From the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs:

Q. ANJRPC has seemed quiet lately. What’s going on?

A. We are deeply engaged preparing for the most critical legislative battles gun owners have ever faced. Most of our work is behind the scenes right now and cannot be publicly discussed. We will have a lot to say when the time is right, as always.

Q. What kind of threats are we facing in NJ?

A. NJ legislators recently introduced 23 bills containing some of the most extreme measures ever proposed. Like requiring a psychological exam and in-home inspection before you can buy a firearm; 5-round ammunition capacity limit (a gun ban in disguise); draconian ammunition regulations, and a lot more. We will be providing detailed analysis of some of the worst of the bunch. And there may be more coming.

Q. We saw what just happened with the passage of New York’s extreme new gun laws. Can that happen here?

A. Anything can happen in the Garden State, but there is a very different legislative and political dynamic in New Jersey right now than there is in New York.We are working to keep it that way.

Q. Can my identity as a gun owner be obtained through freedom of information laws and published like what
just happened in New York?

A. No. New Jersey law is different from New York law and protects the identities of gun owners from disclosure.

Q. What’s your take on the national situation?

A. We’re in the fight of our lives.Anti-gun extremists have seized on the Newtown tragedy as their watershed moment, and are going for broke. Their aim is to destroy the Second Amendment, and they are blaming you for what happened in Connecticut. The media are overwhelmingly biased in their favor, and are falsely portraying gun owners as divided. It is more important than ever that gun owners be unified and support national organizations like NRA. We all need to speak with one voice on a national level and defend freedom.

Q. What can I do in New Jersey?

A. Prepare for battle. That means understanding that in the end this is going to come down to a series of committee hearings and legislative floor votes.Those are key moments when we need to make ourselves heard with maximum impact. That means if you have limited time and energy, you might want to conserve your time and energy for those moments. We will alert you as we always do as the threats start to move, and we will make specific action requests, like asking you to contact legislators, attend hearings, etc. With 23 bills just dumped on us, there could be a lot of activity and a lot of requests, and each must be treated with the same importance and fervor as the rest

Q. But I want to do more. Is there more I can do?   

A. Absolutely.You can proactively contact your legislators right now, you can write letters to the editor, you can donate to pro-Second Amendment organizations. Tell your legislators that these bills will do nothing to prevent another tragedy, will interfere with self defense, and wrongly punish law abiding citizens for the acts of criminals and madmen. But remember, the key moment of action will be committee hearings and floor votes. Your work is not done until you’ve weighed in then.

Q. What about the February 8 rally in Trenton?

A. If rallies are your thing, by all means, go. ANJRPC officers have been invited to speak and may well do so. The organizers have worked very hard putting this rally together, and we applaud their efforts. While rallies rarely change how legislators vote, they can be a great show of strength if well attended, and they can be inspiring. Just remember – your work is not done until you’ve weighed in with legislators at the key moments of action in the legislative process. For those interested, more on the rally is available here.

Q. Is ANJRPC going to cave or compromise in the upcoming battles?

A. Not a chance. For over a decade, we have fought in the trenches and defeated nearly every piece of misguided legislation that has come our way, against impossible odds. Our resolve is stronger than ever, and we will use every resource at our disposal to defend against this latest legislation dump.

Q. Can legislators really force us to pass a psychological evaluation and have an in-home inspection as a condition of exercising my constitutional right to own a firearm?

A. Legislators can write anything they want. If both houses of the legislature and the governor sign it, it becomes “law” even though it might be unconstitutional. It will stay on the books and be enforced by the organs of the state until someone challenges
it. That’s why ANJRPC has been aggressively using litigation to challenge some of the worst laws in New Jersey, and we have
bigger plans in the works.

Q. What is the impact of a 5-round magazine limitation?

A. It’s a stealth gun ban, an assault on the right of self defense, and would do nothing to prevent another tragedy. It would give criminals tremendous advantage over the law-abiding, and render many of the firearms you own useless.

To you folks in New Jersey, I can practically piss out my window and hit the New Jersey State Capitol (that’s a bit of a hyperbole, unfortunately), so if you need anything, let me know. In the amount of time it takes for a coffee break I can be over there helping out.

6 Responses to “ANJRPC: Q&A”

  1. Andy B. says:

    It is interesting to sense ANJRPC’s lack of enthusiasm for rallies, which mirrors my own. As a resident of PA I participated in NJ’s pto-gun rallies at their Statehouse prior to the passage of their draconian anti-gun laws of the early ’90s. Thousands were there, but the rallies had no discernible impact.

