if such an obviously punitive increase could be considered a Bill of Attainder, or something similar? It does seem to be a blatant attempt to punish people for exercising a constitutionally protected right.

    • “I’m wondering (read: asking the legal minds here at TTAG for their take) if such an obviously punitive increase could be considered a Bill of Attainder, or something similar?”

      It’s similar to a Poll Tax, that is I would argue unconstitutional, but it’s not a Bill of Attainder or even an attainder.

      An attainder is the punishment for a crime, usually something serious like treason. It’s a forfeiture of rights and/or property that [usually] goes along with a death sentence. The punishment was used to strip titles, rights and lands from aristocratic families when a member was *found guilty of treason* against the Crown in Europe. Now, it doesn’t always have to go along with a death sentence (but it usually did). Either way, it’s essentially a way of taking property “for the punishment of a crime”.

      A Bill of Attainder is a law passed by a legislature which sentences a person or group to the punishment of attainder without a court hearing. A bill is presented that claims that a person or group is now guilty of a crime, the passage and signing of the bill are substituted for an actual court proceeding and the government strips some stated property from the people in question.

      So, for example; The NJ Legislature passes and the governor signs a bill that says “All people who own a 9mm pistol are hereby stripped of all lands and properties in the jurisdiction of New Jersey”. The state then goes through it’s pistol permit records and forwards the records of all 9mm owners to law enforcement and LE then goes out and kicks people out of their houses and takes their possessions. That’s a “Bill of Attainder” in action.

      This is prohibited by the Constitution in Article 1, Section 9, Clause 3.

      On a related topic; The Constitution doesn’t expressly prohibit attainder as a punishment in and of itself provided that the punishment is meted out by a court of law. In fact, the Constitution mentions it as a possible punishment that Congress can declare for treason.

      Article 3, Section 3 states, in part, “The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.”

      So attainder is allowed by the Constitution as a punishment for those who are found guilty of treason, but it cannot be used against their family after the death of the person who’s been found guilty. That is, it cannot be a hereditary punishment for the family going forward (as it often was in Europe).

      • How about if the legislature makes it a crime to have a magazine that holds more than ten rounds and requires a person currently owning such “large capacity magazines” to disable, destroy, or otherwise dispose of this previously perfectly legal property without compensation? Unless, of course, one is a police officer, active-duty military, or, presumably, a criminal who doesn’t observe laws, including this one?

        Add equal protection and unreasonable taking to the list, eh?


  6. new jersey:
    >just another state that hillary won that biden cannot afford to lose that the democrats seem hell bent on trying to hand over to trump

      • The only problem the government dependent blue people have is the people they depend on are leaving.

        NJ is financially insolvent with no path to fixing the issues.

        The non-government dependent people are leaving and government dependent people are replacing them. Many of the upper-middle class people that moved into my neighborhood in the last decade are all either directly employed by local and state government or they own businesses that rely solely on government spending.

        We are watching the bottom fall out slowly. Eventually NJ will be unable to make debt service payments. The rest of the country must resist the call for blue state bailouts. They lavishly spent and the rest of the country should not be forced to pay for their largess.

        • I believe you are exactly correct about the master plan, and the only way for people to learn how socialism will ALWAYS end up is to not bail them out when they run out of other people’s money. They rejoiced in their own brilliance while living massively beyond their means, and laughed at the rubes who insisted on paying their way. Now it’s time to pay the piper, and they want others to do it. 50 and 100 years ago, the same kind of people invaded their neighbors, killing and looting to pay off their bills, as Venezuela is now, and Cuba did in the past, diving into the pits of depression since no one will lend them anymore free money. There are states which should have to declare bankruptcy, and should not be bailed out. ALL productive citizens will leave, and the Wild West will be replaced by the Wild East for 50-100 years.

  7. Pay to play fees to exercise your 2nd amendment right are no different from requiring payment of a poll tax to vote. Blatantly unconstitutional !

  8. Suck it up, protest, or move out. If you chose the latter you will find years of enjoyment appreciating your sound judgement. If not you will see from the inside how it all unravels on you. For many this will be a tough choice. I know because I was stuck in IL and a slow learner.

      • At the time the Beatles wrote “Taxman”, Britain’s tax structure was so egregious towards wealthy people they were bailing out entirely from the ‘Isle’ for other countries.

        John Lennon lived in NYC for the far lower taxes, if you can believe that…

  9. Slave master democRat Murphy has spoken. Unless you want that cracker to start cracking his whip it’s time to shut that Gun Talk up and get back to picking cotten. The only chance you slaves have to send Murphy and his ilk a message is your vote for…

    TRUMP/PENCE 2020.

  10. Just another example that shows Jim Crow still lives in the Democratic Party.

    Somehow I don’t think these costs will deter gang members, antifa (fascists), common criminals or the legions of miscreants out there.

    If you want to honor and be worthy of the sacrifices made since 1770, you must do your part on election day. You cannot fail to vote regardless of where you live, even in the deep blue states. Countless men, women and children have died so we could be free, don’t squander those sacrifices. Don’t sully their memories by allowing anti freedom politicians to hold office. Christopher Seiders’ memory is in your hands now.

    I know I will do my part, will you? If you fail to vote, then I am sure you will fail when it becomes time to take a stand when the time is forced upon us.

