AP Photo/Seth Wenig
When you want rational discourse on guns, you don’t go to New Jersey to get it. I know that, and you know that. After all, the state is perhaps one of the most insane when it comes to enforcing laws, continually ignoring federal law and arresting people lawfully carrying weapons through the state, and that’s just the tip of the old iceberg.
Now, New Jersey is taking things to a whole new level. Lawmakers want to make it even more difficult to purchase a firearm legally.
Gov. Philip D. Murphy of New Jersey wants to put the state at the forefront of a movement to raise fees on gun permits in order to expand efforts to tackle gun violence and reduce the flow of illegal firearms.
Though New Jersey has strict gun control laws, its firearms fees have not changed since the mid-1960s, making it a bargain for gun owners. A firearm identification card costs $5, while a permit to own a firearm is $2. A permit to carry a gun costs $20.
New York City, which also has stringent gun laws, charges $340 to apply for a permit to own and carry a gun.
Mr. Murphy, a Democrat, has proposed fees that would be among the highest in the country. An identification card would cost $100, an owner’s permit would be $50 and a carry permit $400.
Now, the carry permit fee looks ridiculous, but the poor shouldn’t worry too much about that. It’s virtually impossible for many people to get a carry permit in the Garden state anyway. They could be giving them away, but without serious changes in the state, no one will get one regardless.
Murphy has plans for the money raised by this.
Though he is prohibited by state law from directing the new revenue toward specific programs, Mr. Murphy said it would go toward anti-violence initiatives.
“There’s no war on responsible gun owners,” Mr. Murphy said in an interview. “We can support the efforts of the attorney general, state troopers, county and local law enforcement, to do the stuff we need to do: track crime, track gun violence, combat trafficking of illegal guns.
“I was in Jersey City,” he said. “It’s at least $10 to get a dog license in Jersey City. It’s still $2 to get a permit to purchase a firearm in New Jersey.”
It sounds like the issue is that dog licenses are too expensive, not that gun permits are too cheap.
Of course, even a single penny is too expensive for a gun permit. No one should have to ask permission to exercise a basic constitutional right.
Oddly enough, not all of Murphy’s opposition is from the pro-gun camp. Even some of his allies in the State Legislature have concerns about passing what they see as a tax hike. That’s a good sign, not that I think it’ll make much of a difference in the long run.
Look, Murphy can claim there’s no war on gun owners in his state, and he may mean it.
What it is, though, is a war on the poor and most vulnerable citizens such as the elderly. As it stands, those people don’t have hundreds upon hundreds of dollars for the “standard” firearms. They’re not scraping up the cash for a Glock or Smith & Wesson M&P or a Sig or anything of the type. They’re getting Hi-Points and firearms along those lines. They’re buying inexpensive guns because they need something to use for self-defense.
Murphy’s proposal will jack up the cost of legally acquiring a firearm to put it out of reach for many people.
He’s taking a steaming dump on the poorest of his state, all while pretending he actually gives a damn about them.
I’m sorry, Governor, but if you care about the poor, stop making it even more difficult for them to exercise their God-given right to keep and bear arms in accordance with the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.