When Ed Durr knocked off New Jersey State Senate President Steve Sweeney last fall, it send shock waves rippling through the state’s political establishment. Now Durr is hoping to use his new position in the state legislature to claw back some of the Second Amendment rights that residents have lost over the decades, and the first five of what he promises will be a package of 15 separate pro-gun bills has now been unveiled.
- S-2486 – Allows active duty members of the United States military to carry a firearm at all times.
- S-2484 – Allows honorably discharged veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces or National Guard to carry handguns.
- S-2490 – Repeals the “Extreme Risk Protective Order Act of 2018,” which allows legally owned guns to be seized by the courts, denying owners the presumption of innocence that is a basic tenant of the justice system.
- S-2488 – Removes capacity limits for ammunition magazines.
- S-2602 – Eliminates the 30-day waiting period between handgun purchases.
I don’t know why Durr chose not to introduce a simple “shall-issue” bill in his first tranche of legislation, but my guess is that will be included in the ten bills that are still to come. In the meantime, legislation repealing the state’s ban on “large capacity” magazines, the “red flag” law put in place four years ago, and the utterly ridiculous “one-gun-a-month” law are all welcome developments for New Jersey gun owners, who live in a state that, despite the rulings in both Heller and McDonald, continues to act as if the Second Amendment doesn’t exist. New Jersey’s laws, taken in total, basically amount to a complete ban on the keeping and bearing of arms subject only to limited carveouts and exceptions created by the state legislature. It sounds like Durr is ready to try to change the status quo.
“These measures, and the 10 more I will be introducing, benefit residents who do not defy the laws of the state,” Durr said. “I’m standing up for the right of self-protection. It is time for Trenton to stop penalizing upstanding citizens for the irresponsible, life-threatening actions of criminals.
“As aggressive as they are, New Jersey’s current gun restrictions do nothing to make our towns safe from thugs who ignore the laws with impunity and use weapons to terrorize citizens in home invasions, armed robberies, car-jackings and drive-bys,” Durr noted.
He’s right, and sadly, it’s been that way for a long, long time. My wife recently celebrated her 25th anniversary of leaving Camden, New Jersey, and some of the stories she tells about her almost ten-years spent living in what was at the time the murder capitol of the United States are mind-blowing. Suffice it to say that while state law made it virtually impossible for her to legally become a gun owner simply because she didn’t have the time as a single mom who was reliant on public transportation to jump through all of the hoops and hurdles the state placed in her way, the drug dealers and gangbangers in her neighborhood had no trouble whatsoever illegally obtaining a gun. In fact, I’d say my wife had a harder time getting police to respond when she called about a shooting than the shooter had getting his hands on the pistol he used.
New Jersey’s gun control laws have utterly failed to protect good people in bad neighborhoods, and by infringing on their ability to keep and bear arms the state has made it almost impossible for those good people to protect themselves as well. Durr will most certainly be facing an uphill fight in getting these bills before a legislative committee, much less signed into law, but it’s a fight worth having and I’m glad to see he’s entering the arena.