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.

11 thoughts on “Following the law would not have been enough”

  1. But at least no one was shot, right?

    To the anti-gunRights folks, an innocent woman being stabbed to death is preferable to an attempted murderer being shot. That should tell anyone who is paying attention all they need to know.

    1. Oh, don’t worry. Once they’re “done” with the guns, knives will be next, and then the use of force even in self-defense will be viewed with suspicion. See Great Britain.

      1. “…will be viewed with contempt. See Great Britain the place where Great Britain used to be….”


  2. The way NJ firearms laws are written, simple possession of a firearm is a felony, unless you fall into one of the exemptions (which are an affirmative defense). You are legal to have a firearm at your fixed place of business, meaning you have to actually be the business owner (not necessarily the property owner) and a business owner cannot “allow” his employees to have firearms.

    Back to the exemptions, there is not one for traveling to/from work if you don’t own the business, so she would be looking at 10 years in prison, with a presumptive 7 and a minimum mandatory of 3.5 years (same as Shaneen Allen was facing).

    1. Does anyone wonder why I left NJ for the greener pastures of PA?

      It amazes me that anyone still lives there…..

    2. I am an NJ firearms owner, so I do try and keep up on the subject. Given that there have been a couple of incidents recently where store clerks have shot burglars and not been charged, I had considered that employees of the business were likewise covered. There’s a LOT of misinformation floating around the internet about what NJ guns laws actually say, and I don’t own Nappen’s book.

      None of which invalidates my point, which is that even if her purchase permit had been issued, it would likely not have changed events.

      1. I understand the point you’re making here, I think the pistol permit process is still an issue.

        It’s really a matter of knocking down barriers in sequence; In order to make use of a carry permit you still actually need to have a firearm. So totally discounting the later issue of actually getting a the carry permit, the pistol permit process would still be a relevant issue.

      2. The store clerks in Newark were actually the store owners, which is why they weren’t charged.

  3. Her last name was B-o-w-n-e not B-r-o-w-n-e.

    We all need to get this poor woman’s last name correct if we want to keep our message clear about how she was a victim of New Jersey’s laws and double standards.

Comments are closed.