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Currently Browsing: New Jersey

Even in NJ, we can win some

Evan Nappen gets a judge to rule that the law means what it says.

In a published decision binding upon all New Jersey municipalities, the New Jersey Appellate Division has confirmed that New Jersey municipalities may NOT require added forms for firearm permit applications beyond the state forms.

It’s a little thing, but little things add up. Also note, “funded in part by the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund.”

Sometimes you just stand on the sidelines and cheer both sides

Senator Robert Menendez (D) is mired in a scandal about not getting his money’s worth from Amex reward points (oh, and bribery, corruption, and other quaint Hudson County political peccadilloes). He and a Florida doctor have been indicted on federal corruption charges, and the Senator is not taking this quietly. But what surprised me was a few pieces on various right-leaning blogs that suggested we should support the Senator because the prosecution is a piece of political payback for not following the White House policy line. Really? The Senator as much as admits to ethically questionable behavior (his defense is that it wasn’t illegal), he’s a pro-statist politician who never met a gun control bill he didn’t like, AND the White House has to expend scarce political capital to nail him?

I’ll be popping some popcorn while the Democratic Party’s infighting spills out into the news cycle.

Being Realistic About Chris Christie on Gun Rights

I’m going to be play some devil’s advocate here: Chris Christie is the most pro-gun governor New Jersey has had for at least 50 years. I say that as someone who is still, tentatively, backing Scott Walker, so this is not driven by some establishment conspiracy to prop Christie up if Bush III falls over, even though I’d back Chris Christie over Bush III.

As a governor of New Jersey, following a parade of awful, corrupt Democratic governors, and facing an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature, I don’t think he’s done a bad job. Do gun owners of a certain age in the Garden State remember booting Jim Florio, after he passed the state’s Assault Weapons Ban? What did Christie Whitman ever do for you? And unlike Chris Christie, Christie Whitman sailed into office with a Republican legislature!

For me Chris Christie’s greatest sin is signing the law that allows people to be denied Second Amendment rights because they were on a secret government list that has included dangerous jihadists like Ted Kennedy. But as a former US Attorney, Christie is quite cozy with the “law and order” branch of the GOP, which hasn’t met many civil liberties it wasn’t willing to infringe on for the War on Terror (really, what’s a little habeas corpus suspension between friends?) or the War on Drugs.

His “law and order” tendencies aside, Christie has been willing to veto more anti-gun bills and use his executive power on our behalf than any New Jersey governor since 1962. Those of you who are older might be able to refute me on this, and you’re welcome to, but I haven’t found anything in my research to indicate otherwise. Most of New Jersey’s gun control laws were passed in and about 1966, under Governor Hughes (no, not that Hughes), and I haven’t found any GOP or Dem successor willing to lift a finger.

I get being tops on gun rights in New Jersey is not a high standard. But New Jersey is an unbelievably hostile political environment for guns. It’s arguably more hostile than even Brady top-ranked California, where there are still many parts of that state which simply ignore the diktats from Sacramento, and where there’s a good chance you can find local constabulary will look the other way. But for New Jersey, it’s become clear that even counties in more conservative South Jersey jurisdictions will throw the book at otherwise good people in the name of “law and order.”

I see a lot of complaining that Chris Christie didn’t bother to help Brian Aitken, but a pardon requires one to admit guilt, and Aitken wanted to appeal his conviction. And good for him, since he did get it overturned, except for the hollow point charge, which he is still appealing. If he seeks a pardon (and in every state there is a bureaucratic process for that), you have to first admit guilt. That wasn’t an issue for Allen, since they had her dead to rights since she admitted guilt to the arresting officer. Christie can’t grant a pardon he wasn’t asked to grant, at least without screwing up the system, and possibly ruining the appeal.

I don’t blame anyone on not liking Chris Christie. We all have our candidates we prefer in the primary season. But I think few people in the gun rights movement have any idea how hostile the Garden State is to our cause. Chris Christie might be behind the national curve on the Second Amendment, but he’s farther ahead on the curve than any solid blue state governor I can think of in the past 50 years, including Mitt Romney.

