Navy Sailors Charged In NJ Gun Trafficking Case

Matt York

The state of New Jersey has some of the toughest gun control laws in the country. They’re tougher than a lot of people realize. I mean, when I tease New Jersey folks they should move to a freer state like Massachusetts or Illinois, I’m not actually wrong.

All those gun control laws, we’re told, are necessary to keep bad people from getting guns. After all, things like gun trafficking aren’t really things, apparently.

How is that working for them?

One active-duty Navy sailor and one former sailor have been charged with conspiring to traffic “dozens” of guns after they purchased firearms in Georgia that were later used in New Jersey-area violent crimes.

Elijah Isaiah Boykin, the active-duty sailor, and Elijah Keashon Barnes, who was discharged in June of 2020 for repeatedly violating military law, were indicted Tuesday, according to the Justice Department.

“Federal law prohibits the making of false statements and misrepresentations to licensed firearms dealers,” acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine said in a Tuesday statement. “Individuals who use deception to buy guns intended for other people will face severe consequences, including imprisonment and the loss of valuable civil rights.”

Boykin, 25, of Palmetto, Georgia, and Barnes, 21, of Newark, New Jersey, purchased more than two dozen guns from federally licensed firearms dealers in Georgia and Virginia under Boykin’s name for a combined price of more than $17,000 over the course of four months between April 2020 and August 2020, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Nah. Can’t be. These two must be innocent.

Why do I say that?

Well, because I have it on good authority that gun control works, and if it works, why would these two get involved in gun trafficking when they knew it was illegal? I mean, if gun control works, then this simply couldn’t have happened. Not the way they claim.

Except, it apparently did.

Now, both these men deserve their day in court and are innocent until proven guilty. However, if they are actually guilty–or anyone is guilty–it kind of proves one of our points about gun control. Namely that such measures only create an incentive for people to provide guns to the black market. They wouldn’t have done it had there been no money in it and there wouldn’t have been any money in it if it weren’t illegal in the first place.

There will always be a demand for guns and so long as there is a demand, you’re going to have people who will meet that demand. Whether they steal them from law-abiding gun owners or traffic them from out of state, the truth is that you’re not going to keep the guns out of criminal hands.

So, instead of that, maybe it’s time to start looking at approaches that don’t encroach on people’s rights and may actually improve people’s lives. After all, once they know they don’t need to turn to a life of crime, maybe they’ll actually do something with themselves instead of looking for new and uninteresting ways to end up in prison.

But that would make too much sense for the state of New Jersey, wouldn’t it?