New Jersey Gun Control Does Nothing to Prevent Man's Machine Gun Possession

AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File

Let's start by noting that I believe every American should be able to walk into a gun store and walk out with a machine gun if they've got the money to pay for it. No waiting periods, no special permission from law enforcement, no fees, nothing at all standing in the way.

But unfortunately, the powers that be seem to disagree with me. While you can get them lawfully, they're not easy and they're not affordable.

That doesn't seem to stop criminals in the least these days as media reports are full of people being arrested with full-auto switch equipped firearms. In short, machine guns.

Gun control is clearly the answer, to hear the usual suspects tell it.

Well, New Jersey has some of the most extensive gun control laws in the nation. It doesn't seem to help.

A Somers Point man has been charged with possessing unregistered machine guns and other items, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger said Wednesday.


Police arrested [Michael John] James on Feb. 27 at his home in the 100 block of Colwick Drive following an investigation by the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office, Somers Point police, U.S. Office of Homeland Security and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Prosecutor's Office said in a prior release.

Court documents show that in February, U.S. Customs and Border Protection intercepted two packages that contained suspected drugs addressed to James' residence. On Feb. 27, investigators conducted a controlled delivery of both packages, observed James bring them into his residence and executed a search warrant, during which they seized dozens of firearms and ballistics items.

Among those items were three machine guns, a weapon modified to be shorter than a standard rifle, a weapon modified to be shorter than a standard shotgun and three silencers, documents show.

James, shockingly, was also found to be in possession of prescription pills, apparently without the appropriate prescription.


Criminals are usually so law-abiding, after all.

Now, we don't know exactly what these "machine guns" were precisely. Were they AR-15s that had been modified? Were they full-auto switch equipped handguns? Not a clue.

However, what we do know is that this was someone who really didn't care what the National Firearms Act said because five of the firearms found violated that law.

And here I was told gun control worked.

Of course, this is a guy who got his hand on prescription pills illegally. If there's any product more tightly controlled than guns, it's prescription medication, and yet he had that as well. 

What many anti-gunners fail to realize is that while we've long had a drug problem that has been acknowledged and understood to some degree or another, guns can easily be traded via the same mechanisms. 

Gun control, like drug laws, don't stop the trafficking of guns or drugs. At best, they allow you to penalize those possessing them against the wishes of the government, but you're not going to stop them.

The failed War on Drugs should provide ample testimony to that.

The main difference is that there's an inarguablely legitimate use for firearms in private hands. The right of self-defense is a basic human right, one which is closely related to the right to keep and bear arms. Without the means to defend yourself, you cannot really have a right to do so, after all.

Criminals are going to get guns, but gun control muddles the right to self-defense by making it harder to have those means.

New Jersey has done just that for years, and yet we've got people like this (allegedly) who aren't bothered by those laws at all. They never are and never will be.

It's why gun control could never work.

In fact, if you find a world where it will, it'll be a world that doesn't "need" it. After all, that'll be a world where everyone follows the rules anyway.

Such a place does not exist, though, so let's deal with reality, New Jersey. You know, just to shake things up.