Days after a federal judge upheld New Jersey’s ban on possessing “large capacity magazines”, the head of the Association of Rifle and Pistol Clubs of New Jersey is vowing to take the fight to the highest court in the land.
“New Jersey is taking a premature victory lap after winning in the lowest federal court,” ANJRPC Executive Director Scott Bach told Bearing Arms, “but this only moves the case along faster to its ultimate intended destination: the U.S. Supreme Court. When the high court rules in the future, then we’ll see who is taking the victory lap.”
Earlier this month, New Jersey Advance Media reports U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan ruled the magazine ban constitutional after a motion by the state requesting a judgement, affirming a federal appellate court ruling and claiming its decision “resolves all legal issues in this case.”
In a move that has largely been panned as unenforceable, the ban “forced” owners of magazines with a capacity above 10 rounds to turn them in to the state by December 10th or else.
That’s it. Just a paper ordering them to do so. Any civilian caught in possession of a magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds may be arrested and prosecuted. Possession of such magazines after the deadline will be considered a crime of the fourth degree under state law and carry up to 18 months in prison and up to $10,000 in fines or both.
Forget for a moment that gun laws in New Jersey statistically just do not work, the fact that the state wants to arrest people for continuing to possess legally purchased magazines means gun owners are left with a terrifying set of circumstances.
The first of which, outlined by Tom Knight here, is that the ban which NRA Board Member and Association Of New Jersey Rifle And Pistol Clubs President Scott Bach once said “turns a million people into criminals with the stroke of a pen.” The law was upheld on shaky legal ground to begin with. In fact in the dissenting opinion Judge Bibas, a Trump appointee, panned the majority of the panel for treating the 2nd amendment differently than any other right.
In addition to a court system woefully backwards in its application of basic constitutional principles – we are left with laws such as this and others that have been proposed which are so poorly (some might even say intentionally vaguely) written as to make enforcement of them – let alone defending oneself in a court of law – so egregiously, unfairly convoluted as to make it a liability at this point to even be a gun owner in New Jersey… legally of course.
Criminals are still buying their guns out of the trunks of cars, no worries there.
The facts here are clear, if you still think it is hyperbole to say that if gun owners don’t wake up and fight back our rights will erode right out from under us – you simply aren’t paying attention. New Jersey 2A activists are well served by organizations such as ANJRPC and others which take the state to the mat on a regular basis over these issues – but we need to support them.
About the Author
Cody McLaughlin is a vocal activist, noted conservationist and conservative thought leader on public policy issues including hunting, fishing, gun rights, free-market tax and wage policy and the environment. He is a contributor for the NRA’s Hunters’ Leadership Forum and a trustee of the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance, representing the state’s 1.2 million sportsmen in the political arena. You can find him on twitter at @mclaugh19
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