NJ Candidates Use Scare Tactics Over Gun Range Opening

One of the challenges many shooters throughout this country face isn’t buying a gun. With the exception of a handful of states, a purchase is relatively straightforward. A bit of a pain in the rear, but straightforward.

No, the issue many face is finding a convenient place to shoot.

In Wayne, NJ, capitalism looks to take care of that thanks to the opening of an indoor gun range.

Unfortunately, despite local leaders signing off on the plan to open the range, Democrats running for state office are latching onto this as an issue and are wanting to block the opening of the range.

Three Democratic state legislative candidates have denounced a gun range that will be built on Route 23 South, saying a loophole in state law gives people easy access to firearms.

The Planning Board Aug. 28 approved a state-of-the-art gun range with 15 shooting stalls on the former Fuddruckers property. No variance was required so residents within 200 yards of the facility did not have to be notified of the application.

State Legislative District 40 candidates Paul Vagianos, Christine Ordway and Thomas Duch have come out against the shooting range.

At issue are what these candidates claim is a lack of safety precautions that will protect residents in the range’s area.

You see, anyone with a valid license will be able to rent a firearm for use at the range after watching a gun safety video. To these candidates, that’s insufficient because…well, because.

“Municipalities should not approve any gun ranges until Trenton closes this loophole,” Ordway said in a statement. “We must take steps to protect our residents with more than a short safety video.”

Bear in mind that these rentals won’t be taken from the range. They’ll be under the supervision of trained safety personnel at all times in addition to the video. They’ll be indoors, thus making it far less likely for a stray round to actually do anything with the neighborhood around the range.

In short, there’s no loophole. Ordway and her fellow candidates are simply grasping at straws because they’re part of the crowd that thinks guns are bad.

The problem is, these candidates are getting in the way of gun education. People learn how to safely handle firearms at gun ranges. The four rules of firearm safety aren’t complicated. They don’t require an all day class in order for reasonable people to understand them. But there’s more to handling a firearm than learning to keep the booger hook off the bang switch and not to flash folks with your muzzle. Those are the things learned on a range.

The fact is that these three candidates haven’t presented any real evidence that anyone is in danger. While the article notes that a couple of people committed suicide at a range last year and that six people have been hurt on New Jersey gun ranges between September 2014 and July 2016–which seems like an awfully arbitrary date range to me–it misses a couple of points.

Primarily, six accidental injuries in two years are easily six too many, but it lacks any scale. How many people were using New Jersey gun ranges during that period? While it’s difficult to tell, it’s not hard to estimate that out of tens of thousands of shooters who used gun ranges in New Jersey, the idea of six injuries is still a fairly low rate.

Further, there’s no information indicating that any of these injuries took place outside of the range, which is what these candidates are kvetching about.

While shooting has some inherent dangers, so does everything else in life. The Wayne, NJ range is doing what it can to mitigate those dangers. Too bad politicians looking to score points with a firearm-ignorant electorate can’t see the reality of what they’re doing.

Or do they see it and just simply not care?

Hat tip: Cam & Company.