According to federal law, felons cannot be in possession of any firearm unless their rights have been fully restored. They can’t go into a gun store and purchase a firearm anywhere in the nation lawfully. It just can’t be done.
Especially in New Jersey.
The Garden State has worked hard at becoming one of the most gun-controlled states in the nation, restricting firearms in every way they can imagine. Yet has any of it worked?
Well, a recent plea agreement illustrates just how little it does.
A South Jersey ex-con found with dozens of guns, high-capacity magazines and ammo admitted having others buy guns for him, federal authorities said.
Darick Nollett, 32, who lives in Cumberland County near the Delaware Bay, caught the attention of law enforcement when he bought a “fuel filter” – a device commonly used to silence firearms — from China, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig said.
As a convicted felon, Nollett was prohibited from having weaponry, Honig said.
So he got straw purchasers to buy guns for him, she said.
A court-approved search of his Heislerville home in May 2020 turned up a trove of guns and more, the U.S. attorney said.
Rather than risk a conviction at a trial, Nollett took a deal from the government, pleading guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Camden to “aiding and abetting the making of a false statement during the purchase of a firearm,” Honig said.
In all, Nollett had 33 firearms on top of the “fuel filter” he’d acquired.
(And you thought you could buy one of those things advertised on Facebook and law enforcement wouldn’t know about it? That’s adorable.)
Nollett knew he couldn’t buy firearms, so he simply got someone else to do it. Other crooks have connections on the black market and buy them there. I’ve seen guns advertised on the dark web as well.
It’s not difficult to get a firearm despite all the laws in place meant to keep people like Nollett disarmed.
The truth of the matter is that criminals essentially laugh in the face of gun control laws. They’re not deterred by them. Nollett wasn’t, and there’s no reason to believe anyone else would be either.
New Jersey has so many gun control laws in place that if any state were going to prevent this kind of thing through legislation, it would be them. And yet, Nollett got firearms with relative ease; 33 of them, to be exact. Had he not tried to get a backwater suppressor from China, he likely would still have all of them and his freedom.
So long as guns exist, criminals will obtain them. They’ll get someone else to buy them–and that’s not always easy to detect, contrary to what many may think–or they’ll steal them from those who did everything by the book.
I mean, they’re criminals. Why would anyone think they’d obey the laws on getting guns?
The truth of the matter is that they won’t, and this is just a prime illustration of how poor gun laws actually perform their stated function.