    Ditto 1994 when we had a gun owners rally of nearly 10,000 at the PA capitol in Harrisburg. I was impressed with myself for getting to be one of the people who postured to the cheers of that huge crowd, but while we were posturing on the steps our elected hacks were inside drafting the anti-gun bill they would spring on only three months later.

    I don’t want to discourage anyone from attending a rally — if there is going to be one, it had better be presentable — but I won’t say what it would take to make me enthusiastic about attending one; I’ll just say the peaceful efforts we’re made in the past were ignored by legislators everywhere. We are always a known quantity, long before we show up in the town square.

    • Sebastian says:

      I think they were pretty much right on that one. They can work when they are very successful. When they are less successful, it just looks bad. And our people aren’t the protesting type, so it’s difficult to make them successful.

      The problem is, I think lawmakers are used to ignoring groups of people who go to the Capitol. A 10,000 group is something, and I would note PA avoided an assault weapons ban, which to my understanding was a real threat back then. But the run of the mill rally that happens every year is a problem. Rallies and protests, I think, are a very dangerous weapon in the arsenal of activism, at least for gun rights folks. It can look awfully bad if people don’t turn out.

      I’d almost rather hold all that type of energy for the Courts, who aren’t used to that sort of thing. 10,000 people surrounding the Supreme Court in DC would be unheard of. I’m not sure what they’d think.

      • Rob Crawford says:

        The thing about rallies is they’re really about grabbing news coverage — and the press decides who gets THAT. Ten anti-gunners are going to get the lead story in the evening news, along with carefully selected camera angles and their stupidest/most inflammatory statements edited out. Ten thousand 2nd Amendment supporters will be lucky to get a mention in the “crawl” — and any interviews will be with Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel (who’s on loan from the Joyce Foundation).

        • HSR47 says:

          Yesterday, I saw three interviews happening at the Capitol.

          One was of a woman who appeared to be in attendance with her son, and who was carrying a Bushmaster AR15, another was a slightly older woman carrying a sign saying something to the effect of “Gay, pagan, gun owner,” while the third was of a gentleman who didn’t appear to match up with most of the bad stereotypes.

      • Andy B. says:

        Just for the sake of history:

        You brought up the PA AWB; actually that had been killed six months before the rally in question, and how it happened has been making me think of current events.

        In the final hours of the final House session of 1993, the Republicans passed an assault weapon ban, arguing that theirs was better than the Democrats’ version because it involved fewer weapons. Over the holidays there was one of the few genuine, unorganized grassroots explosions that I have ever seen, as a result. It was reported that House members who had voted for the ban actually got physical threats, from people who declined to conceal their identities. We are all pissed! Several groups have tried to claim credit for organizing the uprising, but from what I saw, it was 90 percent spontaneous — and taken more seriously as a result.

        The grassroots reaction was so powerful, that when the House went back into session in January 1994, House members made a complex and embarrassing procedural maneuver to un-pass the legislation they had just passed; they wouldn’t even allow it to go near the Senate. The reason I say “embarrassing” is, they pretty much had to vote “We didn’t understand what we were doing when we did it.”

        At that point the AWB was (arguably) dead, but of course the issue wasn’t. But, gun rights activists went along with a proposal to form a “Senate Select Committee to Study the Use of Automatic and Semiautomatic Firearms.” That was what was going on during the period spanning the rally in question (June 14, 1994.)

        That “Study,” which included nominal gun rights activists as participants, was used as the front for springing comprehensive gun control legislation that addressed every possible issue — except “assault weapons.” When its report was issued, the citizen gun rights activists on the committee were shocked to learn what they had “recommended.” It was all a charade.

        The main point for now is that the rally had not one thing to do with the failure of Pennsylvania to achieve an AWB. But it also did nothing to defang or delay an even more comprehensive gun control package that was already anticipated and in the works.

        If memory serves I have one or two detailed accounts of the period, written by then-NRA-Director Mike Slavonic, who was in large part responsible for the “Senate Select Committee” being formed. I don’t necessarily agree with all his perspectives, but if I can find them I’ll send them along to Sebastian for their historical value and whatever can be learned about political tactics.

    • Patrick H says:

      There is a rally on the 23rd in our state capitol. Not sure how it will turn out, but I’m going. Also, its not just a “show up” rally. People will be able to meet with their representatives- which I think IS what they pay attention to. Not many people actually go see them. So I think its a good thing in this case. Just to make your face known.

      See more here.