A Pardon Well Deserved

Chris Christie is clearly trying to boost his pro-gun credibility in whatever way he can given the extremely anti-gun legislature he deals with since he signed a full pardon of Shaneen Allen today.

This is wonderful news for Allen, and it will hopefully send a message to New Jersey’s police officers and prosecutors. New Jersey isn’t exactly going pro-gun, but maybe there will be a little more sanity in the enforcement of the laws.

Dog Bites Man: More Gun Control is in the Works in New Jersey

A bill is in the works in New Jersey that would allow police to end your Second Amendment rights on the spot if it’s a domestic call. You can bet this will become standard practice on domestic calls if this passes, even if there’s no real evidence of abuse.

“If they have the courage to go forward, this allows victims a fighting chance to move beyond their abusive situation,” Mosquera said. “This isn’t about gun rights. It’s about keeping guns away from people who have shown a propensity for violence toward women.”

That’s why we have courts and due process. You want to protect women? Just skip the trial and lock the guy up for 5 years. Oh, can’t do that? He has rights, you say? Well, this right should be no different. Due process: you’ve heard of that, haven’t you?

It’s not surprising a bill is moving. The Dems in the legislature want to do two things: one is tempt Christie to sign a gun control law and ruin him as a serious 2016 candidate. The other is to dare him to veto, and help ensure he can’t deliver NJ’s electoral votes if he were the nominee.

Christie isn’t looking all that strong right now, but that could change if Jeb falls apart and the GOP money starts looking for another horse to bet on.

Another one bites the dust

While not herself a Mayor Against Illegal Guns, NJ State Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D) has been a consistent and loud voice against the RKBA in NJ’s legislature, and is a close political ally of MAIG member Mayor Colleen Mahr (D) of Fanwood, NJ. So there’s some fresh schadenfreude for me to find in the news that she’s resigning ahead of a couple of scandals involving residency and political payback, and that the state AG’s office is investigating her and her husband’s actions.

She’s run twice that I know of for the US House of Representatives, getting beaten both times; so just a reminder that NJ isn’t entirely a lost cause.

Charges Dropped in New Jersey Antique Gun Case

It would seem that someone gave the Cumberland County, NJ prosecutor a clue that putting an elderly man away for 10 years (likely life in his case) is not really an appropriate move for someone who collects 18th century stuff and managed to pick up a flintlock pistol. Charges have just been dropped without further comment from the DA.

New Jersey Busts 72 Year Old Man for Transporting a Flintlock

You know the anti-gun retort that if you love the Second Amendment so much, then fine, but it should only apply to flintlocks and muskets? Have you ever wondered if they really mean that? Trust me, they don’t. Case in point:

You’d think at some points, the courts would fix this. But currently, in the 3rd Circuit Court, there is no right to have a firearm outside the home per the decision in Drake v. Filko. Until such time as the Supreme Court corrects this egregious ruling, having a firearm outside of the home is a privilege in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, as far as the federal government is concerned.

This is well past the last straw for me

It’s been a while since I’ve considered Governor Christie as a potential for my vote in either the primaries or the general election next year, but this would have pushed me off the fence if I was still on it. Vaccine choice is where he decides that the government doesn’t know best?

If you don’t want to vaccinate your kids, that’s fine, but then you can keep them out of contact with other people’s kids; who might not have a choice. As an image macro I saw going around the book of Face the other day put it, “I can’t bring peanuts into school, but you can bring measles?”

Journalists for Blue Laws

The Express-Times are standing behind New Jersey and Pennsylvania’s blue law that bans hunting on Sunday, originally enforced because you should be in church. They are arguing hunters have to share the great outdoors, which they largely pay for, with other people who don’t pay for it. I am not a hunter, but it’s very important for gun rights in this country to turn around its decline. There are plenty of people on our side who are happy to throw the “fudds” off the lifeboat, but the hunting cultures nonetheless provides a lot of bodies to the gun rights movement, and it’s decline will hurt us at the end of the day. Nearly every other state in the country allows Sunday hunting. There is no reason that New Jersey and Pennsylvania should be among the last states to repeal this blue law.

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