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 NJ.com 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 www.johnpetrolino.com on twitter at @johnpetrolino and on instagram @jpetrolinoiii