AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Constitutional rights are just that, rights. You don’t have to beg your government to allow you to exercise them; you just exercise them. Otherwise, they become privileges, and since rights like the right to keep and bear arms are natural rights because we’re living, breathing humans, trying to turn them into privileges becomes a huge problem for many of us.

Not that New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy cares about any of that.

Instead, he’s on a personal crusade to require people in his state who want to buy a gun to have to fork out a whole lot more money.

Gov. Phil Murphy is once again taking aim at firearms sales in New Jersey, asking lawmakers to significantly raise permit fees and enact new taxes on guns and ammunition.

The governor on Tuesday renewed a call for New Jersey to raise fees for permits and licenses needed to buy and sell guns in the Garden State, which have remained the same since the 1960s.

“It is actually cheaper to get a permit to purchase a handgun — two bucks — than it is to get a dog license in many of our communities,” Murphy said during his second annual budget address at the Statehouse in Trenton.

Then maybe some of these communities need to lower the cost of buying a dog.

Just a thought.

Draft legislation obtained by NJ Advance Media last year showed Murphy was seeking to raise the cost for handgun purchase permits from $2 to $50; firearms identification cards from $5 to $100; handgun carry permits from $50 to $400; retail gun dealer licenses from $50 to $500; and wholesaler/manufacturer licenses from $150 to $1,500, among other fee hikes.

This year, Murphy is pushing a similar fee proposal and also asking lawmakers to enact a 2.5 percent excise tax on gun sales and a 10 percent tax on ammunition, according to a spokeswoman for the state Treasury.

No one with half a brain thinks this will do anything to stem the tide of violence in New Jersey.

After all, why would it? This is a moneymaking scheme concocted to penalize a disfavored group in the state. It’s not about public safety, but revenue creation on the backs of potential gun owners.

Meanwhile, the poorest in New Jersey, the very people who need guns the most, will now find it even more difficult to purchase a firearm as the costs will increase by orders of magnitude.

Murphy and many of his anti-gun allies like to present themselves as the champions of the poor, but they see no problem generating revenue off the desperation of those very same poor.

All while criminals are continuing to buy and sell guns without any such licensing.

That’s the kicker in this whole thing. Everyone knows–yes, even Gov. Phil Murphy–that criminals are going out and buying guns without undergoing any of this nonsense. He knows this will only bind the law-abiding.

What people like Murphy don’t understand is that you can only push so far. Then the law-abiding decide it’s not worth it anymore and no longer abide by the laws.

Or maybe he does, and that’s what he’s counting on.

At this point, it could go either way.

However, I do want to point out that Murphy isn’t in favor of requiring a license before you purchase a computer (freedom of speech) or of purchasing a holy book (freedom of religion), only purchasing a gun (right to keep and bear arms).

And people wonder why the Second Amendment is called a second-class right.