NJ Governor's Contempt For Gun Owners On Display In Debate

Chris Pedota/The Record via AP, Pool

The New Jersey gubernatorial election is quickly approaching and residents of the state are going to have to choose between tyranny and freedom. The two candidates running for their respective parties are incumbent Democrat freedom-hating socialist carpetbagger from Massachusetts Phil Murphy and former Assemblyman Republican native of New Jersey Jack Ciattarelli. The topic of freedoms in New Jersey do not go overlooked in the pages of Bearing Arms, and it should be common knowledge that the Garden State has some of the most draconian and corrupt laws in the Union. All that really “needs” to be said would be a quote from Phil Murphy from one of his past press events:


the Bill of Rights is above my pay grade

That’s who’s seated in the Governor’s mansion now; someone that believes our fundamental rights are above his pay grade.

The first gubernatorial debate between Murphy and Ciattarelli aired on September 28, 2021 and there was some talk about firearms and the Second Amendment. Notably, there was one pointed question towards the end of the debate on “gun violence” directed to Ciattarelli and his voting record.

To fully grasp the weight of how bad Phil Murphy really is, we need to explore how during the debate he claimed to be a champion for minorities, specifically black and brown communities. The topic of police reform and legalization of marijuana plays a pivotal role in pointing out just how hypocritical Murphy is when it comes to his view on real justice and reform.

One of the moderators laid down some information through a question on police reform. The information is perhaps more important than the question it’self, especially when going forward to discuss Murphy’s “stellar” reputation as a social justice warrior. From Sade Baderinwa:

“First I’d like to talk about the continued racial divide when it comes to policing. According to an ABC owned television station equity report overall New Jersey police departments arrest blacks nearly four times more than whites and are more likely to use physical force against blacks after traffic stops than they are with white drivers. What would you do as governor to address these issues?…”

The question was answered by Ciattarelli, but again it’s the substance of the question that gives the situation weight. The moderators scaffolded the stage and unknowingly put Murphy in some cross hairs if you pay attention. After Ciattarelli discussed his plans for police reform and enhancing access for minorities that wish to serve on the police force to be able to apply, Murphy cut in.


Phil Murphy could not help himself and went on a sidebar tirade about some Sheriff’s department defunding that allegedly occurred while Ciattarelli was a county Freeholder many years ago. Without even taking a breath, Murphy had to invoke the Holy of Holies, the so-called gun violence subject in the midst of a question on police reform in his own little non-sequitur:

“And lastly, at some point we have to talk about guns. I’m proud of our record to make NJ the strongest gun safety state in America. But, again I feel sometimes my opponent is running for Governor of Texas. He wants concealed carry. He wants more rounds in magazines. He voted against banning 50 caliber weapons, against universal background checks. That’s a big part of the law enforcement reality here as well and we have to get that out there.” – Phil Murphy

In a proud and smug fashion, Murphy started spitting out these talking points that are right from the playbooks of the AstroTurf  Commie Mommy groups that have supported him. Any intelligent person that actually knows of and is aware of New Jersey law, or anything about firearms for that matter, can easily dissect Murphy’s nothing commentary about Jack’s history. The allegations and attacks speak for themselves. Murphy was pandering to his anti-freedom audience.

Amanda Hoover from NJ Advance Media asked Murphy about policies surrounding marijuana in the state. The particular subject of interest, how the duty for police to inform the parents of minors should they be found in possession of the drug has been removed. The law does not permit the police to contact the parents of minors who are afoul of the law. This should be concerning.


“New Jersey has now legalized marijuana but right now as your opponent has ceded tonight, if a child is caught with marijuana for the first time, police cannot tell their parents they’ll never know about it. Do you think that part of the law endangers children and would you change it?”

Murphy’s response states this is about adult use of marijuana:

“This should be the same format for alcohol, tobacco, this is adult use cannabis. 21 years and over, period. The industry is being brought together as we speak, I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to have an accelerated expungement process over 360 thousand expungements to put lives again especially of young black men back on their feet. Again I got to this because of social justice and the carnage from the war on drugs. We have the widest white non-white gap of persons incarcerated of any American state and the biggest reason was low end drug crime, and that is why I got into this…”

Taking into consideration Murphy’s championing for the civil rights of those who were formerly arrested for low-level drug crimes, what does this say about his other policies? Right there he did say “especially of young black men” when talking about who needs to benefit most from such programs. Pair that with the statistic we were given earlier:

According to an ABC owned television station equity report overall New Jersey police departments arrest blacks nearly four times more than whites and are more likely to use physical force against blacks after traffic stops than they are with white drivers.

