We all know New Jersey is a bastion of anti-gun sentiment. It’s a deep-blue Democratic state that accepts carry rights, though you need to show a “justifiable need,” which has been the source of ire and mockery from Second Amendment supporters. Arguably, it’s an unconstitutional provision, one that was recently struck down in Washington, D.C., but the fight to put this portion of many “may-issue (anti-gun)” states’ carry laws in the crosshairs has been a steep climb. The Supreme Court has refused to hear arguments in two cases, where this portion was directly addressed. No dice.
Yet, moving away from the legal sphere, you would think that if you dealt with protecting the nation from terrorism, and working at a site that has been threatened by terrorists, would be good enough reason for one to have a concealed carry permit. Well, that’s not apparently what New Jersey thinks, and for those serving in our military to boot (via NJ101.5):
When it comes to firearms, Lt. Col. Terry S. Russell has more knowledge and training than most people in New Jersey. The 27-year U.S. Army soldier holds a senior position at the Picatinny Arsenal in Wharton.
But neither his expertise — nor the fact that he works at a military site that has been under threat of terrorist attacks — were enough for the state to grant him a concealed-carry permit.
In denying his application for a concealed-carry permit, Oceanport Police Chief Daniel W. Barcus said Russell was unable to demonstrate “justifiable need” because there had been no specific attacks or threats made directly on him.
To legally carry concealed firearms in New Jersey, residents have to apply to their local police for a permit demonstrating such a need. But critics of the state’s strict gun laws say this results in very few people other than acting and retired law enforcement officials getting approval for such permits.
“I have been fully trained and qualified, at a minimum annually, to skillfully employ handguns and rifles,” Russell explains.
In addition, he’s been “vetted through the Department of Defense security office every five years for the past 25 years” to have Top Secret Sensitive Compartmented Information clearance.” An attachment to his application shows that he already holds a concealed carry permit in Texas.
This is absolutely ridiculous. The radio station added that New Jersey’s Attorney General, Robert Loughy, had eased the state’s stringent carry law provisions for those facing “serious threats.” This was after an abusive ex-boyfriend murdered Carol Bowne in Berlin Township last year. She had obtained a restraining order and installed a security system at her home, but was waiting for months to be issued a firearm identification card, which is required for a firearms purchase in the state.
Terrorism doesn’t meet the requirements of the justifiable need provision in New Jersey—just think about that.