In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, New Jesey Gov. Phil Murphy was quick to push for passage of a number of new gun control laws aimed squarely at legal gun owners. The measures, which include ammunition registration, microstamping, a training mandate, and more, are all designed to make it a burden to exercise your right to keep and bear arms in self-defense, even if Murphy and his anti-gun cohorts in the legislature claim that its about public safety.
If public safety were truly the goal, instead of harassing would-be gun owners into giving up on trying to exercise their Second Amendment rights, then Murphy would be raising holy hell about what just happened in a Middlesex County courtroom this week, but he’s been utterly silent about the kid-glove treatment given to a teenager who brought a loaded gun to school.
Following an investigation, the 16-year-old was charged with acts of juvenile delinquency for offenses which if committed by an adult would constitute third-degree possession of a weapon in an educational institution, second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, and second-degree possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose.
On June 24, the teen plead guilty to unlawful possession of a weapon. Although prosecutors argued for a two-year prison sentence, he was sentenced to two years of probation.
The incident happened back in late March, but received little media coverage at the time. The sentence, on the other hand, has been pretty widely reported in New Jersey media since Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone publicly spoke about the plea deal this week. Still, despite the attention given to the probationary sentence Murphy has kept mum about the case. Instead, he’s been busy getting ready to take over as chair of the National Governor’s Association and handing over tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer funds to Planned Parenthood to help pay for abortions in the state.
Murphy’s complete lack of interest in this case belies his supposed concern for the safety of the general public. Just a few days ago, when he signed seven gun control bills into law, the governor boasted that “we can take on the epidemic of gun violence and win” and “put in place strong and smart gun safety laws that are consistent with the Second Amendment [while] still protecting our communities.” I wonder how many students in that high school feel safe and protected after watching their classmate walk away with a slap on the wrist after getting caught with a loaded gun in his fanny pack on campus.
Mind you, I’m not blaming Murphy for the judge’s decision to let this 16-year old off with probation. It wasn’t the governor’s call to make. But given the fact that Phil Murphy has blamed the state’s violent crime not just on legal gun owners but the firearms industry, you’d think he could spare some smidgen of anger and outrage over the fact that a teenager walked into a school with a loaded handgun yet walked out of a courtroom free as a bird because a judge decided to cut him some slack. The governor’s silence speaks volumes; not only about his supposed concern for the safety of New Jersey students, but about his contempt for those New Jerseyeans who are trying to lawfully exercise their right to keep and bear arms.