What does that mean with all the gun control laws that Murphy has pushed for since taking office? Statistically, so-called gun control laws are also disproportionately used against minorities and people of color. It’s impossible for Murphy to claim to be some sort of a social justice warrior by protecting and helping “young black men” by the expungement process and yet champion for more gun control laws which will imprison even more of the people he claims to be trying to help.


Murphy, as recently as September 26th was advocating for more freedom limiting laws in the Garden State when it comes to firearms in a Facebook post:

By requiring firearms safety training, banning military-style weapons, and holding the gun industry accountable, we’ll build a safer New Jersey for every community.

More laws will lead to more arrests of minorities Phil. You sir are a hypocrite. You cannot eat your cake and have it too.

Finally towards the end of the debate, an actual question on the Second Amendment did come up. Brian Taff one of the moderators asked a loaded and biased question of Ciattarelli concerning so-called “gun violence.”

“Mr. Ciattarelli, we promised we’d talk about gun violence we want to get to it tonight. Homicides by gun are up 15 % so far this year in New Jersey, as a former Assemblyman, we touched on this before, you voted against background checks, and you want to expand who can carry guns and concealed weapons. How are those strategies any way to reduce gun violence?”

With resounding support for the Second Amendment Jack Ciattarelli said what he’s said before on the subject:

“The Second Amendment, is the Second Amendment, is the Second Amendment, it’s not going anywhere. I think if it were up to Phil Murphy, he’d repeal the Second Amendment…”

Murphy interrupted to say “That’s not true.”

Ciattarelli continued:

“People have a constitutional right to own a firearm, he constantly demonizes law abiding and legal gun owners. Listen I would be tough on crime in every way, I will support the men and woman in blue who’s job has never been harder. There are a number of bills in the legislature that he want’s on his desk that the Democratic majority leadership will not put on his desk because they know it infringes on Second Amendment rights. What he won’t tell you about Jack Ciattarelli is that the last time I ran for reelection in the legislature in 2014, I was the only Republican to not be endorsed by the NRA.”


Murphy’s reply; “This is a fact. He supports concealed carry…” Jack interrupted “That’s not true.” Murphy continued, “He voted, you, in fact, you said for certain professions, like that really dangerous one realtors…you voted against background checks, you voted against banning 50 caliber weapons…”

Ciattarelli cut in over Murphy pointing at one of the core kernels when it comes to the right to self-defense:

“Talk to female realtors that do open houses.”

Murphy’s tongue-in-cheek comment about how being a realtor is “really dangerous” is something he needs to be taken to task on. Murphy constantly takes about being in support of the down-trodden and those in need. A people’s Governor. The fact of the matter is, it’s a very dangerous job to be a real estate agent.  To diminish the safety concerns of anyone that works within that profession is beyond hubris and shows a clear lack of understanding how the “real world” works. Governor Murphy is out of touch with the common person and his statements making fun of Ciattarelli’s statement of fact that the real estate profession is dangerous is off base. Essentially Murphy is against woman’s rights to self-defend, as he laughs off people’s concerns for their own safety. It’s easy to not worry about such things when you have armed guards.

Murphy’s drivel continued:

You voted against reducing bullets in magazines. We have the strongest gun safety laws in any state in America, you’re going to make us less safe.”

Ciattarelli gets back on point:

“Talk to people that replenish ATM machines and female realtors that sit in an open house all day by themselves.”


All Murphy had to say about just professions that are vulnerable to violent attack, never mind the peasants was:

“You’ve got to be kidding me…”

The debate ended with some pleasantries being exchanged between the candidates. There was really nothing ground breaking when it comes to the Second Amendment. Murphy pandered to his anti-civil rights base and Ciattarelli stayed the course as a freedom loving candidate. Murphy’s rhetoric was purposefully misleading and the cause celebs he brought up as ammunition against Ciattarelli amount to a big nothing burgher. To bring the the candidates into full perspective, the NRA has rated Phil Murphy with an “F” and Jack Ciattarelli with a “B+”.  If you’re a person that’s concerned about your civil liberties in the state of New Jersey, the choice should be simple. Jack really drove his message home when he said:

“The Second Amendment, is the Second Amendment, is the Second Amendment, it’s not going anywhere. I think if it were up to Phil Murphy, he’d repeal the Second Amendment…” – Jack Ciattarelli

If you did not get a chance to watch the debate when it aired, it can be viewed online HERE or in the embed below:

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