Don’t let anti-gun New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy fool you—specifically his sudden reversal on gun shops in the state remaining open during the COVID-19 pandemic; he’s still as anti-Second Amendment as a politician can get.
Phil Murphy and His Fight Against the Second Amendment
On Monday, faced with a number of lawsuits and the Department of Homeland Security declaring gun shops to be “critical infrastructure,” Murphy begrudgingly reversed his order to stop all gun sales in the state during the crisis.
“It wouldn’t have been my definition, but that’s the definition at the federal level,” Murphy said of the federal designation. “I didn’t get a vote on that.”
Of course, that’s the same Gov. Murphy who last week defended his decision to cut off all legal gun sales while keeping his own armed security detail. The Washington Times reported on an interaction between Murphy and a citizen at a recent press conference.
“The poorest minorities living in the most dangerous cities with the highest crime rates now have absolutely no way of buying a firearm,” the man said. “I lived in Newark and I understand this firsthand. You surround yourself with armed guards, so clearly you understand the benefit of the Second Amendment. At this moment, how can a New Jersey resident who isn’t already a gun owner exercise their Second Amendment rights?”
Murphy could’ve answered the reasonable question. Instead, he flippantly responded, “A safer society, for my taste, has fewer guns and not more guns.” He added that also includes keeping the guns that already do exist in the hands of the “right people.”
Phil Murphy: Guns Only for ‘Right People’
Just who those “right people” are is likely a small list for Murphy and his anti-gun cronies. In truth, there are very few gun-control schemes that Murphy doesn’t support.
Murphy also supports so-called “smart guns”—yeah, those things. Last summer he signed into law a requirement that every dealer in the state offer at least one such model. A commission, likely made up of equally anti-gun bureaucrats, will determine a list of firearms that qualify as “smart” guns. For the record, smart guns don’t actually exist in any viable form at this time. Of models that have been produced, the “smart” part is easily defeated or the guns have been unreliable.
As NRA-ILA noted in a legislative alert after that bill was passed, “Typically, when you have to force businesses to sell a product, that’s a very strong indicator that there is not a market for the product. New Jersey gun shops may be forced to put a ‘smart’ gun on their shelves, but the anti-gun zealots are more likely to see dust collecting rather than actual sales.”
A History of Gun Control
Even worse, last year Murphy signed an executive order to further demonize gun ownership and gun owners. Under the order, not only will the state’s Treasury Department request that all firearms manufacturers and retailers that sell to the state submit statements of their principles, including their efforts to prevent people from obtaining guns illegally, but all financial institutions will have to tell the state whether they do business with the gun industry and have codes of conduct related to gun safety or sales.
Of course, New Jersey was no friend to law-abiding gun owners long before Murphy came on the scene. We could write a book about high-profile cases where New Jersey residents were prosecuted—and persecuted—wrongly and needlessly. But we really don’t need to, as long as all Americans remember the plight of young mother Shaneen Allen.
Back in 2014, Allen, a Philadelphia medical assistant and mother of two young children, was arrested and charged with illegally carrying a firearm in New Jersey—a firearm she legally owned, had a concealed carry permit for in Pennsylvania and could legally carry in more than 30 other states. After working a night shift as a medical assistant, Allen was driving on the Atlantic City Expressway in New Jersey early in the morning, headed to a surprise birthday party for her 3-year-old son. As she drove, she noticed flashing lights from a state trooper car behind her, so she pulled over.
Incidentally, criminals victimized Allen twice in recent months via robbery. So she decided to buy a firearm so she could protect herself and her two children. She took a concealed carry course and got her carry permit so she could legally carry a firearm for self-defense.
Persecuting the Innocent
Police arrested Allen, charged and then persecuted her to the point of exhaustion. She faced a lengthy prison term for the felony charge; that was until public furor over the injustice led Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain to finally allow her to enter the state’s Pretrial Intervention Program. He had already made her an example and would have proudly sent her to prison for years.
Then-Gov. Chris Christie pardoned Allen in April 2015. But New Jersey’s anti-gun bureaucracy drug her through every bit of mud possible first. It cared not a whit about anything but overly restrictive laws that often ruin good people’s lives.
All of which brings us back to Gov. Phil Murphy. He’s a politician who only chose to allow citizens to practice their Second Amendment rights when faced with lawsuits and federal government edicts. At the same time, he continues to enjoy armed protection paid for by the very people whose rights he seeks to trample! Worse hypocrisy doesn’t exist, and citizens of the Garden State deserve so much better.
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