Communities across the state of New Jersey are seeing a soaring number of applications for pistol permits and Firearms ID cards, even as Gov. Phil Murphy and the NJ State Police have cut off the ability to legally acquire firearms by shuttering gun stores and shutting down firearms background checks.
According to the Asbury Park Press, applications have increased 400% in some towns compared to last month.
Capt. Steve Laskiewicz of the Jackson Police Department said Wednesday the department received 54 applications, a more than three-fold increase, in the past week. During the same time frame in February, it was 16.
Brick’s applications have also risen.
“We’ve seen an uptick in a big way,” said Sgt. James Kelly of the Brick Township Police Department…
In Marlboro, whether from an increase in applications or a slow-down in processing them or both, the number of applications in process have jumped four fold.
Thirty days ago, there were 52. Two weeks ago that number reached 80. It now stands at 195, Marlboro police Captain Stephen Levy said.
Keep in mind that residents are applying for these permits knowing that, for the moment anyway, they can’t actually purchase a firearm even if they receive their FID card or pistol purchase permit. It appears that Murphy’s anti-gun moves have done nothing to quell the growing desire to own a gun in the Garden State. If anything, Murphy has probably caused some folks to take the plunge who wouldn’t have otherwise.
I’ve seen some gun owners on social media get pretty dismissive about the rise in new gun owners, and the difficulty that some Americans are having trying to legally buy a gun. I’ve seen variations on the theme of “They should have already had one” from several gun owners, but honestly, that argument doesn’t fly with me. According to Scott Bach with the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, there are about 1-million gun owners in the state, and about 7-million residents who don’t own a firearm. In New Jersey, the anti-gun mentality is strong, and comes from elected officials, the local media, and even the culture at large. It’s not surprising to me that some folks in the state are realizing for the first time in their lives that they may have only been hearing from one side of the issue, and that the Second Amendment is more important to them than it was even a month ago.
These new gun owners, and those applying to receive government permission to exercise their constitutional rights, are potential allies in our fight to strengthen and secure our Second Amendment, but if we treat them dismissively or with contempt for not becoming a gun owner before now, we’re not doing them or us any favors. Regardless of how late they may have shown up to the party, they’re here now, and we need to welcome them with open arms and encourage them to get involved in the legislative, legal, and cultural fights that some gun owners have been engaged in for decades.