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Concealed Carry in New Jersey

Every once in a while we get a bill to make New Jersey a shall issue state. They never go anywhere. One recently was introduced by State Senator Jeff Van Drew. The requirements to get the license are insane, though it is technically shall-issue. It’s a 500 dollar annual fee, requires semi-annual qualification with a gun of the type you’re carrying, and your qualification will be the same as police. It does not, as best I can tell, have any reciprocity, but New Jersey technically will issue (if it did issue) to non-residents. So it would be possible to get a permit to carry in New Jersey as a Pennsylvania resident, you’d just apply directly to the New Jersey State Police. The media is not happy with this bill:

The idea that New Jersey needs a bunch of paranoid people toting ballistic binkies in public places is ridiculous — regardless of the safeguards. And, of course, the Legislature has more pressing issues, like property tax relief, a pension Armageddon, ethics and others. When did guns jump to the top of the list?

Nothing like a little condescension to start your day! Bryan Miller isn’t happy either. Our side is also not happy because of the insane requirements. Ordinarily I’d say we should support this law as a step in the right direction, and go back and try to correct the problems later, but I think ANJRPC may be setting up a lawsuit, since they’ve been pinging members asking about whether they’ve been denied a permit unfairly. Given that, I’d be reluctant to make the law harder to challenge.

24 Responses to “Concealed Carry in New Jersey”

  1. Ed says:

    S69 – The citizens Protection Act is a better option to support in my opinion.
    http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2010/Bills/S0500/69_I1.PDF

  2. Bram says:

    As a Jersey resident, I would love a chance to get a carry permit. But I’m not going to spend a fortune and use all vacation time to make it happen.

  3. Alpheus says:

    There are times in which I feel that the proper course of action would be to just ignore the law. There are a few reasons I don’t want to go that route, though:

    1. A religious belief that laws are generally a good thing, and ought to be obeyed. (This isn’t necessarily true for all laws–the Book of Daniel has some very good examples of people choosing to disobey unjust laws–but it’s a good rule of thumb.)

    2. What Rose Wilder Lane called “legal self defense” (or something like that). She didn’t have the courage to refuse to pay taxes to a government she disliked; instead, she chose to live with as small an income as possible, to avoid those taxes.

    3. Ultimately, it’s better for the Cause of winning back our freedoms to be seen as law-abiding in every way possible. Unless the “masses” are convinced that a given gun law is unjust, it doesn’t make sense to violate that law–and if they are convinced that the law is unjust, they are much more likely to change it anyway. It’s kind-of a “chicken and egg” problem, come to think of it.

  4. Sebastian says:

    Five years in the New Jersey State Prison system, which is the mandatory minimum, I believe, for carrying a firearm in that state, is what keeps me from going that route.

  5. This bill would further tax the law-abiding in NJ who wish to exercise their rights with an excessive fee. That alone makes me question the Assemblyman’s motives.

    This is more about the government collecting revenue from the pro-gun crowd than it is supporting everyone’s 2A right. If it were to be passed, this bill could immediately be challenged based solely on the licensing requirement, as some could argue it’s not a “reasonable restriction”.

  6. Sebastian says:

    The state is cash strapped. I suspect the 500 dollar fee was meant to get some people on board who might be attracted by the added revenue the state would generate.

  7. I would argue they’re not at all cash-strapped, they just spend too much money :D

  8. Sebastian says:

    Yeah… I say cash strapped in the unemployed stockbroker with an expensive coke habit sense, rather than the poor single mother of four sense.

  9. Hank Archer says:

    Sebastian, your comment about five years in the slam reminds me why many chose not to carry — they’re more afraid of their own government than they are of criminals.

  10. Sebastian says:

    It would be an interesting thing to weigh seriously, but I think the risk profile merits being more afraid of government. The odds of a criminal attack are pretty low. So, would I bet, are the odds of being stopped and searched by a police officer. Where the calculation ends up favoring not carrying is the consequences.

    Being convicted of a multi-year felony involving a firearm would basically remove you from the middle class for the rest of your life. You would be very hard pressed to find employment ever again. Your family life is probably going to be destroyed by the amount of time you will spend in prison.

    Sure, it beats being dead, but being dead is a rare occurrence in a criminal attack. You’re more likely to be injured or have property taken from you.

    I’d say overall, the risk profile will generally weigh against carrying where it’s illegal, and where the penalty is higher than a low level misdemeanor.

  11. Sebastian says:

    What’s interesting is, do that risk profile if you’re business involves selling crack on street corners, and it will quickly change. You’re less likely to be the victim of random violence, and are very likely to be the victim of targeted violence. You also don’t have the recourse of going to the police to deal with your business problems. In addition, because you’re already a member of the criminal class, the punishing is not as severe, once you’re out of prison.

    Which is why criminals fail to obey the law and take their chances with the criminal justice system. Really, if you think about it, it’s really only for law abiding people that the risk profile works in favor of following the law. How anti-gun people can’t see this is beyond me.

  12. Really, if you think about it, it’s really only for law abiding people that the risk profile works in favor of following the law. How anti-gun people can’t see this is beyond me.

