New Jersey's Gun Laws Haven't Prevented A Spike In Shootings

Want to buy a gun in New Jersey? Get ready to jump through some serious hoops and navigate a maze of red tape, at least if you want to legally get a firearm. First you’re going to need to apply for your Firearms ID card or your pistol purchase permit, which will require a trip down to your local police department. Get ready to detail a lot of personal information, including providing character references in some localities, and be prepared to wait for weeks or months before you hear back from your local sheriff or chief of police.

Those in charge of issuing those Second Amendment permission slips can deny you a permit if they believe you to be “unsuitable” to own a gun, even if you’ve never been convicted of a crime or adjudicated mentally defective, but if you’re one of the lucky ones who are approved to exercise a constitutional right, then you can head down to your local gun store where you’ll undergo another background check before purchasing your new firearm.

Once you have that gun, be careful not to leave the house with it, unless you’re driving to or from a gun range or gun shop, and make sure that your gun is locked up, ammunition stored separately, in a part of the car that you can’t readily access. Otherwise, you could be looking at a felony charge and years in prison.

Of course, you could also choose to break New Jersey law and simply get a gun on the illicit market, which is apparently thriving in the state at the moment. Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Wednesday that he’s concerned about an increase in shootings across the state in recent weeks.

Col. Patrick J. Callahan, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, said the state’s fatal shootings have increased 19 percent over last year’s year-to-date number, rising from 84 to 100 victims.

He said there were 39 shooting victims within the past week, with 13 succumbing to their injuries.

“We’re certainly concerned about it, governor, because we’re seeing way too many shootings and the likelihood of it continuing through the warm summer months gives us a tremendous amount of concern,” Callahan said during the news conference.

Murphy said New Jersey is “not immune to what we’re seeing around the country in terms of this lethal cocktail of being pent up,” with people coming to grips with closures and unemployment amid the hot summer.

Let’s be blunt here. Crime isn’t up in New Jersey, New York City, Chicago, Portland, Baltimore, Los Angeles, and many other Democrat-controlled cities and states simply because people have been stuck inside their homes for the past couple of months. Thee increase in shootings in New Jersey isn’t driven by concerns over business closures and unemployment. It’s primarily the result of street criminals believing (correctly in many cases) that they can get away with crimes like this.

At 12:19 a.m. Wednesday, Trenton Police Department received a Shot Spotter activation reporting several gun shots from the rear of 828 Edgewood Ave. in Niagara Alley, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

Trenton patrol officers found 23-year-old Jahson Phillips on Niagara Alley, suffering from gunshot wounds to the torso, the statement said.

Phillips was later pronounced dead by Capital Health Regional Medical Center personnel.

Something tells me that if an arrest is made in Jahson Phillips’ murder, the perpetrator won’t be a legal New Jersey gun owner. I’m not holding my breath that anyone will actually ever be charged with Phillips’ homicide, however. Statewide, most New Jersey crimes go unsolved, and with politicians like Murphy fanning the flames of anti-police sentiment, it’s harder than ever for homicide detectives and frontline officers to get cooperation from witnesses or members of the community who might be able to provide law enforcement with leads.

Couple Murphy’s anti-police attitude with his love of gun control laws and you’ve got a toxic combination of increased violent crime and a diminished Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in self-defense for law-abiding residents of the Garden State. If Gov. Murphy really wants to get crime under control, he can quit undercutting police officers as well as actually recognizing the rights of residents to protect themselves, their loved ones, homes, and businesses with firearms. Since that’s not gonna happen, we should expect that New Jersey’s criminals are going to continue to make life miserable for more good people in bad neighborhoods in the weeks and months ahead.