How A NJ Gun Control Law Led To A Political Earthquake

(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

Virginia’s Republican governor-elect Glenn Youngkin has definitely received the lion’s share of the press in the wake of this Tuesday’s elections, but he’s not the only star of the show that conservatives put on at polls across the country. Winsome Sears, who won her campaign to be the state’s lt. governor has also become an overnight sensation in the press, thanks in large part to her own compelling personal story as well as her wholehearted embrace of the Second Amendment.

But there’s another candidate celebrating an unexpected victory who may never have run for office if it weren’t for the state of New Jersey denying him his right to bear arms. Ed Durr, a truck driver by trade who spent less than $6,000 to defeat longtime New Jersey State Senate President Steve Sweeney, has said that the primary motivation for his underdog campaign was the fact that he was denied a concealed carry permit when he applied to his local sheriff.

Durr, a truck driver who reportedly spent just $153 on his campaign, says even he didn’t think he had a chance to win, but was motivated to do so after he was denied a concealed carry permit, despite having a clean record.

“I kept telling myself and telling people I was going to do it, but in the back of my mind I was like, ‘You know, how am I going to beat the Senate president?” Durr told Politico.

But then came Tuesday night, and the numbers started coming in. Durr had taken a lead, and that lead solidified after the numbers from Salem County came in.

“I was shocked by the numbers they sent me,” Durr told nj.com, adding that he won because he is a voice for the people. “I’m a person who believes in the right to the people. I’m a firm constitutionalist believer, and I believe in people’s rights. When I saw how people were being mistreated or ignored, that angered me to say: ‘I’m going to make my voice heard.'”

Back in August, when almost no one outside of his senate district had heard of Durr, he elaborated in an interview with YouTuber Elizabeth Nader about his eye-opening experience.

“I went for my concealed carry and I was told flat out by the local sheriff ‘don’t even bother,'” Durr explained.

“And that kind of angered me. I’m a truck driver and I’ve been to almost every military base running up and down the East Coast. I’ve been to the Pentagon, I’ve been to the CIA, I’ve never been arrested, and I couldn’t get a concealed carry? And that really angered me, so I started looking at what can you do to get into politics.”

The rest, as they say, is history. And my guess is that as an elected official, Durr has now satisfied his sheriff’s requirement of demonstrating some sort of special need to carry a gun before being issued a license. But if local law enforcement decides that Durr still shouldn’t have access to his right to bear arms, the Supreme Court might have something to say about the state’s “may issue” laws in the not-too-distant future. Yes, the case dealing with the right to carry that the Court heard on Wednesday comes out of New York, but there’s not much difference between New York’s permitting scheme and the one in place in the Garden State. If New York’s law is tossed out by the Supreme Court, New Jersey’s law will likely be implicated as well. Either way, I suspect that if Durr decides to run for a second term four years from now, he’ll be able to do so as a concealed carry holder. I just hope the average voter in New Jersey can say the same.

 

 

Nov 26, 2021 10:30 AM ET