New Jersey Attorney General actually cleaning things up in Paterson?

(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

New Jersey has been an anti-freedom cesspool for decades. To really illustrate how much the New Jersey powers that be despise liberty, the Garden State never actually ratified the Second Amendment. Further, in the state’s Constitution, there’s no “Second Amendment,” but rather a reference to being able to defend self and property. The funny part about that is how did the founders of New Jersey presume we were supposed to be able to defend self and property – further, how does N.J.’s ruling class of today justify this portion of New Jersey’s law? The rampant freedom hating trickled down to Paterson, New Jersey, where rumors were circulating of maleficence concerning firearm related permitting. Paterson’s Police Department has been doing such an awful job policing, the Attorney General of New Jersey took it over about a month ago.


New Jersey police departments have been in the spotlight before concerning bad practices with firearm permitting. Undercover videos obtained by the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, a number of years ago, showed severe dereliction of duty in Orange, N.J.. The officer filmed admitted to different types of discrimination and what was being said was appalling.

In Paterson, things – overall – were so bad that the AG stepped in and took over the entire department

Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin today announced that his Office is superseding the Paterson Police Department, and assuming control of all police functions, including internal affairs investigations, effective immediately. Isa Abbassi, a twenty-five-year veteran of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and its current Chief of Strategic Initiatives, will become the Officer-in-Charge of the Paterson Police Department in May, having been appointed to that position by Attorney General Platkin. In the interim, command of the department will be assumed by key members of the Attorney General’s staff and leaders from within the New Jersey State Police (NJSP).

Platkin said of the situation in Paterson, “Due to a number of events and concerns relating to the Paterson Police Department, there is a crisis of confidence in law enforcement in the City of Paterson.”

A number of rumors have been circulating and people have been reporting that they’ve been having issues getting their firearm related paperwork in Paterson. In New Jersey, in order to purchase a long gun, one must obtain a firearms identification card from their local police department or State Police barracks if they’re un-incorporated. Want to buy a pistol? One must obtain a pistol purchaser permit, also from the same issuing authorities. Permits to carry require a similar, more expensive, mother-may-I process. Some individuals reported waiting over six months, and up to and over a year, to hear back from or get permitting issues reconciled.


After waiting a few weeks after the Attorney General took over the Paterson Police Department, I reached out to their office, addressing the point of contact on the press release. My April 15th, 2023 email as follows:

Attention Sharon Lauchaire:

I’m writing concerning a press release dated March 27, 2023. I’m a freelance writer and hold bylines at multiple online news sources – linktree below – and would like some information if possible.

The press release was related to the OAG taking over the Paterson Police Department (Attorney General Platkin Assumes Control of Paterson Police Department – New Jersey Office of Attorney General (

Because I cover many Second Amendment related issues, I have received a number of tips that the Paterson Police Department – prior to take over – has been extremely derelict in their duties when it comes to issuing firearm related paperwork. I’ve been told that the department has been slow rolling issuing pistol purchase permits, firearm identification cards, and the issuance of permits to carry.

Can I please get a comment from the Attorney General for publication concerning this and get a commitment from his office that all firearms related paperwork will be executed and issued in a timely manner, within the statutory allotted time constraints set forth by the legislature? I hope to get copy out mid week the week of April 17th on this.

Thank you kindly in advance for your reply. I look forward to hearing back.

Warmest Regards,
John Petrolino


After waiting five days, I decided to follow up, since I received no answer:

Attention Office of Attorney General/Attorney General Platkin:

The courtesy of a reply concerning my inquiry in the below email would be greatly appreciated. Not only am I a journalist, I’m a taxpayer too.

Warmest Regards,
John Petrolino

In that second email, I did send a message directly to Platkin’s email address via CC, in addition to the generic OAG address. Regardless if that was enough to garner a response, or a reminder that I help pay their paychecks, I did receive a response. The response is not addressing exactly what I asked, but it’s about as close to what I’d expect from them. They were kind enough to reply, so that’s appreciated, and we seem to be on a first name basis – I’m moving up in the world.

Hi John,

The Paterson Police Department has been regularly processing applications for firearms identification cards, pistol purchase permits and permits to carry a concealed firearm. This year alone more than 300 permits have been processed along with an additional 61 permits to carry. In 2021, 389 applications were filed with 463 completed. A significant number of permits have not been processed due to applicants submitting incorrect or late paperwork. In situations where information is needed to complete the application, the applicant has been notified. Those applications cannot move forward but are considered to be active. Since March 27, when the Office of the Attorney General superseded the police department, it has been reviewing operations and processes to improve all facets of the Paterson Police Department.

Thank you,

Rob Rowan
Public Information Officer
Office of The Attorney General


Has the Attorney General stepped up to the plate to swing concerning the issuance of firearms related paperwork? Hard to tell for sure, but there’s no denying that people are more than dissatisfied with how this civil liberty has been handled in Paterson. We can only hope that we can take Platkin’s Public Information Officer at his word, and that the AG will continue to “improve all facets of the Paterson Police Department,” as our correspondence indicates.

Until there’s been a sufficient delta of time, I’ll be keeping my ear to the rail on this topic, and try to ascertain if things have improved. We’ll have to trust that AG Platikin will do right by the people of Paterson. Any applicants out there that are having issues in Paterson – or any jurisdiction in N.J. for that matter -, the “Report an issue” portal with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General on civil rights violations can be reached HERE.

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