What Murphy's Proposed Ban On .50 Caliber Guns Proves

(AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy stated on Thursday that it was time to “re-established ourselves as the quintessential gun safety state.” He said this after trotting out a handful of anti-Second Amendment proposals.

Of course, anti-Second Amendment rhetoric is normal coming from Murphy. He’s vehemently anti-gun and doesn’t try to hide that fact from anyone. He’s pretty proud of it, all things considered.

However, what he may not have thought about is how one of his proposals, a proposed ban on .50 caliber firearms, disproves a pile of anti-gun arguments he and his buddies in the gun control movement have been making for years.

First, the proposals:

Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday urged state lawmakers to pass a new round of gun-control laws in New Jersey over the next few weeks, having secured support for the plans from one of the state’s top lawmakers.

Gathered outside Metuchen Borough Hall with parents and student activists, state Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, D-Middlesex, joined Murphy to promote the bills, which would mandate a safety course for gun owners, ban .50 caliber guns, and create standards for active shooter drills in schools and take other actions.

This is the third package of gun-control measures Murphy has pushed since taking office in 2018 and one of the first major initiatives he is undertaking after winning re-election last month in a closer-than-expected race.

“We have re-established ourselves as the quintessential gun safety state,” Murphy said at the event.

However, this isn’t about gun safety. This is about the fact that Murphy doesn’t like the idea of people having guns, and I can back that up, too.

See, his proposed ban on .50 caliber firearms shows all of this, as I previously said. But how?

Well, let’s start with looking at crime. Gun control proponents often argue that we need “common-sense legislation” in order to reduce so-called gun crime, right?

Then why ban .50 caliber firearms?

Firearms with that large of a bore diameter tend to also be too large to be used often in crime. While the Desert Eagle is popular with Hollywood bad guys, in real life those monsters are too difficult to conceal. That makes them a bad option for when you need to walk around armed on the streets or when you want to slip into a store without raising alarms.

The truth is that we don’t really see .50 caliber guns used in much of any crime. Sure, they’re scary to politicians and even law enforcement, but we’re not really seeing them ever used for any of those scary purposes. In fact, they’re most often used for long-distance target shooting, the kind of activity few would object to.

Now, if .50 caliber was popping up at a lot of crime scenes, that would be one thing. I’d still oppose a ban, but I’d get where Murphy was coming from. They’re not, though, so this isn’t about public safety.

If it were, he’d be far more likely to ban 9mm or .40 caliber. Those at least show up in criminal hands regularly, as opposed to .50 caliber.

Further, depending on how legislation is written, it may well hurt muzzleloader hunters more than anyone else in the state. After all, a lot of black powder guns are .50 or even larger, and they may well be covered in such legislation unless lawmakers take great pains to explicitly exclude such weapons.

That seems awfully odd from the crowd that insists the Second Amendment was referring to muskets, now doesn’t it?

At the end of the day, this one proposal illustrates perfectly how Murphy’s hoplophobia has nothing to do with public safety and everything to do with his irrational hatred toward the Second Amendment.