Editorial on New Jersey concealed carry gets a lot wrong

The state of New Jersey doesn’t like that it can no longer restrict people from getting a permit by demanding they show a good reason they should be allowed to do so. It’s a right, not a privilege the state can just bestow or deny based on a whim.

As a result, the state is scrambling to find a way to restrict concealed carry as much as possible while seemingly adhering to the Bruen decision.

Unsurprisingly, some support the new proposal. That includes the editorial board at NJ.com.

The problem is the board gets so much wrong in their editorial.

So we applaud the Legislature and the Murphy Administration for devising a new set of regulations that are fair, balanced, and tailored to withstand constitutional scrutiny – while dealing with the 300,000 new gun owners that have already applied for firearm permits.

Let’s pause here to consider that bursting pipeline of applicants, and allow the math to guide our next steps. Imagine the consequences of another 15,000 guns in each New Jersey county. Imagine thousands more in high-crime cities like Paterson, Newark and Trenton.

First, the law is about carry permits, not gun purchases. It’s unlikely that anywhere close to that many new guns will appear in each county because of the Bruen decision.

Second, let’s remember that laws only affect the law-abiding. New Jersey’s criminals have been getting guns for decades and carrying them around. They’re not going to be applying for permits, mostly because most of them can’t even lawfully buy a gun, much less get a permit.

As a result, it’s unlikely to have any negative impact on the crime rate in the state.

But more people carrying may well make cities like Newark, Paterson, and Trenton safer. Criminals will have to contend with armed citizens, after all, which means they may end up deciding violent crime isn’t a viable path forward, ergo these cities become safer.

[The NRA] will also object to the very rational standards for background checks, such as the requirement of four non-family character references that would have to be interviewed by law enforcement before permits are issued. Applicants who have been convicted of certain crimes – including the violation of a restraining order – would be disqualified from obtaining a carry permit.

That’s not a rational standard.

Someone who keeps to themselves may not have four non-family members they’d like to see interviewed about a carry permit. Hell, considering how contentious our politics are these days, I could see many people prefer folks not to know they even own a gun.

So how is it rational to require people to spill their own business to non-family members in such a way?

Further, if crime is such a pressing concern in New Jersey, as the editorial board claims, why would you want resources directed at interviewing people about folks not under investigation for criminal acts? It makes absolutely no sense.

And they will also challenge the new standards for licensing, which includes an increased fee of $200; and the requirement of liability insurance, which they will call onerous, even though it has withstood challenges in other states

No, it hasn’t withstood challenge in other states. The linked case is merely a judge that simply declined to issue an injunction blocking enforcement of the San Jose law. That’s just one, and even there the judge was inclined to issue the injunction with regard to the insurance requirement.

Further, the San Jose law can be met with relative ease by having a homeowners policy, which only covers accidental shootings at most. It’s still onerous, but it’s also different.

But by requiring liability insurance for concealed carry, New Jersey is basically requiring people to have an insurance policy that simply doesn’t exist. That is onerous.

As for the fee, that $200 requirement plus all the other requirements means that poor New Jersey residents will just be out of luck.

Finally, they use the term “states.” There’s precisely one such requirement on the books and that’s San Jose. Most other states have the sense to stay away from this kind of nonsense because it’s going to end up in court as a matter of course.

Honestly, the most impressive thing about this editorial is just how much they got wrong.

I expect bias in editorials. It’s kind of what they’re there for, after all, but this is beyond bias and into “don’t know what the hell you’re talking about” territory.