  11. Who bothers getting a dog license? No, seriously, who does this? Why the Hell would you pay the city/municipality/county a fee so you can have a dog? This is the ultimate “goody two shoes” fee. Fuck the city and if you bother paying for such a thing then fuck you too.

    Train your dogs, secure your property and ignore this stupidity. If they make a fuss burn down City Hall. (Literally burn it down because it’s 2020 and you can do that apparently.)

      • There’s a rationale behind gun control too.

        That doesn’t make it intelligent, right, reasonable or anything else and it flies in the face of the very concepts of personal responsibility and community. The same way that Liberals don’t give money to charity because “that’s the government’s job”.

        And it’s not like the cities actually use that money to clean up dog shit anyway, so it’s just them finding another way to juice people who own something, which is to say, to drain more money out of the productive people in society and spend it on the people who are worthless.

        • This is the free rider problem. Your dog generates waste. I don’t care who picks it up it is added burden to.sanitation system. You just want someone else to pay for it. If you don’t want to pay don’t get a dog. You will abuse it anyway.

    • There are several purposes for the dog license. 1) To pay for the dog pound/animal control that picks up all the strays; 2) to encourage owners to spay and neuter their pets so that there will be fewer stray and abandoned animals; and 3) to assure compliance with rabies vaccination laws.

      • Some people want a free ride. Strych9 is is one of them. The license fee is really a fee for service arrangement. From a Hayekian perspective that is how most government services should be funded.

  12. New Jersey had the boo hoo’s before Coranavirus. Taxes help, and the Gub runs on taxes, and the Gub gives a whole lot of people Gubment Cheese(Social Security, Disability, Veterans,ect.) These fees and permits hurt the cheese recipient more then the $73,000 a year tax payer. There it is, No Gunms For The Poor. But what a dumb plan because gangbangers will always be armed. [ In the land of the RichnFamous cheese getters and gangbangers are the same]. ,.,. The other day had a discussion, $2000 a week for life and give up my gunm or continue bitching about how poor I was and keep my Gub money. thinking tick tock tick tock. ,,,!!Take my gunm!!, I can pay the “Coons of Doom” five hunert a month and they’ll watch my back, because us rich people can do that, pay for private security, and rides n shit.

  13. Wouldn’t bother me, but it hurts the POOR more! Why do they screw over the POOR that they claim to have empathy for?

  14. “ New York and New Jersey are among four states that have seen the largest numbers of residents leaving for other states in the last decade. California and Illinois are the others, signaling a population shift from pricey, metropolitan locales to less expensive but still economically prosperous parts of the country such as Texas, Arizona, Florida and Nevada, said William Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution.”

  15. The libs say you cant have voter ID because it would disenfranchise the poor and minority’s never mind you can get ID in most states for free and you need it to buy cold medicine or cash you welfare check. The fees you have there are more then many inexpensive firearms them selves. It’s not legal on continual grounds, but I dought you will win in court, because the courts no longer follow the law.

  16. Murphy thinks he has socialist dictatorial power over the law abiding citizens of N.J.
    He needs to be reminded that he serves us. The people of this state deserve a Governor far better than him.

    • So long as they vote for his sorry ass, no they do not.

      The answer is, Trump 2020. Whatever the question. Unless the question is “what comes after Trump 2020?”, then the answer is Trump 2024.

  17. Murphy thinks he has socialist dictatorial power over the law abiding citizens of N.J.
    He needs to be reminded he serves us and has no mandate to enact policy contradictory to our rights, safety or beliefs. Our earnings are being seized to finance the agenda of the radical left and to diminish our ability to protect ourselves. We deserve a Leader not a ruler.

  18. I have a friend whose family is pretty well off. They live right near the grounds of Princeton, and because they live in such proximity to Princeton, they aren’t allowed to get FIDs because doing so would bring guns “too close” to the school.

  19. I was going to say, only $2, hot damn I wish mine was that cheap.

    Oh, dem other fees.

    MD for me is $50 for an HQL good for 10 years. MD livescan fingerprint background costs generally $50-70. Training class if you aren’t exempt is typically about $50-80. Once you go to purchase a handgun its $10 fee to Maryland State Police (one at a time, per 30 days, thank you very much) for time of purchase background check (and then a 7-day wait).

    All this typically takes around 30 days to take care of your requirements and get an HQL in MD. Then 7 days to pickup a handgun after purchasing it and the wait. In there you are talking likely at least 4 trips places (Training class. then fingerprint scan. Then buy the gun. Then pickup the gun). You are talking $160 on the low end, up to around $210 on the high end for all of your requirements for the governor to allow you to take possession of a handgun.

    But only $10 per handgun after that (unless you have a collectors license, which is free to get, but does take a few weeks wait after submitting your paperwork and generally have to show you own a handgun to start with before they’ll give it to you). The usual hoops of a 7-day wait though and only one per 30 days (unless you have that collector’s license).

    Well, $35 per 10 years IIRC to renew your license (the license is only for buying handguns, not possessing them).

    • Oh and don’t ask about a license to carry. Our Wear and Carry license is basically only granted to Doctors, the occasional lawyer, corrections officers and business owners. Its about $250 or so in classes, another $200 or so in fees. Renewal is slightly less (slightly), still need to retake the class for a renewal.

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