We already knew that Governor Phil Murphy hated guns. His signing of a slew of recent gun control bills made that obvious in case anyone didn’t know. Of course, those laws didn’t stop a recent shooting in Trenton, NJ, but whatever, right?
What we didn’t necessarily know was just how much he hated poor people.
I mean, he may pretend he’s a champion of the little guy, but if that’s the case, why does he want so badly to make it too expensive for poor people to be armed in his state?
Gov. Phil Murphy is proposing to significantly hike fees for buying and selling firearms in New Jersey, a move that would raise the cost of gun permits and licenses for the first time in half a century and likely trigger a legal challenge from Second Amendment advocates.
Murphy, a Democrat who has already signed half a dozen gun control bills in his first few months in office, has publicly called for raising such fees.
The plan would 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 hikes.
Scott Bach, the director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, said the move was “intended to punish law-abiding gun owners for the acts of criminals and madmen and discourage the exercise of Second Amendment rights.”
“It also has the unintended consequence of denying that basic civil right to lower-income populations,” he said.
In some cases, the changes would nearly double the cost of purchasing a firearm, some of which retail for less than $200.
Muphy argues that it’s more expensive to get a license to own a dog in most towns in New Jersey than it is to get a gun.
I counter that argument by pointing out two facts. One, dogs are more expensive to upkeep than a gun and, as a result, tend to be owned by those with disposable income anyway. The second and most important counter, however, is that owning a dog isn’t a constitutionally protected right.
Anyone with half a brain can look at these measures to see they are going to hurt poor people the most. Even for someone looking for a nightstand gun, the cost will rise from a mere $7–still too much for a right, but manageable for most folks–to $150. That’s a lot of money, especially considering how long some people have to save in order to buy a Hi-Point at a similar price.
Meanwhile, the poor are those who are most likely to live in high-crime neighborhoods where their lives can be in danger simply for looking the wrong day down the street. These are also retired people who may have assets worth stealing but little actual income anymore.
In other words, Phil Murphy wants to make gun ownership in New Jersey only practical for higher-income folks. He’s made it clear he doesn’t care about the safety of lower-income people.
Oh, and what will these measures do to prevent crime? Nothing.
For him, it really is about not liking guns in citizens’ hands and little else.