NJ Legislature On Firearm Storage & Gun Registration Bills

Opinion

New Jersey Capitol

New Jersey – -(AmmoLand.com)-

Dear Senator[s] & Members of the Assembly,

I’m writing about the upcoming hearings on two bills that will have a chilling effect on civil liberties. The following bills, being advertised as “safety” measures, will in fact only harm law-abiding citizens.

Both of these measures are misguided.

First – S3757/A5647 is unconstitutional. The wording of the bill would not allow people to keep loaded firearms in their homes even if in a locked container for the use of self-defense. The storage mandate goes directly against DC v. Heller, as DC’s storage law was found unconstitutional. If you need further guidance on that, I’ll happily get you citations. Is it your intention that people not be able to self-defend? This is a right enshrined in the NJ Constitution.

[ARTICLE I RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES 1. All persons are by nature free and independent, and have certain natural and unalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and of pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.]

Second – People that already don’t follow the law are not going to. Negligent events occur with firearms, and that’s very awful. The same people that break NJ’s current storage law – because there IS a storage law in NJ FYI – are not going to adhere to this new law.

[2C:58-15. Minor’s access to a loaded firearm; penalty, conditions 1. a. A person who knows or reasonably should know that a minor is likely to gain access to a loaded firearm at a premises under the person’s control commits a disorderly persons offense if a minor gains access to the firearm, unless the person:

(1) Stores the firearm in a securely locked box or container;

(2) Stores the firearm in a location which a reasonable person would believe to be secure; or

(3) Secures the firearm with a trigger lock.]

The matter of gun storage is a personal one. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to the safe and proper storage of firearms. Who is the government to step in and dictate how “free” people handle their privately owned possessions?

[ARTICLE I RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES 1. All persons are by nature free and independent, and have certain natural and unalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and of pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.]

Concerning the FID requirements for incoming residents S372/A3686, this is just absurd. There’s a provision that incoming residents have to register long guns? Residents don’t even have to do that. Further, there is no “loophole” on these rogue firearms coming into the state. Is the leadership in Trenton really convinced that people that are intent on not following the law are going to pay attention to this? No is the answer to that. Finally, obtaining an FID card in the state is not as easy as everyone makes it out to be. Some towns and jurisdictions are good about it, issuing paperwork in about a week. Other towns have people held up for over a year maybe two. Are people that are not issued an FID card within the 30 days (which is what the issuing authority has by law to issue the documents) going to be afoul of this measure? What penalties are going to be applied to jurisdictions that don’t issue or deny the paperwork within the statutorily allowed 30 days?

My proposals are to incentivize gun safety. I understand we’re not talking about “training” right now with these two bills, but I know we will be in the future (Also, unconstitutional FYI). However, my recommendations are to incentivize safe practices such as issuing tax credits for the purchase of gun safes and storage devices. Make people WANT to comply. If you have a voluntary system, you’ll have quality compliance, not just compliance. This concept I explore deeply in an article I wrote at Bearing Arms:

How About Subsidizing Training Rather Than Mandating It? – Bearing Arms

Right now, both of these bills will do nothing to enhance public safety, should they become law. All they would be are extra charges to be tacked on someone that’s breaking the law. Given our current justice system that favors criminals over the law-abiding, a career criminal will have these charges plead down/dropped and a normal first-time offender not aware that they’re breaking the law would have the book thrown at them. These measures only hurt the lawful gun owner, period.

If this past election should teach all of us anything, proposals that come out like these, and on this line of thinking, are not really popular.

Governor Murphy did not have a “slam dunk” win. Gopal barely squeezed a victory in. And many seats changed parties…Need we discuss the Durr/Sweeny election? People do not want these policies. Don’t cost the taxpayers more money by having to defend these unconstitutional provisions in court. They will be challenged.

Should you have any questions or comments about my correspondence please do reach out to me. I urge to you NOT support these measures, nor any of the other freedom limiting measures Murphy is pushing prior to Sweeney losing his seat. I’m going to be watching what you do on these measures and I’ll be reporting aggressively about this on Bearing Arms or AmmoLand where I write. Allow this to also serve as a solicitation for a comment on your view of these bills and the others, which I may include in future articles. Consider this a standing invitation to you for an interview should you wish to discuss civil liberties and have my report on our conversation – my contact information is below.

Warmest Regards,
John Petrolino
www.johnpetrolino.com


John Petrolino is a US Merchant Marine Officer, writer, author of Decoding Firearms: An Easy to Read Guide on General Gun Safety & Use and NRA certified pistol, rifle, and shotgun instructor living under and working to change New Jersey’s draconian and unconstitutional gun laws. You can find him on the web at www.johnpetrolino.com on twitter at @johnpetrolino and on instagram @jpetrolinoiii .

John Petrolino
John Petrolino

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