    They see it just fine. It’s just that the law abiding people are the ones they’re most worried about, not the career criminals. A great deal of their worldview requires them to inflate the importance of “normal middle-class guy who just snapped and had a gun handy” stories, however tiny a proportion of violent deaths those stories might represent.

    When your goal is to reduce deaths by he-just-snapped, gun laws targeting the law abiding make sense. Just like if your goal is to reduce deaths by asteroid strike, it makes sense to pass a law mandating everybody wear a helmet whenever they’re outdoors.

  13. They see it just fine. It’s just that the law abiding people are the ones they’re most worried about, not the career criminals.

    Part of why gun control became identified with the left in the last 40 years is that career criminals were largely black, and much of the left found that this created cognitive dissonance between their fear of crime and their desire not to feel like racists, so they decided that the real problem wasn’t the career criminals, but guns. Once that decision had been made, it was now safe to focus their fear not on career criminals, but on law-abiding, middle class and generally white gun owners.

  14. It shows. You can still tell that when we’re saying “the problem is with murderers being put back on the street, dammit”, a lot of the antis are thinking “so you think we should just lock up all the darkies, right?”

    The meme of the racist gun owner dovetails nicely with the rest of their worldview.

  15. Dave says:

    About par for the course from a state that doesn’t believe its citizens are competent to pump their own gas…

  16. Ian Argent says:

    “He just snapped” is news. Sumdood and The Fiddlers (they play violins…) shooting it out on the corner of Crystal St and Mary Jane Ave is just background noise; at least in the better suburbs. Look at how much time CNN spent on the UT-Austin shooter this week, or the Discovery Channel guy; vs inner-city violin concerts…

    I don’t go “downtown”, particularly not at night. I probably am more at risk of someone snapping than I am of catching a stray round from Sumdood and The Fiddlers. But that risk is still ridiculously low, and basically, I’m at about as much risk from iany weapon at that point.

  17. Ian Argent says:

    NJ requires full serve as a jobs program; depsite the Jersey Girls Don’t Pump Gas stickers you see from time to time.

    I hate it, myself – I can get in and out in a self-serve place in the time it takes for the attendant to show up and set the pump.

  18. Ian Argent says:

    And finally, Clayton, maybe you have the historical and other info to back this up. The proximate cause of the ’68 gun control acts (federal and state) was the riots of ’67. I have to wonder, though – with the Vietnam War winding down, and that the popular view of the war was that it was fought by the “lower classes” – those who couldn’t get deferments, etc, and the other popular view that the soldiers were terribly violent… Could that have been a factor; that the government trained the “poor” (read “black) to be killers and while “we” (read “white”) couldn’t take away the training, we could take away the guns? Or is the timing wrong?

    For that matter, the high-water-mark of gun control coincides with the coming of voting age of the generation where the late 60′s and early 70′s are learned history, not seen on TV every night (early ’90s). I think the math works for that (early 20′s when Clinton was elected means born in the early 70′s – so you miss remembering the tail end of Vietnam on TV. (I’m a tad younger than that, myself, though politically precocious).

  19. Larry says:

    Does anyone know what this clause in 2C:58-4g means?

    except that applicants for renewal shall be required to undergo psychological testing on a biennial rather than annual basis.

    I’m not aware of any current requirement for a psych evaluation.

  20. Ian Argent says:

    Well, the application for a permit to purchase or a FID must now include a medical records waiver (after the VATech incident).

  21. JimB says:

    Any state that proposes a $500 yearly fee is just stroking the citizens. No one except the rich and priviledged is going to pay that outrageous fee which when you add in the cost of “training and testing ” will push the cost to over a grand. CCW’s shouln’t cost any more than a drivers lisence and should be as easy to obtain. Imagine if they demanded a fee to practice your religion, or vote or freely associate with friends. It just proves most politicians should be hanged>

  22. Alpheus says:

    “Being convicted of a multi-year felony involving a firearm would basically remove you from the middle class for the rest of your life. You would be very hard pressed to find employment ever again. Your family life is probably going to be destroyed by the amount of time you will spend in prison.”

    A while ago I read an essay by Jeff Snyder, with the title something like “They’ll Use What You Love Against You”. He talked about how a priest in England had been sentenced to prison for possession of a .22LR firearm…and while he felt it was his right to do so, had he thought about what it would mean for his congregation, he wouldn’t have done it. Snyder then pointed out that people with families face similar predicaments.

    But this also means that, if I’m going to prison, it will have to be for something important…and I’ll likely have to make special arrangements with my family before I do so. I don’t know if we’re to that point yet for Tax Revolts, but, unfortunately, we may be getting there.

  23. Ian Argent says:

    @JimB: click on through to my blog and see my opinion on the subject.

  24. Ian Argent says:

    Oh, and since the law doesn’t amend the clause in the law that says “The court may at its discretion issue a limited-type permit which would restrict the applicant as to the types of handguns he may carry and where and for what purposes such handguns may be carried,” it’s entirely pointless.

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