Currently Browsing: New Jersey
Apr 11, 2016
I’ve seen some talk around gun blogs that the Christie Administration’s recommendations on reforming New Jersey’s gun regulations is a token gesture. I will agree the permit to carry reforms could have gone farther, and I wish they had. But given what New Jersey folks have had to put up with, I think Governor Christie’s new guidelines, if not resisted by underlings and local powers that be, represent fair progress towards making the state not quite as hostile to gun owners.
They are permitted “reasonably necessary” deviations – but those have not been clearly defined, according to the Attorney General’s Office.
The office listed a number of permissible stops, including “collecting and discharging passengers; purchasing fuel, food and beverages, medication, or other needed supplies; using a restroom; contending with an emergency situation; or driving around a traffic jam.”
The “reasonable deviations” clause has always been a favorite in New Jersey to trap unsuspecting gun owners, and it’s good to have clarity. I don’t know to what degree local authorities have to follow what the Attorney General and Governor’s office say, so it remains to be seen whether this will be an improvement in reality, but in theory it’s certainly a step in the right direction.
Feb 22, 2016
Be careful when you leave America, as the old Uncleism says. A Pennsylvania corrections officer got nicked on a gun charge in New Jersey after being a victim in a DUI accident on the way back from Atlantic City. I was worried about this guy, since he got in trouble after Chris Christie suspended his campaign. Fortunately, it’s now being reported that the charges against the corrections officer have been dropped by the Gloucester County prosecutor.
This is how lasting cultural change begins. I know a lot of people were skeptical about Chris Christie’s candidacy, and I don’t honestly blame them. But it would seem that the powers that be in New Jersey are seeing real pressure about being outside the borders of the American norm. I have little doubt had this guy not been a corrections officer, but instead been ordinary Pennsylvania LTC possessing Joe Sixpack, the result would be different, but it is at least progress to see a New Jersey prosecutor do the right thing without needing a pardon from the Governor.
Nov 18, 2015
They’d be replacing the Smart Gun mandate with a mandate that would require dealers to stock at least one smart gun. Don’t buy this load of crap for a single moment. They’ve already showed their cards. If smart guns appear on the market, they intend to mandate them, no matter how awful, dysfunctional, and expensive they may be.
I don’t see why Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) would think we’d be fooled by this move and drop opposition to smart gun technology. We didn’t have to arrive at this place. I don’t think any gun owners are opposed to the technology in concept, provided it’s the market that’s allowed to choose whether it wins or loses. But Senator Weinberg didn’t want that. She wanted to mandate it, while at the same time exempting police. That’s not something that can be undone, and trust gets automatically restored. We should continue to oppose this technology. We know, not just speculate, we know it will result in politicians mandating it.
Nov 16, 2015
How do you become a police state? Whatever the police ask for, they get. No questions. I think this bill, which would require people to turn on their dome lights during a traffic stop is going to end up getting someone killed. The police unions are asking for it, so who are members of either party to say no? Republicans love themselves some law and order, and you can’t expect a Democrat to say no to a union, can you?
What’s going to end up happening is a lot of out-of-state people will get fined, because they aren’t aware of such a ridiculous law, since they don’t exist in other states. Maybe that’s the idea. Is it a good and courteous thing to turn on one’s dome light during a stop? Sure. But just because it’s courteous doesn’t mean it ought to be the law.
Of course, there will be the usual, “the innocent having nothing to hide,” from the law and order crowd, but remember a .22LR hollow nose cartridge getting out of your range bag is going to get you in a hell of a lot more trouble than a $50 fine in New Jersey. This bill is not only an invitation to extract more money from out-of-state drivers, it’s an invitation for more otherwise law abiding gun owners to end up in New Jersey State prison. Chris Christie isn’t going to be around to issue pardons forever, and we already know the courts can not be depended on.
My bigger concern is that as awareness of the law spreads in New Jersey, the people who are slow to catch on are going to be presumed by the stopping officer to be up to no good, and are going to meet at the least a heightened response, and at worse a dangerous overreaction. Politicians need to think about the consequences of these kinds of outlying regulations, and not be afraid to say no to the police lobby when they come asking for them. It’s already against the law in New Jersey to refuse to turn on your dome light when requested (I don’t know what happens if your dome light doesn’t work, since it’s not an inspection item, and not required to be working on the car). This law seems like a way to bilk money out of the peasantry while claiming to be about keeping the King’s Men safe.
Sep 30, 2015
Chris Christie has been trying to convince gun owners he’s not like all the other New Jersey Governors and politicians on gun issues, and to be honest, he’s not. Today he pardoned three more people, otherwise law abiding, who happened to run afoul of New Jersey’s draconian gun laws. Chalk it up to wanting to do better among GOP primary voters, but no other New Jersey governor has been willing to pardon honest citizens who mistakenly run afoul of their gun laws. These are not isolated incidents. These kinds of cases have been happening in New Jersey at a pretty regular frequency for years, and often these people just end up rotting in jail, their lives and families destroyed. So I will give Christie credit where it is due.
A tip of the hat to Charles C.W. Cooke over at National Review, who broke the story.
