This Is What New Jersey (And YOU) Are Up Against! Bad Bills Gonna Steamroll Liberty!

Photo Courtesy of the National Shooting Sports Foundation

You wouldn’t guess it based on the way the politicians behave, but the Statue of Liberty is actually located in New Jersey. Not that New York is any better, but she weeps for the down-trodden from the land of diners. The recent New Jersey anti-gun package of bills is something I was really not going to write about again for a little while. I’ve explored this topic two other times recently here on Bearing Arms and once over at AmmoLand. Both Tom and Cam have weighed in on these proposals more than once. But, alas, a soon to be former lawmaker made some of the dumbest remarks that were quoted in an NJ 101.5 article, that I just can’t help myself. Failed Assemblywoman Joann Downey, the primary sponsor of A.5647 “requires mandatory storage of firearms and renders self-defense obsolete” had some stunningly obtuse remarks to make.

Assemblywoman Joann Downey, D-Monmouth, its lead sponsor, said it is better to rely on alternatives such as locking doors, perhaps installing an alarm system and having quick access to a phone to call the police for help.

“To leave it to the professionals to have the guns would be much better,” Downey said. “Again, it might not make people feel, you know, safer but there are other things hopefully that they can do.”

The first thing that I’d like to discuss about the Assemblywoman is that she did not get reelected. Her, nor fellow Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling from the 11th district, both managed to not get reelected. Senator Vin Gopal, also from the 11th, only marginally won reelection by pulling in 52% of the votes. The message should be clear, Downey and Houghtaling, “you’re fired!” Gopal, “you’re on thin ice buddy!” And the rest of the lawmakers, take notice!

At this point, to even entertain the storage bill, regardless of the other inconvenient facts we’ll discuss, this would be directly going against the will of the people. I looked at all the sponsors and co-sponsors of the bills in the following package:

A.1280/S.103 bans firearms .50 Caliber and greater.
A.1292/S.1481 requires registration of handgun ammunition.
A.3686/S.372 requires new residents to register firearms brought into the state.
A.5030/S.2169 requires mandatory training to get an FID card.  Renewable every four years.
A.5647/S.3757 requires mandatory storage of firearms and renders self-defense obsolete.
A.5787/S.3826 requires all new handguns to be equipped with microstamping.  This is nothing more than a clever way to block the future sale of traditional handguns.
A.6218 allows the Attorney General to bring cause of action for certain public nuisance violations arising from sale or marketing of firearms.

While some of the lawmakers that are supporting these measures did get good support from their constituents, the election was not a slam dunk, by no means.

The Senators had a much stronger command of their districts, with the exception of Gopal who underperformed by three points less than the 2nd runner up for being last (Vin, if you’re reading this, we should chat. #callme). Senator Weinberg did not re-run, opting to retire, so her bills aught to be tossed too.

On the Assembly side, as noted Houghtaling and Downey screwed the pooch and hopefully we’ll never hear from them again. Assemblyman Holley and Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle both ran in the Senate primaries and both of them failed to secure their party’s nomination, or reelection in the Assembly. Assemblyman Johnson successfully took a Senate seat. Of the remaining members of the Assembly that are supporting these bills, only two edged out votes in the percentages above 31.6. All the rest were in the low 30’s or 20’s with Assemblyman Tully pulling up the rear with 25.9%.

Yes, the election was for the next session and yes, the people have spoken. Regardless, let all these lawmakers take a chance to pause and really think about what they’re doing. The 2021 election was no big win for the anti-freedom caucus, and with that comes less support for their progressive policies. I honestly hope to see the Durr train continue to wreck firmly seated anti-freedom politicians’ careers. Toot, toot! Go get em’ Ed Durr!

Back to Downey. Downey openly said “To leave it to the professionals to have the guns would be much better…Again, it might not make people feel, you know, safer but there are other things hopefully that they can do.” It’s that kind of hubris and disgusting attitude that got Downey looking through the political want-ads. Shall we lay down a little schooling on Downey?

In Warren v. DC, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals found the following concerning the duty of the police.

