I sit here today, writing yet another article. I have written a few, but have not posted because of my perfectionist nature, as well as being a little “behind” due to school.
Since, I would say that it is the issue I am most passionate about, I am going to write today about the looming fear millions of good NJ residents have regarding new firearms laws. But, to begin, I should explain the way our system currently works for any non-NJ residents, and why it is important for you to help us.
NJ was one of the first states to pass an “Assault Weapons Ban” back in the early 1990s. Now, what we define as “Assault Weapons” are really just common sporting rifles, selective-fire fully-automatic firearms having been banned (with the exception of the 200,000 that were grandfathered in) during the Federal “Gun Owners Protection Act” of 1986.
Instead, NJ bans firearms by name. I won’t bother to list all of them, but essentially AR15s manufactured by ArmaLite, CETMES, SPAS-12s, and other guns are all banned by name. Also banned are guns that are “Substantially identical” to any firearms banned by name. Substantially identical means that it is semi-automatic, and has at least two of the following features.
1)Folding or telescoping stock
2)A Pistol Grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon
3) A flash-hider
4) A Bayonet Lug
5) A grenade Launcher
So the way this works is, you can own an AR15-style weapon, as long as you don’t have a flash-hider, bayonet lug, or an adjustable stock. Also, any magazine with a capacity greater than 15 rounds (may soon be 10) is high-capacity, and is therefore, verboten.
In order to buy a long arm, or pistol ammunition, you must possess a Firearms Purchaser ID card. Basically, you must get two references, have your employer contacted, and consent to mental health checks, and criminal background checks, as well as a fingerprinting (at your expense, about $80). Legally, they are required to approve you within 30 days if you are qualified. In actuality, the paperwork, handled by the State Police, is a lengthy and inefficient process which often takes months to be returned. This issue is further compounded by the habit of many towns to illegally ask for additional paperwork, references, and things of that nature.
Admittedly, I’m not as familiar with the process for getting a handgun, since when I got my FPID, I was 19, and the minimum age to get a Pistol Purchase Permit in NJ is 21. I have been told, however, that the process for the PPP is the same as the FPID, with the exception that you don’t need to get re-fingerprinted. You have 90 days to use the PPP before it expires, though you can file for an extension of the permit. I just turned 21 this year, and have not had the time, or funds, to pursue this, so I am only speaking from secondhand knowledge on the topic of the PPP.
Anyway, we are currently faced with a change to this already pointless system (as the federal NICS instant background check is cheaper, and more efficient.) The current bill, S2723 seeks to make our FPID cards obsolete, replacing them with either a photo ID, or imprint that I’m endorsed to own firearms on my license.
The main concern with this legislation, besides its ineffective nature, is the sheer cost, and how it will be nearly impossible to implement, further discouraging NJ residents from owning firearms. Our representatives have twice been recorded on “hot mics” making fun of NJ gun owners, and also talking about the need for confiscation, obviously they don’t really care how we feel about the legislation.
Perhaps most concerning would be some of the handgun related laws in NJ. Handguns are only allowed to be transported directly to and from a range, home, or gun shop. Any deviation (whether it is grabbing a burger, going to the bathroom, flat tire, etc.) is a felony, and people have been convicted for such “deviations”. If that data is now available on my license, we could very well be subject to illegal stops and searches by police, which could very well result in legal nightmares for citizens who have done no wrong.
Anyway, the bill itself is 31 pages long, and instead of going through a piece-by-piece account of why it’s so awful, I have chosen just to briefly highlight some of the flaws in this legislation. I ask that, any NJ residents reading this, or even non-residents please, help us to fight this, and the other insane laws being pushed in NJ. The legislature actually illegally pursued this law, postponing a vote that had already begun, until enough politicians in support of the bill would show up to vote on it.
It all rides on the edge of Christie’s veto pen now. I urge anyone reading this to please help us to fight this legislation. If we can defeat it here in NJ, you won’t have to worry about it in your state. I’m begging you as a freedom-loving American, whose family fought in the revolution, whose great-great grandfather was wounded in Pickett’s Charge, to please help by either contacting Chris Christie ( www.state.nj.us/governor/contact/ ) and urging him to veto any anti-gun legislation, or joining with, or donating to the NJ Second Amendment Society ( www.nj2as.com ).
Thank you, and God Bless.