Murphy's anti-gun measures targets the wrong people

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy isn’t likely to be mistaken as pro-gun at any point in this lifetime. I’m pretty sure he’d openly advocate complete and total gun bans if he thought he could get away with it.


He can’t, though, so instead he simply pushes for more and more regulation.

It’s highly unlikely Murphy has ever seen a gun control rule he didn’t want for New Jersey, actually.

But there’s a problem with this thinking. It means that he’s looking at things wrong. He’s looking at targeting the wrong people with his anti-gun efforts.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy should spend more time with legal gun owners at gun ranges than in the halls of Trenton’s Statehouse talking to likeminded people who really don’t know a hunting rifle from a handgun.

The governor’s misguided and ill-informed gun policies aren’t taking illegal guns out of the hands of criminals in New Jersey, but making law abiding gun owners criminals.

Governor Phil Murphy signed new gun control measures since taking office, aimed at reducing firearm ownership in New Jersey.

Those measures include banning things beyond guns, including bb guns and slingshots. New Jersey now leads the nation in restricting the second amendment, thanks in part to Murphy, but also due to his predecessors and the Democrat-controlled legislature.

Honestly, while BB guns and slingshots can, in fact, be misused–much like anything else, they’re not responsible for firearm-related fatalities in any appreciable way. The odd incident might happen, but those are the exceptions, not the rules.

Yet what these two types of weapons do is lay the groundwork for firearm ownership later down the line. If you put an end to people popping targets with slingshots, those people are less likely to buy a 10/22 down the line.


Governor Phil Murphy approved a series of laws designed to limit gun access and ownership in the state. The legislation introduces a new permit process, restricts magazine capacities, and enhances background checks. The move has drawn strong reactions from both proponents and opponents of gun control.

Under the new laws, prospective gun buyers must undergo a comprehensive psychological evaluation and complete a state-approved safety course. The measures also limit magazine capacities to 10 rounds and require universal background checks for all gun sales, including private transactions.

Of course, these rules won’t stop these things from being recovered by police in New Jersey. That’s because criminals simply do not obey the laws.

They’ll get magazines from outside of the state or modify legal magazines obtained within the state.

Guns can be smuggled into New Jersey easily enough–and that would be true if every state had New Jersey-like gun control laws on the books.

But most of what we see here are, in fact, rules that target lawful gun owners without understanding that criminals will bypass these rules easily.

For example, a psychological evaluation? Does anyone really think a criminal will undergo any such thing? Of course they won’t. Yet those who want to lawfully own firearms without fear of prosecution will have to subject themselves to such a thing–something that wouldn’t be tolerated for any other right.


Yet we need to remember that, for people like Murphy, lawful gun ownership isn’t something worthy of respect. They don’t want you to own guns because if you do own them, you may not have to rely on the state nearly as much.

People who have guns are less likely to live in fear, contrary to what many anti-gunners claim. If we hear breaking glass, we don’t need to wait for the police to arrive and pray they get there in time. We know we can protect ourselves until law enforcement gets there.

That means we’re not going to bow down to other things they want to push, often in the name of public safety.

So it’s not surprising that Murphy is pushing to make it harder for law-abiding folks to own guns. It’s not shocking he’s targeting the “wrong” people here. I put that word in quotes because I think he knows exactly who he’s targeting.

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