Jersey City will pay $10,000 more than needed for replacement handguns for their police department so that Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop can claim that he is “socially responsible.”
Fulop forced bidders on the police handgun contract to fill out a questionnaire to show how the bidders feel about lawfully selling firearms to civilians under federal and state laws. Jersey City will now attempt to award the contract to Lawman Supply Company despite a bid that was $10,000 higher, apparently because Lawman refuses to sell firearms to the general public.
A Pennsauken-based weapons and ammunition supply company is set to win a $500,000 contract to provide firearms and ammo to Jersey City police under new rules that Mayor Steve Fulop has said will help “shape the dialogue” on gun control nationwide.
Lawmen Supply Company, one of two bidders for the contract, had to answer questions regarding how it handles firearms it purchases back from the city, whether it manufactures or sells assault weapons for civilian use and whether it agrees not to sell certain firearms for civilian use.
Jersey City is the first municipality to seek this kind of information about suppliers’ practices. Seattle and other cities are reportedly interested in replicating the city’s initiative.
The questions, which have raised the ire of gun rights advocates, are “socially responsible,” according to Jersey City. Fulop, who will travel to Los Angeles today to participate on a panel on gun violence, has said that in the absence of nationwide legislation to curb gun violence, big-city mayors must act.
Lawmen’s bid was about $10,000 higher than the only other bidder — Atlantic Tactical, of Pennsylvania — but the city said Lawman’s bid “best met the needs of the department.”
While I doubt that a blue state police chief has the guts to admit it, the “needs of the department” would be best met by spending that $10,000 on ammunition and training, and going with the lower bidder for the same firearms, instead of spending $10,000 more because the more expensive bidder deals in agency contracts only and refuses to sell firearms directly to the general public.
The firearms traded in my Jersey City to Lawmen Supply Company will likely be resold to a distributor, which will then sell the trade-ins to retailers, who will then sell the gun to law-abiding citizens who must complete federal background checks. Jersey City is paying $10,000 more to (possibly) insert an extra middle-man (the distributor) into the process.
If I were a Jersey City resident I’d be outraged that the city may be wasting $10,000 more on the higher bidder simply because of Fulop’s desire to make a name for himself as being radically anti-Second Amendment.
Jersey City’s city council still has to approve the deal. If you happen to be a resident of Jersey City, I’d consider politely giving them your opinion on this fiscal waste.