Jul 30, 2015
Holding out the possibility there’s more to this story than is being reported, am I the only one who read this article and wondered why it’s the kids being charged and not the cop? A story over at NJ.com has more information, where former prosecutors agree that state trooper in question could be in big heap trouble. The trooper claims he believed the kids were burglarizing his house, and there’s also some dispute as to whether he identified himself as a police officer. But you know what? If I shoot at fleeing burglars, I’m going to jail. The fact that the kids called 911 after being shot at also doesn’t speak for the fact that they were attempting to burglarize the house, or that the officer identified himself. If he did not identify himself, according to the article at NJ.com that could mean additional serious charges:
If he’s not treated as an on-the-job officer — and Romankow was more skeptical the trooper would be — any number of other charges might come into play, Bianchi said. Second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose could mean 5 to 10 years, with 3 years of parole ineligibility. Fourth-degree pointing a weapon at another person carries 18 months of parole ineligibility.
If this is a case of an officer losing his cool, at the least it should be the end of his career, and he should face the same charges any similarly situation civilian would face under these circumstances.
Jun 18, 2015
Even if the Berlin Twp Police Chief had followed the law as written and issued a pistol purchase permit within 30 days, it would not have been enough for Carol Browne. After all, that would merely have allowed her to purchase a pistol, at which point she could only have it in a ready-to-use condition at her home, or possibly at her “fixed place of business” (I’m unsure as to whether that exemption applies to employees or only to the owner, and, at any rate, I presume she’d have had to have permission of the owner of the business). While in transit, though, the law requires:
All weapons being transported under paragraph (2) of subsection b., subsection e., or paragraph (1) or (3) of subsection f. of this section shall be carried unloaded and contained in a closed and fastened case, gunbox, securely tied package, or locked in the trunk of the automobile in which it is being transported, and in the course of travel shall include only such deviations as are reasonably necessary under the circumstances
Which would have made it very tedious (and somewhat unsafe) for her to have had her pistol ready to use when she was attacked. She could have walked out to the car and entered it, removed the magazine and unloaded the chamber, stored each as the law requires, and driven directly to work, reversed the procedure, worked, then done the same. Of course, every time you handle a firearm, particularly in unholstering and holstering, and unloading, you risk a discharge. In addition, this would have to be done in the confines of a car, which would necessarily preclude situational awareness. Not to mention that she still could not have the pistol available when running errands about town.
In theory, she could have applied for a permit to carry, but in practice, that would be almost impossible to get – the permits are may-issue and require both the approval of the police chief who was not diligent in issuing the purchase permit and a judge’s approval (and they very rarely approve).
The system that is a good start for the anti-gunners, whose provisions are supposed to “protect” women, meant that Carol Browne had no way to effectively defend herself when a bad man walked through the restraining order to kill her. She did everything she could legally do, and it was not enough.
Jun 8, 2015
Charles C.W. Cooke reports on Governor Christie’s latest pardon of yet another person who found himself caught up in the web of the Garden State’s byzantine gun regulations. Christie still has not announced whether he’s going to run in 2016. Despite the fact that he’s been better on guns than most every other New Jersey governor, he’s not going to overcome the fact that he’s a governor in a state where people die waiting for gun permits. That’s not a small issue. For Carol Brown, whatever Second Amendment rights anyone will claim she had did not effectively exist for her. She would have been no worse off living under a regime where guns were simply banned entirely, because she died waiting for fingerprints to get back from the FBI.
Personally, my biggest beef with Chris Christie is that he’s got a “law and order” streak a mile wide, and I’ve grown tired of that branch of the “conservative movement.” He also does not hide his contempt for libertarians, so I don’t see he’s really working to earn my vote. But I will give him credit where it is due, pardoning Steffon Josey-Davis was the right and decent thing to do.
Jun 8, 2015
One of the pieces of conventional wisdom you hear in New Jersey gun ownership circles is that the NJ Judiciary gutted the 30 day requirement for issuance of a pistol purchase permit or a Firearms Purchasers ID Card, but you never get a reference to the case in question, or the details. So, spent a few minutes googling, and after running my search, I found this case.
We read the statutory scheme as requiring a chief of police to withhold action on an application for a firearms purchaser identification card until receipt of the requisite SBI and FBI fingerprint reports.
We thus conclude that the inability of the chief of police to obtain the requisite SBI and FBI reports within the thirty day period constitutes “good cause” for a denial, but does not require the chief of police to deny the application on that account. He must withhold rendering a decision on the application until the fingerprint reports are obtained from the SBI and the FBI.
If the reports so obtained do not disclose a criminal conviction or any other disqualifying disability, the “good cause” for the denial of the permit evaporates, and an identification card must be granted immediately. Conversely, if the SBI or FBI report yields information disclosing good cause for the denial of a permit, the applicant should be notified in timely fashion.
So, the Berlin Township’s Chief of Police saying that they hadn’t received the fingerprint results means he was required to not issue under this decision. So, all the armchair lawyers who are suggesting 1983 suits, please don’t. It’ll be an expensive waste of time. Instead, push the NJ legislature to go to NICS.
Jun 5, 2015
Via Breitbart, a story of someone whose life may have been saved by gun control. And of course there will be no consequences for the police chief or anyone else in government. Because guns cause domestic violence or something.
A restraining order is a piece of paper, and when seconds count, the police are minutes away.