Currently Browsing: New Jersey

New Jersey Looking to Repeal Smart Gun Law

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.

New Jersey Bill Would Require Dome Lights at Traffic Stops

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.

Christie Pardons More Gun Owners, Tripped Up by Draconian NJ Laws

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.

Something Rotten in New Jersey

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 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 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.

Following the law would not have been enough

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.

Another Pardon for Chris Christie

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.

In NJ, it is the law to delay

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.

A gun control success story

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.

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.

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