Appellants Carolyn Warren, Miriam Douglas, and Joan Taliaferro in No. 79-6, and appellant Wilfred Nichol in No. 79-394 sued the District of Columbia and individual members of the Metropolitan Police Department for negligent failure to provide adequate police services. The respective trial judges held that the police were under no specific legal duty to provide protection to the individual appellants and dismissed the complaints for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Super. Ct.Civ.R. 12(b)(6). However, in a split decision a three-judge division of this court determined that appellants Warren, Taliaferro and Nichol were owed a special duty of care by the police department and reversed the trial court rulings. The division unanimously concluded that appellant Douglas failed to fit within the class of persons to whom a special duty was owed, and affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of her complaint. The court en banc, on petitions for rehearing, vacated the panel’s decision. After rearguments, notwithstanding our sympathy for appellants who were the tragic victims of despicable criminal acts, we affirm the judgments of dismissal.

Sympathies do nothing in court cases unless they’re fortified in the opinion.

At the very end of the opinion on Castle Rock v. Gonzales, heard in the Supreme Court of the United States, the following was stated:

Although the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1871, 17 Stat. 13 (the original source of §1983), did not create a system by which police departments are generally held financially accountable for crimes that better policing might have prevented, the people of Colorado are free to craft such a system under state law. Cf. DeShaney, 489 U. S., at 203.15

By no stretch of the imagination am I doing this subject its full justice. Suffice it to say that Downey is wrong in telling her soon to be ex-constituents and the public at large that they should leave self-defense up to the police. They have zero duty to protect. Beyond that case law, Downey should probably acquaint herself with the Heller decision. Assemblywoman, while you’re reflecting on your election loss, download Heller and read it a few times prior to trying to spring back into the political arena. If you come back as a pro Second Amendment candidate in the future, I’ll support you. But you have to pinky swear you won’t trample liberties.

From Heller:

The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment. The District’s total ban on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an entire class of “arms” that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense. Under any of the standards of scrutiny the Court has applied to enumerated constitutional rights, this prohibition—in the place where the importance of the lawful defense of self, family, and property is most acute—would fail constitutional muster. Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional.

Even from Breyer’s dissent:

And requiring safety devices such as trigger locks, or imposing safe-storage requirements would interfere with any self-defense interest while simultaneously leaving operable weapons in the hands of owners (or others capable of acquiring the weapon and disabling the safety device) who might use them for domestic violence or other crimes.

I don’t like to name call, even without Heller, the storage proposal, as well as all the other proposals are moronic. They are.

Friend, fellow Second Amendment supporter, and teal wearing superhero from the DC Project (AkA Teal Team Two) did weigh in on some of the proposals in the article.

Theresa Inacker, New Jersey state director for the gun-rights DC Project, said the bill making firearms purchaser identification cards valid for four years, rather than indefinitely, is unworkable given that it has already taken her as long as six and a half months to get a handgun permit in New Jersey.

“These timeframes and these ideas about renewals – fix your system first,” Inacker said. “Fix your house first.”

As the liberties of the citizens of New Jersey dissipate into thin air while anti-freedom caucus members attack what’s left of our civil rights, take a moment and think about what you can do for New Jersey. If you don’t live in New Jersey, that’s okay, I’m sure the lawmakers would love to hear from people in other states that don’t want to see these policies escape from the confines of the Garden State.

If you’re so inclined, you can visit the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs (ANJRPC) page noting every lawmaker in New Jersey and their email addresses. Tell them the 7 bills being considered now, and all anti-gun polices are unconstitutional. That you don’t support the bullying that’s occurring now, in this lame-duck session, or ever. That you stand with your countrymen in solidarity! Be respectful, but firm!

Many thanks to those of you who decide to put New Jersey to task, from within or without the confines of New Jersey! We need all the help we can get, this is one of the many Leia moments New Jersey has to put out there, be our Obi-Wan; “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.”

The most recent ANJRPC alert:

Assembly Committee Passes Anti-Gun Package – Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs (anjrpc.org)

Email Alert Signup page:

Email Only Request – Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs (anjrpc.org)