There’s no surprise here, as New Jersey is about as gun friendly as a pit of vipers are to Indiana Jones. But with the declaration of emergency, New Jersey Gov Phil Murphy shut down firearm sales just like so many other jurisdictions are doing. Only this time, they’re getting sued.
New Jersey Gov Phil Murphy shut down firearm sales, the NICS system, and all gun ranges in his decree of emergency. The gun advocacy group ANJPRC is preparing a major lawsuit. (ANJPRC – Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs). Their newsletter reads in part:
“On Saturday, March 21, 2020, N.J. Governor Phil Murphy issued Executive Order 107 amidst the Coronavirus crisis, shuttering all “non-essential” businesses until further notice.
Although the Executive Order does not specifically discuss gun stores or ranges, it applies to all businesses except those specifically exempted, and gun stores and ranges are not listed as exempt (ironically, certain non-essential sellers are exempted while gun sellers aren’t). Additionally, we have received specific “clarification” from the Governor’s office that:
- Gun stores are not deemed “essential” and are therefore ordered closed (shutting off the flow of firearms and ammunition to honest citizens, who may need them in times of emergency);
- The National Instant Check System in NJ (NICS) for processing all firearms and ammunition transactions has been shut down completely; and
- All ranges (indoor and outdoor, public and private) are ordered closed under a restriction on “recreational activities” (is developing proficiency to defend your life really just “recreation?”).
Thus, two major parts of the Second Amendment (means of firearms acquisition, and means of developing firearms proficiency) have been shut down completely, without an end date, by a single government official, by executive fiat. Social distancing protocols, utilized elsewhere to justify keeping certain other supposedly “essential” businesses open, are not even part of the equation when it comes to firearms, ammunition, and ranges.” ANJPRC newsletter
Shutting down the ability to obtain firearms at a time of emergency is foolish. The ANJPRC is planning to take the Governor and all of his officials to court. They said they are attempting to have dialogue with the Governor, but have no optimism that it will go anywhere.
In effect, the New Jersey Gov declaration has – as we have pointed out several times – destroyed the Second Amendment. It wasn’t necessary, but then, this is New Jersey. There are other jurisdictions that have made sure their emergency declaration did not include firearms – even a hostile, anti-gun Democrat jurisdiction like Illinois.
The ability to keep and bear arms is a right afforded to all in the Constitution. It is needed in a national emergency more than ever, and not just for personal protection. As the emergency declarations become more heavy-handed, we could begin to see why we need the 2nd amendment in the first place.
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